The NEA Big Read Lakeshore, organized by Hope College, will host 101 events across the West Michigan Lakeshore, from Saugatuck to Holland to Muskegon, this November. The events will be centered around the program’s previously announced book choices: “Circe,” by Madeline Miller’ “The Odyssey,” by Homer’ “Zita the Spacegirl,” by Ben Hatke; “Superman,” by Matt de la Peña; and “The Last Stop on Market Street,” by Matt de la Peña. The entire event schedule is now live at bigreadlakeshore.com/events

The program will notably host authors of this year’s chosen books along with multimodal events ranging from culinary experiences to outdoor adventures. With a multitude of events for all ages, there is sure to be something for every member of the family. This year’s featured events are:

  • 2022 Program Kickoff: “Why Read Greek Mythology?” with Dr. Stephen Maiullo of the Hope College faculty (Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m.; Maas Center auditorium, Hope College);
  • Little Read Author Event with Matt de la Peña (Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, Hope College; Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., Frauenthal Center, Muskegon); and
  • Big Read Author Event with Madeline Miller (Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, Hope College).

“Every year, our program grows. For our ninth year, we are excited to host over 100 events in collaboration with our wonderful partners,” said Dr. Deborah Van Duinen, who is director of both the Big Read and Little Read and an associate professor of English education at Hope. “We’re also thrilled to welcome community partners in Muskegon to our program this year. These new partners have incredible events planned and we’re looking forward to engaging with readers in this area of the Lakeshore.”

The new partnerships with Muskegon Area District Library and the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District expand the program geographically, but also in quantity and quality. Lakeshore residents are encouraged to explore new cities by attending events in various cities this year!

All events can be found at bigreadlakeshore.com/events

RSVP for free events is encouraged, but not required. Additionally, the Big Read partnered with computer science students at Hope College to create a reading discussion app. The app and instructions for participation are available at synlesa.com

In addition to Hope and the new Muskegon partners, the NEA Big Read Lakeshore’s community partners include the Allegan District Library, Allegan Area Educational Service Agency, Allendale Township Library, Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony, the City of Holland, CultureWorks, Dorr Township Library, Fennville District Library, Freedom Village, Gary Byker Memorial Library of Hudsonville, Georgetown District Library, Herrick District Library, Holland Museum, Hope Academy for Senior Professionals, Hope College Sustainability Institute, Howard Miller Public Library, J.C. Wheeler Library, Kruizenga Art Museum, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Otsego Public Library, Outdoor Discovery Center, READ Ottawa, Ready for School, Salem Township Library, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, Spring Lake District Library, Step Up, StrikeTime Dance Theater, Western Theological Seminary, Woman’s Literary Club and Van Wylen Library.

Hope College’s NEA Big Read Lakeshore program began in 2014 with the goal to create and foster a culture where reading matters. By bringing the Lakeshore community together around a common book, Big Read Lakeshore uses the shared experience of reading, discussing and exploring the themes of the book as a springboard to listen to and learn from each other.

The NEA Big Read Lakeshore program is made possible in part by a grant from the NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.