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2022 National Book Award: The Longlist of Black Writers

The longlists for the National Book Awards for 2022 were announced on September 16. On October 4, five finalists will be named in each category: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young adult literature. The winner will be named on November 16 at the awards ceremony.

The 2022 National Book Award for Fiction received 463 submissions and will be judged by Ben Fountain (chair), Brandon Hobson, Pam Houston, Dana Johnson, Michelle Malonzo. The 2022 National Book Award for Nonfiction submissions totalled 607 and will be judged by Oscar Villalon (chair), Carol Anderson, Melissa Febos, Thor Hanson, Janet Webster Jones. The 2022 National Book Award for Poetry received 260 submissions and will be judged by Kwame Dawes (chair), Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Neil, Mai Der Vang. The National Book Award for Translated Literature received 146 submissions and will be judged by Nick Buzanski, Veronica Esposito, Rohan Kamicheril, and Russell Scott Valentino. The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature had 296 submissions and will be judged by Jewell Parker Rhodes (chair), Becky Albertalli, Joseph Bruchac, Meghan Dietsche Goel, Lilliam Rivera.

Below, we have compiled a list of Black writers of African descent in each category. You can check out the full list on the National Book website.

Young Adult

Judges: Jewell Parker Rhodes (Chair), Becky Albertalli, Joseph Bruchac, Megan Dietsche, Lilliam Rivera

  • Swim Team, Johnnie Christmas, (HarperCollins / Harper Alley)
  • Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice, Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, Dawud Anyabwile (WW Norton)
  • Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution, Sherri Winston, (Bloomsbury / Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Fiction

Judges: Ben Foutain (chair), Brandon Hobson, Pam Houston, Dana Johnson, Michelle Malonzo.

  • If I Survive You, Jonathan Escoffery (MCD/Farrar, Straus, and Giroux/Macmillan Publishers
  • The Birdcatcher, Gayl Jones (Beacon Press)

Nonfiction

Judges: Oscar Villalon (chair), Carol Anderson, Melissa Febos, Thor Hanson, Janet Webster Jones

  • South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, Imani Perry
  • His Name Is George Floyd Book, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa

Poetry

Judges: Kwame Dawes (chair), Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Niell, Mai Der Vang

  • Golden Ax, Rio Cortez (Penguin Books/ Penguin Random House)
  • Punks: New & Selected Poems, John Keene (The Song Cave)
  • Best Barbarian, Roger Reeves (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Mummy Eaters, Sherry Shenoda (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Duende, Quincy Troupe (Seven Stories Press)

Translated Literature

Judges: Ann Goldstein (chair), Nick Buzanski, Veronica Esposito, Rohan Kamicheril, Russel Scott Valentino

  • Kibogo, Scholastique Mukasonga (Mark Polizzotti) (Archipelago Books)

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