Literature

Features

It's that time of year when thousands of newly minted graduates collect their diplomas and throw off their caps and gowns in preparation for What Comes Next. The future looms shiny and bright, and things like work, rent, and bills still seem like proud emblems of adulthood rather than the...
Wandering the gallery space of The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter , on view through September 7th at the New York Public Library, feels like stepping back into a comforting, colorful, and perhaps forgotten world. There is Alice, with her flowing hair and look of curious surprise. There...
One of Ray Bradbury’s most famous quotes is “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” If that’s true, it stands to reason that getting people to read would, on the other hand, restore a culture and help it flourish. That...
"[T]he role of a community is to protect the solitude of its individuals--I emphasize solitude rather than loneliness. At the same time, one of the roles of the individual artist is to trouble the community. It’s a paradox, this mutual relationship of trouble and support." --...
Next year’s Big Read grantees—whom we’ll announce next Tuesday—had the option to focus their programming around two new books: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and When the Emperor Was Divine. While we wait to see which grantees chose what, we started to think about...
"The isolation of literary American readers from the wealth of work outside the U.S. is more than unfortunate. It seals us off not only from other ways of being and imagining, but from understanding ourselves and our own culture more deeply, if only by comparison. Conversely, literary...
"There is a reason that people seek out poetry, even if they’ve never read a poem in their lives, even if they think poetry is something totally esoteric or trivial or irrelevant. In the most powerful moments of our lives, in moments of love, passion, birth, death, marriage, all the...
You know what they say: in the end there can be only one. And at the end of the two-day 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Finals, that one was Anita Norman of Arlington, Tennessee. With bold, confident recitations of poems by Stanley Kunitz, Robert Hayden, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, the...
New to Poetry Out Loud or just need a reminder how it works? Don't worry, 2011's POL emcee Kerry Washington is here to help! Just click "play" and you'll know all you need to know about the rules before you join us tonight on arts.gov at 7pm ET to cheer on the next Poetry Out...
The 53 Poetry Out Loud state champions who are arriving in Washington, DC today for two days of intense competition have a tough job. But, perhaps, there's one group who has it even tougher--the Poetry Out Loud judges. Over two days, the 14 judges for the semifinals and finals rounds must...

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