Literature

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Johanna Warren. Photo by Monik Geisel "I used to do a lot of waiting...for inspiration and luck, but then I realized both of those things are like lightning, and you can either sit at home wondering, 'Why haven't I been struck by lightning yet?' or you can cover yourself in...
Philip Levine. Photo by Geoffrey Berliner Thanks to his Detroit upbringing, former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine has more than a passing connection with some of the country's jazz legends, such as NEA Jazz Masters Kenny Burrell, Elvin Jones, and Tommy Flanagan. In fact, Levine has credited...
It's a great day for American literature! Today, the NEA announced $1 million in funding for the 2012-2013 Big Read . As we toast our 78 new grantees, we thought it would be a good time to remember the core message of the program: that reading can change lives, change minds, and change...
In 1998, Lieutenant Colonel Ron Capps was sent to Kosovo to work as a diplomatic observer for the State Department. One of his duties there was to write up official...
Walt Whitman, considered one of the great American poets, wrote many poems about the United States Civil War, which he experienced firsthand as a volunteer nurse in Washington, DC. The...
This week's podcast is a conversation with Dean Bakopoulos, who easily navigates the worlds of fiction and journalism. Currently a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University, Bakopoulos has lectured at Michigan, Cornell, and other universities...
Crow Indian poet and former Montana Poet Laureate Henry Real Bird, a frequent participant in activities presented by the YMCA Writer's Voice in Billings, Montana. Photo by Corby Skinner "I’ve always believed culture is the way to have people communicate better, whether it’s art...
President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Toni Morrison during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, May 29, 2012. Of Morrison's work, the president said, "I remember reading Song of Solomon when I was a kid and not just trying to figure out how to...
Marilyn Chin. Photo by Don Romero "I believe that “innovation” means to be courageous and to get out of your comfort zone and try new approaches." --- Marilyn Chin Marilyn Chin's work unflinchingly explores what it is to be both Asian and American, where those worlds...
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist for 10,000 Maniacs. Her solo career has been remarkably successful both popularly and critically. She’s known as a wonderful interpreter of song and as a...

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