Literature

Features

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...
Maxine Hong Kingston. Photo by Michael Lionstar This week's podcast focuses on author, Maxine Hong Kingston. Kingston is a pioneering author who in many ways cleared the path for both ethnic and women’s literature. In language that is lyrical and poetic, she looks at the complications of...
Photo by NEA staff People of all backgrounds engage with words and rhymes on a daily basis, from famous poets and spoken word artists to Broadway lyricists and rap sensations. In schools, poetry allows students to explore the diversity and power of language. Outside of the classroom, there is no...
Poetry Out Loud
Launched in the spring of 2006, Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest (POL) has been inspiring a love of poetry in high school students across the country ever since. A...
According to Nikki Giovanni —poet, activist, professor, Grammy nominee—Columbia University owes her a degree. As Giovanni related, "I was at Columbia University in an MFA program, and the object there...
Marc Smirnoff. Photo by Carol Ann Fitzgerald Marc Smirnoff wasn't looking to start a literary magazine when he moved to Oxford, Mississippi, in 1987. In fact, the native Californian wasn't even looking to move to Mississippi. But thanks to mix of car trouble and serendipity, Smirnoff found...
Ann Angel. Photo by Shannon Wucherer In the days of Facebook and text messages, capturing a teenager's attention can seem like a Herculean task, particularly in the literary realm. Yet writer Ann Angel has successfully built her career on that ever finicky YA market. She has written biographies...
This week's podcast features the award-winning writer of crime fiction, Laura Lippman. Lippman began her writing career as a journalist, and worked at the Baltimore Sun for 12 years. She credits her time with her hometown paper for revealing a city she had never seen growing up. She understood...
This week's podcast puts the spotlight on 2011 National Medal of Arts recipient Rita Dove. Dove has had a remarkable career as a poet, and she has the credentials to prove it. Not only was she the first African-American U. S. Poet Laureate, she was also the youngest ever appointed. She has also...
Some of the 2011 Cave Canem Fellows with instructor Carl Phillips (back row, 2nd from right). Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths You might not expect Pompeii to figure significantly in the history of African-American literature, but it was a visit to the ancient buried city that inspired the name for...

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