Hope College Presents

NEA Big Read

LAKESHORE 2021

Big Read Lakeshore 2021 Book

An American Sunrise

We are excited to announce An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo as our 2021 book selection!

Writer, musician, and current Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Her eighth collection of poems, An American Sunrise, revisits the homeland from which her ancestors were uprooted in 1830 as a result of the Indian Removal Act. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice.

Learn moreDownload our 2021 event calendar!

What is the NEA Big Read Lakeshore?

Hope College's NEA Big Read Lakeshore program began in 2014. Our goal is to create and foster a culture where reading matters. We bring our Lakeshore community together around a common book and use this shared experience of reading, discussing, and exploring the themes of the book as a springboard to listen to and learn from each other. Our trademark program takes place annually in November. Partial funding for our Big Read program comes from the NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Reimagining the Big Read Lakeshore as a Hybrid Program

What is a hybrid program?

Because of COVID-19, we had to pivot and switch to offering a virtual program last year. This year it is our hope to provide both in-person AND virtual events as well as virtual options for attending in-person events.

Efficient

Little to no travel. Attend some in person events from the comfort of your own home.

Interactive

Real-time virtual and/or in person interactions with speakers and fellow participants.

Flexible

Some events will be offered in-person and some will be offered virtually. Some will be offered as both.

Global

Going virtual allows us to include speakers beyond our geographical reach.

Guiding Questions for 2021 Program

Whose histories are told? Whose are silenced?

Why is it important for us to learn about Native American history and culture?

What is a poem? What does it mean to pay attention, listen, notice?

Ways to Get Involved

Read the book

Our book's topics and themes are timely and relevant.

Attend our events

Our events offer a variety of perspectives, experiences, and angles on the book.

Interact with others

Our goal is that you listen and learn from others as well as sharing your own ideas and experiences.

Respond

Our community becomes stronger when you make positive changes in response to your interactions with the book.

Find The Book

Our 2021 Big Read and Little Read titles will be available at the Hope College BookstoreReader’s World (Holland), The Bookman (Grand Haven), Barnes and Noble in Holland and Amazon.

Participating libraries will host book giveaways in late October.

You can also check out the titles at participating libraries starting in June. Book club bags are available.

Land Acknowledgement

Together we acknowledge that we gather, in West Michigan, on the traditional land of the Peoria, Potawatomi, Odawa, Ojibwe Peoples, past and present.

We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations.

As a community, we recognize the ever present systemic inequities that stem directly from past wrongdoings. We are grateful for the ways in which stories and words can speak truth and shed insight to these inequalities and wrongdoings, and also provide a way forward towards equality, justice and understanding.

Through these Big Read events and beyond, we commit to respecting and reconciling this long history of injustice, and commit to be better stewards of this land we inhabit.