Literature

Features

"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...
“Dear March — Come in — How glad I am — I hoped for you before — ” Although Emily Dickinson found poetic inspiration in every season, spring for her held special appeal. “Spring to her was the great subject,” said Dr. Judith Farr, a Dickinson scholar...
Holly Bass is a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer, and director. A Cave Canem fellow, she has published poems in numerous journals and anthologies. In April of 2014, she will pilot a year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in Washington, DC...
Ever since the first Irishmen and women arrived in this country, they have contributed their unique experience to all aspects of American life, including literature. Through their writing, they have reflected how their Irish heritage both connects and isolates them from the rest of American society...
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re honoring a woman whose heroics were immortalized in the pages of Big Read title In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. The book, which is based on true events, chronicles the four Mirabel sisters as they attempt to overthrow Rafael...
I n honor of Women's History Month, we asked poet Maureen Seaton — a 1994 NEA Literature Fellow — to share with us five women artists who have influenced not just her work but her life as an artist. Or as Seaton put it, what follows is her list of " women writers who rocked my...
March is one day away, so to kick off National Women's Month we're shining a light on Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of Charles Portis's novel, True Grit . Though fictional, young Mattie leaps off the pages with her unwavering conviction and outsize personality. This wonderful...
In 1966, author Jorge Luis Borges told an interviewer, “I think nowadays, while literary men seem to have neglected their epic duties, the epic has been saved for us, strangely enough, by the Westerns.” It’s true that the soundstages of Hollywood—commercially driven and...

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