Below are videos of the National Book Awards, presented last night, with time notations.
Host John Lithgow said of Nikky Finney’s electrifying acceptance of the poetry award (Part Two, beginning at 17:30), “That was the best acceptance speech for anything I’ve ever heard in my life,” He worried that the winners who followed her would be intimidated, but by the end, marveled, “You people are good at this.”
Introducing the award for Young People’s Literature, Panel Chair Marc Aronson noted, ”It was a bad year for muffled phone conversations with disastrous consequences.” (Part Two, 10:00)
Intro by host, John Lithgow
(7:50) – Walter Mosley presents the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to bookseller Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books.
(24:50) – Ann Lauterbach presents the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to poet John Ashberry.
(1:20) — Introduction by David Steinberger, President and CEO Perseus Books Group and Chairman of the National Book Foundation Board of Directors.
(10:00) – Marc Aronson, chair of the Young People’s Literature Award Panel presents the award to Thanhha Lai, Inside Out & Back Again, (Harper, 1/21/11).
(13:40) – Elizabeth Alexander chair of the Poetry Award Panel presents the award to Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split, (TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press).