Books Honored by the National Book Foundation

National Book Award Medals

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. National Book Awards are given five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.

The first African-American writer to win a National Book Award was Ralph Ellison for Invisible Man.

Check Out AALBC’s Coverage of the National Book Awards:  20172016201520142013

3 Books Honored by the National Book Foundation in 2009

Finalist - Poetry

Speak Low: Poems
by Carl Phillips

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $23.00
    Format: Hardcover, 80 pages
    Classification: Poetry
    ISBN13: 9780374267162
    Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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    Read a Description of Speak Low: Poems

    Book Description: 
    Speak Low is the tenth book from one of America’s most distinctive—and one of poetry’s most essential—contemporary voices. Phillips has long been hailed for work provocative in its candor, uncompromising in its inquiry, and at once rigorous and innovative in its attention to craft. Over the course of nine critically acclaimed collections, he has generated a sustained meditation on the restless and ever-shifting myth of human identity. Desire and loss, mastery and subjugation, belief and doubt, sex, animal instinct, human reason: these are among the lenses through which Phillips examines what it means to be that most bewildering, irresolvable conundrum, a human being in the world. These new poems are of a piece with Phillips’s previous work in their characteristic clarity and originality of thought, in their unsparing approach to morality and psychology, and in both the strength and startling flexibility of their line. Speak Low is the record of a powerful vision that, in its illumination of the human condition, has established itself as a necessary step toward our understanding of who we are in the twenty-first century.Speak Low is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry.

    Finalist - Poetry

    Open Interval (Pitt Poetry Series)
    by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $14.95
      Format: Paperback, 72 pages
      Classification: Poetry
      ISBN13: 9780822960362
      Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
      Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
      Parent Company: University of Pittsburgh
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      Read a Description of Open Interval (Pitt Poetry Series)

      Book Description: 
      Drawing upon intersections of astronomy and mathematics, history, literature, and lived experience, the poems in Open Interval locate the self in the interval between body and name.

      Finalist - Young People’s Literature

      by Rita Williams-Garcia

        Publication Date:
        List Price: $16.99
        Format: Hardcover, 169 pages
        Classification: Fiction
        Target Age Group: Middle Grade
        ISBN13: 9780060760915
        Imprint: Amistad
        Publisher: HarperCollins
        Parent Company: News Corporation
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        Read a Description of Jumped

        Book Description: 
        The wrong angleTrina: "Hey," I say, though I don’t really know them. The boyed-up basketball girl barely moves. The others, her girls, step aside. It’s okay if they don’t speak. I know how it is. They can’t all be Trina.Dominique: Some stupid little flit cuts right in between us and is like, "Hey." Like she don’t see I’m here and all the space around me is mines. I slam my fist into my other hand because she’s good as jumped.Leticia: Why would I get involved in Trina’s life when I don’t know for sure if I saw what I thought I saw? Who is to say I wasn’t seeing it from the wrong angle?Acclaimed author Rita Williams-Garcia intertwines the lives of three very different teens in this fast-paced, gritty narrative about choices and the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant ones can have. Weaving in and out of the girls’ perspectives, readers will find themselves not with one intimate portrayal but three.