NEA Big Read book distribution begins Wednesday in Kenosha

Event lineup centers around Yaa Gyasi's debut novel 'Homegoing'


For over 100 years, KPL has served the City and County of Kenosha. KPL is the resource library for the Kenosha County Library System. KCLS is a two-member library system including KPL and the Community Library, which serves the residents of Kenosha County.

The 10th NEA Big Read, brought to you by the Kenosha Public Library, officially begins in April. Copies of this year’s selection, “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi, are available for free in limited quantities to the community.

“We are often asked before the programming for the current NEA Big Read ends, when the next one will be planned,” KPL’s Head of Community Programs and Partnerships Brandi Cummings said. “It is clear Kenosha loves this programming and seeing the whole community rally around one book to provide unique events and opportunities for discussion.”

Book distribution begins Wednesday (March 1). Books may be picked up at all Kenosha Public Library locations as wells as:

● Civil War Museum
● Blue House Books
● UW Parkside Library
● Community Library – Salem
● Commuinty Library – Twin Lakes

This year’s event lineup has a multitude of opportunities for the community to plug in, dig deeper, and explore the themes woven throughout Gyasi’s debut novel. Join KPL for the official kickoff of the 2023 NEA Big Read:

Film Screening and Q&A: Traces of the Trade with Tom DeWolf

Join us for this unique opportunity! Traces of the Trade is a journey by Katrina Browne, the filmmaker, and nine of her cousins into the dark past of the slave trade, which enriched their white New England family.

The descendants of the DeWolf family of Rhode Island, one of the most prominent slave trading families in American history, retrace their family’s involvement in the Triangle Trade from New England to Ghana and back to America.

The documentary won the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and was nominated for an Emmy Award for historical research. It was chosen from 953 submissions to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

We are honored to welcome Tom DeWolf, one of the nine cousins featured in the film, who will share his experience and join us in a question-and-answer session on race, reconciliation, and healing. The film and the conversation explore the legacy of slavery that continues to impact the country negatively.

Tuesday, April 4, 6-8:30 p.m., Southwest Library, Atrium

Copies of “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi can be picked up at Blue House Books and other locations.

Homegoing author, Yaa Gyasi, will join the community for a virtual conversation in May as the 2023 NEA Big Read Keynote:

A Conversation with Yaa Gyasi

You’ve read the book, attended the programs, and joined the community celebration – now hear from the author herself! Kenosha Public Library is delighted to bring Yaa Gyasi, author of the 2023 NEA Big Read selection “Homegoing,” to join us in a conversation about her debut novel.

We will explore characters, themes, and the power of literature to help us understand the world through new lenses and points of view. Participants will have the opportunity to have their questions answered by the author while learning more about the pathway to this monumental work of literature.

Monday, May 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Virtual

Registration Required –

For a full list of programs throughout the community visit

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.