Literature

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"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...
“When I can feel the hair on my arms raise up, I know that person has become the poem…” – Margaret Belisle on Poetry Out Loud Helena High School English teacher Margaret Belisle may have just retired, but as it turns out, you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but...
"Speaking a poem by heart connects you to the Greater Conversation, whatever your sorrow or bliss, whoever your god. It also lowers your blood pressure." --JoAnn Balingit, Delaware Poet Laureate Need more reasons why you should get to memorizing? Click through for more musings on the...
In the new issue of NEA Arts , two stories focus on the idea of giving voice. Ever read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Or anything by Colette? Or how about Stieg Larsson's popular Elisabeth Salander series? In " Literature's Invisible Art, " Rebecca Gross...
We're pretty proud of our generous and excellent cadre of Big Read audio guide contributors. Elie Wiesel, Annette Bening, Martin Amis, Aimee Mann...I could go on for days. For example, Robert Redford offered to read excerpts for the NEA from Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Some...
Langston Hughes was never far from jazz. He listened to it at nightclubs, collaborated with musicians from Monk to Mingus, often held readings accompanied by jazz combos, and even wrote a children’s book called The First Book of Jazz . For Hughes, jazz was a way of life. He was, of course,...
What do you call it when 13,000 writers show up at the same place at the same time with nothing but literature on their minds? According to the ubiquitous tote bags, it's the annual literary convention/gabfest/"writers' family reunion" put on by the Association of Writers and...

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