Literature

Features

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...
One of the semifinalist prizes for the Poetry Out Loud National Finals competition is money for the student's school to buy books of poetry for its library. With so many choices out there, we thought we'd ask our Facebook fans and our Twitter followers for their recommendations. What would...
Book cover by Abdourahman Waberi.
Translation is an invisible art: the better it is, the less you notice it. At the art form’s pinnacle, a text reads so naturally that one might not even realize...
“Nothing is beneath poetic notice--that's why nothing is too big for it.” -- Heather McHugh, NEA Literature Fellow Click through to read the complete interview with Heather McHugh by--wait for it--Heather McHugh! Can't get enough quotes about poetry? Visit the NEA Facebook page...
“April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” –Mark Twain When Tom Sawyer tricked a few friends into whitewashing a fence for him—a task he had been assigned as punishment—the scrappy Sawyer instantly...
"We tend to underestimate the psychic costs of writing lyric poetry. It's already a dangerous effort that requires considerable amounts of character and self-awareness. And when we consider that the fear of coming to terms with one's own unique humanity is a major hazard in the writing...
“I love the blank page because for me anything can happen there.” – Roxane Gay "Authenticity matters." That's what Roxane Gay has learned in her career as a writer, which means she's as comfortable--and eloquent--writing about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing as...
Emily Dickinson was, it's been noted, progressive for her time, her time being the late 1800s. In the poem featured below, we see how she skillfully, and slyly, reveals how she's not your typical, church-going woman. After you read the poem, you'll find an excerpt by former president of...

Pages