National Book Festival Schedule Announced & Poster Revealed

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Detail from the National Book Festival poster designed by Dana Tanamachi.

The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival will run Sept. 17-26 this year, featuring more than 100 authors, poets, and writers in a range of formats. The festival's theme is “Open a Book, Open the World,” and it will be kicked off by LeVar Burton, the actor and literacy advocate who is also hosting the PBS television special of the same name that premieres on September 12.

Two ticketed in-person festival events will include: a conversation with New York Times puzzle master and collector Will Shortz (profiled in our fall 2016 issue) and fellow puzzler and author Adrienne Raphel; and poet Nikki Giovanni in conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Both will be live-streamed on the festival website with live question-and-answer sessions. All other content will be recorded and available on demand. The schedule of programs is available on

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The annual National Book Festival poster has also been unveiled. This year it was designed by New York City-based graphic designer Dana Tanamachi, who said she was inspired by the idea of an open book resembling a blossoming flower.

“I envisioned a wild garden, like something out of Alice in Wonderland or Jack and the Beanstalk, with blooming books that could transport readers to alternate worlds. It was these worlds that inspired me to add the stars and ombré background, to convey a sense of vastness, wonder, adventure and exploration. Books and flowers both open up and invite us in to behold beauty, mark the seasons and experience change and growth. Combining the two images felt like the perfect metaphor.” (You can read all about Tanamachi and her creative vision for the project here.)