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Nantucket Book Foundation Announces 2021 Programs

The Nantucket Book Foundation celebrates its 10th year with a lively and inspiring lineup of author events and school programs throughout 2021, engaging readers on-island and beyond.

Despite having to cancel its annual Book Festival for a second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nantucket Book Foundation (NBF) is excited to announce a series of virtual events presented to live audiences. The first of these events happened on March 12, when author and illustrator Jerry Craft spoke with students at Cyrus Peirce Middle School. Kirkus Reviews described Craft’s debut graphic novel New Kid as “an engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.” Cyrus Peirce students were thrilled to not just read the book, but meet the author.

Nantucket High School students have been looking forward to their visit from author Nic Stone since last spring, when it had to be postponed. Now rescheduled for April 16th as a virtual visit, students will finally get to hear from the New York Times bestselling author whose stories explore themes of racial injustice and gender identity. High School students will then have the opportunity to take inspiration from Stone’s visit and create an essay for the Nantucket Book Foundation’s Young Writer Awards.

Next is a conversation on April 21 between bestselling author Isabel Wilkerson and journalist Diane Rehm, discussing Wilkerson’s latest book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent. Produced in partnership with NPR station WAMU-88.5, NBF supporters will be invited to join the Diane Rehm Book Club’s audience for this special presentation about one of the most acclaimed and important books of the year. 

Plans are underway to celebrate Juneteenth (June 19th) with a panel of writers, gathered by author Mitchell Jackson, before a virtual audience on Thursday, June 17. Panelists include historian Dr. Keisha Blain, author of Set the World on Fire and co-editor with Ibram X. Kendi of Four Hundred Souls; Clint Smith, staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Counting Descent and the upcoming How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America; and Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, 2021 Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award.

Friends & Fiction, a group of five bestselling authors – Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe, Kristin Harmel, Patti Callahan Henry, and Kristy Woodson Harvey – hosts a weekly live web show featuring special guests and lively discussion. In July, NBF marketing director Tim Ehrenberg will be interviewing the authors and then engaging in a fast-paced Q&A game show to find out how much these friends really know about each other. 

Our final event of the summer season is sure to excite fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Jennifer Weiner – “Cocktails, Conversation, & Couture” on August 19 at the Nantucket Hotel & Resort. A fashion show will highlight island boutiques, while attendees enjoy signature cocktails and a lively conversation between Hilderbrand and Weiner. Tickets go on sale May 1 on the NBF website.

20 years after the 9/11 attacks, former Boston Globe reporter Mitchell Zuckoff will visit Nantucket on September 18 to share recollections of tragedy and triumph from his book Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11. And in October, the NBF is planning to assemble a group of regional authors as we celebrate autumn on Nantucket, and look forward to the 10 Anniversary of the Nantucket Book Festival, June 16-19, 2022.

Visit for more information, plus registration and tickets (when needed). Signing up for the NBF newsletter is the best way to stay informed about upcoming events.

The Nantucket Book Festival operates under the Nantucket Book Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to celebrate and promote the joys and rewards of reading, writing, and literacy. The organization seeks to present an annual quality program that honors national, regional, and local authors and the rich culture of the written word, ideas, and imagination.

The Nantucket Book Foundation, working together with educators, brings its Visiting Author program into island schools as well as the annual Young Writers Award essay competition for high school students. These programs encourage our students to find a platform of words and a love of reading to understand that while they may live on an island, there is no limit to their imaginations.

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