NEA Big Read Speakers


The NEA Big Read annually provides support to nonprofit organizations around the country to host community-wide reading programs around a single title. We are proud to represent these PRHSB authors whose works have been chosen by NEA Big Read for inclusion in their programming. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 Big Read programs, providing more than $23 million to organizations nationwide for events that have been attended by more than 5.7 million Americans. Applications are open, and now is the perfect time to select the next book to share with your community. 

Upcoming Deadlines

Applications are now open for grants to support NEA Big Read projects between September 2023 and June 2024. The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply.

Tommy Orange

Bestselling novelist and author of There There

Tommy Orange Speaker

“We are the memories we don’t remember, which live in us, which we feel, which make us sing and dance and pray the way we do, feelings from memories that flare and bloom unexpectedly in our lives like blood through a blanket from a wound made by a bullet fired by a man shooting us in the back for our hair, for our heads, for a bounty, or just to get rid of us.” — There There

Tommy Orange is the author of Pulitzer Prize finalist There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story that introduces readers to a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. In dynamic and frank in-conversation programs, Orange talks about his craft and writing process, and Native American history and culture.

Yaa Gyasi

Bestselling author of Homegoing and Transcendent Kingdom

Yaa Gyasi

“No one forgets that they were once captive, even if they are now free.” — Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi‘s Homegoing is a sweeping epic that moves through histories and geographies, illuminating the origins of slavery, racism, and Black American identity. Gyasi captivates audiences with events that explore contemporary craft, cultural identity, and the complex racial landscape of America’s past and present.

Charles Yu

National Book Award-winning author of Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu

“Working your way up the system doesn’t mean you beat the system. It strengthens it. It’s what the system depends on.” — Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu is the author of the National Book Award winner Interior Chinatown, a genre-bending masterpiece that explores the confining stereotypes of Asian Americans in American culture. Yu speaks to audiences of all kinds about the Asian-American experience, representation and stereotypes in film and television, and the unique power of science fiction to address the human condition.

Contact us for more information about booking a speaker for your next event.