National Endowment for the Arts
Application deadline: 1/26/2022

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read will feature 15 titles for 2022–2023 programming, with books that represent a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. A partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs held around the country, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection, with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply. The deadline for applications is January 26, 2022.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to continue its support of the NEA Big Read, bringing people together around the shared experience of reading and exploring the same book,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the NEA. “I encourage organizations in towns large and small to consider this opportunity and how it could benefit their community.”

For the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read, there are 12 new additions to the NEA Big Read library and three returning titles. Short descriptions are available for each book at with additional resources for the new titles available in Summer 2022.

“Whether they stem from a wild imagination or lived experience, are set long ago or in our time or far into the future, these 15 books are gripping, poignant, sometimes funny, and always deeply humane,” said Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the NEA. “I am excited for communities to delve into these books and look forward to seeing their ideas for creative programming.”

New Additions for the 2022–2023 NEA Big Read:

  • The Bear (novel) by Andrew Krivak
  • Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (poetry) by Ross Gay
  • The Cold Millions (novel) by Jess Walter
  • Deaf Republic (poetry) by Ilya Kaminsky
  • Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (memoir) by Sarah Smarsh
  • Homegoing (novel) by Yaa Gyasi
  • Interior Chinatown (novel) by Charles Yu
  • Infinite Country (novel) by Patricia Engel
  • Nothing to See Here (novel) by Kevin Wilson
  • Postcolonial Love Poem (poetry) by Natalie Diaz
  • Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body(memoir-in-essays) by Rebekah Taussig
  • There, There (novel) by Tommy Orange

Returning Books for the 2022–2023 NEA Big Read:

Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to: arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, institutions of higher education, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000.