Award-winning authors Chen Chen and Rebecca Makkai to appear at New Bedford Library

New Bedford, Massachusetts– As part of a summer program through the National Book Foundation, New Bedford has been selected to host award winning authors Chen Chen and Rebecca Makkai for a conversation at the New Bedford Free Public Library.

The two authors will appear as part of AHA! Night on Thursday, August 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Meeting Room of the New Bedford Free Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street.

The conversation is part of the National Book Foundation’s NBF Presents: Summer with the National Book Awards, bringing National Book Awards-honored authors to libraries across the country.

Join the National Book Foundation and the New Bedford Free Public Library for AHA!, New Bedford’s arts and culture celebration featuring a conversation with poet Chen Chen (When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, National Book Award Longlist) and novelist Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers, National Book Award Finalist) on narratives spanning Chinese-American millennials to the height of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago. The event will be moderated by Joseph O. Legaspi.

About the Authors

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. His work has also appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Chen earned his MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing as an off-site Texas Tech University Student. Chen is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novel The Great Believers, a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, one of the New York Times’ top ten books for 2018, winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Award, and the Chicago Review of Books Award, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s 2018 Best Books. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Visit her at or on Twitter @rebeccamakkai.

About the Moderator

Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of the poetry collections Threshold and Imago; and three chapbooks: Postcards; Aviary, Bestiary; and Subways. His works have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, World Literature Today, Best of the Net, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He cofounded Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian-American literature.