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  • Literary Landmark Award 2021 to Two River Theater

    Marking the anniversary of its 20 year history as a dynamic force celebrating the diverse cultural contributions made by distinguished state organizations and institutions, the New Jersey Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress, presented its coveted Literary Landmark Award to The Two River Theater in Red Bank on November 14, 2021 at the Theater. A reception followed the performance of Radio Gulf.

    Cited by USA TODAY as one of the 10 great regional programs in the nation, Two River has contributed substantially to the  artistic landscape of our state and beyond since its founding in 1994 by remaining dedicated to its mission of producing American and world masterpieces as well as new works, including plays, musicals, and festivals. Two River also cultivates a new generation of theater goers through its innovative art education programs that introduce youth to the theater and create opportunities for them to engage with famed theater artists. For more information about the Two River Theater visit:

    In accepting this eighth Literary Landmark from the New Jersey Center for the Book, the Two River Theater joins other earlier recipients such as the Newark Public Library, the Walt Whitman House, and the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies.

    Featured during the event Radio Golf  is one of ten creations by the renowned Black playwright August Wilson, winner of the Tony and Pulitzer Prizes, and a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame. Two Rivers has previously staged six other Wilson works including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, made into a film and winner of Oscar awards. Radio Golf was the final installment in Wilson’s ten part Century Cyclewhich chronicles decade by decade his series of 10 plays penned before his early death at age 60.

  • 2021 National Book Festival

    The Library of Congress will hold its National Book Festival virtually from September 17th-26th. It’s theme “Open a Book, Open the World” will include live conversations with authors every day, and much more. For the Great Reads portion of the event the NJ Center for the Book has chosen as its state’s representation The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz, an inspiring story of a NJ theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility who’s determined to get a role in her town’s production of Wicked. Read more about the Festival here…

  • Wil Mara 2020 New Jersey Author of the Year

    The NJ Center for the Book is thrilled to announce that our Board Member, Wil Mara, has been chosen by the New Jersey Association of School Librarians as the 2020 New Jersey Author of the Year! Wil is a veteran of the publishing industry with more than 300 books to his credit. He has penned both fiction and nonfiction for all ages, written over a span of more than thirty years and released through some of the biggest houses in the world, including Rosen, Macmillan, Dorling Kindersley, Scholastic, St. Martin’s Press, Tor, and others. Most recently, his ‘Twisted’ series has become a hit with parents, teachers, librarians, and middle-grade students, including those in the challenging reluctant and hi-lo categories.

    Wil also served inside the industry as an editor, production manager, and executive for twenty years, with tenures at Prentice Hall, McGraw-Hill, and Harcourt Brace. He has since entered the realm of Hollywood, now developing his ‘Twisted’ series for television with one of the leading LA-based production companies, as well as three other projects based on his published works. Peripherally, he does numerous appearances to teach writing skills for schools and other institutions, is an executive committee member on the board of directors for the New Jersey Center for the Book, the host of the ‘Voice of American Libraries’ podcast, and was the 2019 recipient of the Literary Lion of New Jersey Award, whose past winners include Gus Friedrich, Dean Emeritus of Rutgers University, and Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist.

NJ Center for the Book

The New Jersey Center for the Book is affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress which was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries.

The School of Communication and Information at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey has hosted the Center’s operations since its beginning in 2002. The Center’s mission is to “celebrate books, reading, libraries and the diverse literary heritage of New Jersey.”