Route 1 Reads

The State Centers for the Book linked by US Route 1 are joining together to promote books that illuminate important aspects of their states/commonwealths for readers traveling the major and meandering highway.

The Route

U.S. Route 1 is a major north–south U.S. Highway that serves the East Coast from Ft. Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida. At 2,369 miles, it's the longest north–south road in the United States. The Route 1 Reads initiative is a partnership between 16 affiliate Centers for the Book along that route to promote books that illuminate important aspects of their states or commonwealths for readers travelling this meandering highway. The initiative was launched at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Center for the Book's 2021 Route 1 Reads Selection

Cover of The Birth of All Things by Marcus Amaker

The Birth of All Things
Marcus Amaker

Marcus Amaker is the first Poet Laureate of Charleston, SC. This is his eighth poetry book, and it features handwritten poems, original artwork, and an original illustration from Florida artist Nick Davis. The Birth of All Things is a book about Black fatherhood, joy, racism, anxiety, Bjork, Star Wars, and more.

"Once, in 2001, I heard a poet read a poem that turned to music in the air. Two decades later Marcus Amaker’s gorgeous new book is that moment on repeat, with each turned page. A mixtape of presence, The Birth of All Things is a genuine, lyrical offering to our heart’s expansion. To write in celebration while refusing to ignore grief, is a skill few artists have mastered, but it is mastered here. I am so grateful for the bonfire of light this book has brought into my world."— Andrea Gibson, world-renowned poet and author of Lord of the Butterflies (Button Poetry).