The First Chapter
At NCTE’s Annual Convention you’ll have the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers who care about literacy as much as you do. The art of teaching and learning writing, reading, speaking, and listening is multifaceted, complex, and rich with possibility. That’s why each year we select keynote speakers who bring a range of perspectives to the mic: 2017 is no exception. We’re thrilled to share this stellar lineup with you.
Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming months. #NCTE17 will feature hundreds of authors who speak, sign books, present sessions, and attend events. You’ll have many opportunities to meet your literary heroes in person.
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Award-winning poet and writer dedicated to helping others improve their lives through education.
Creator of critically acclaimed graphic novels based on literary classics, including Beowulf and King Lear.
Engineer, NASA astronaut, and author of a May 2017 memoir; Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances.
Jimmy Santiago BacaFriday, November 17, 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Jimmy Santiago Baca is an American poet and writer. After a challenging childhood and adolescence, at the age of twenty-one he was incarcerated. During his six and a half years in prison, Jimmy taught himself to read and write and got his first poems published. Immigrants in Our Own Land, Jimmy’s first major collection, was highly praised. In 1987, his semi-autobiographical minor epic in verse, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley, received the American Book Award for poetry, bringing Jimmy international acclaim and, in 1989, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. Jimmy conducts writing workshops with children and adults in countless places from coast to coast. In 2004 he started a non-profit organization, Cedar Tree, Inc., that supports these workshops through charitable donations.
Gareth HindsSunday, November 19, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Gareth Hinds is the creator of critically-acclaimed graphic novels based on literary classics, including Beowulf, King Lear (which Booklist named one of the top 10 graphic novels for teens), The Merchant of Venice, The Odyssey (which garnered four starred reviews and a spot on ten “best of 2010” lists), Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. Gareth is a recipient of the Boston Public Library’s “Literary Lights for Children” award. His books can be found in bookstores and English classrooms across the country, and his illustrations have appeared in such diverse venues as the Society of Illustrators, the New York Historical Society, and over a dozen published video games.
Leland MelvinFriday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Leland Melvin is an engineer and NASA astronaut. He served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist and was named the NASA Associate Administrator for Education in October 2010. After hanging up his space boots he was appointed head of NASA Education and served as the co-chair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan. He holds four honorary doctorates for his service in education, the sciences, and philanthropy. A former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Leland has been honored with the NFL Players Association “Award of Excellence” for inspiring athletes to pursue excellence on and off the field. Leland currently resides in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Jacqueline WoodsonSaturday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for adults, young adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. Her most recent novel, Another Brooklyn, was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Award finalist. In Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood and renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives. Jacqueline was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation, and she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.