Literature

Features

The moment pianist Vijay Iyer accepted our invitation to provide commentary for the NEA's audio guide for The Namesake , my heart did back flips. Not only does his experience as an Indian-American mirror, to a great extent, that of the novel's author, Jhumpa Lahiri; his story is also...
Meet Tacho. He's a character in one of the latest Big Read selections, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. He’s one of the few men left in the small village where the novel is set, Tres Camarones (Three Shrimp). He owns a taco shop called La Mano Caída (The Fallen Hand), and...
“I don’t want people to be invisible. People have a right to see themselves in literature.” --- Jacqueline Woodson Reading a book by Jackie Woodson is a breath of fresh air. In her work, Woodson often includes characters who are on the margins---characters of color, gay characters...
This week's podcast introduces you to the talented and multifacted Manil Suri, who manages to excel at two careers: he's both a professor of mathematics and a best-selling, critically acclaimed novelist. His trilogy, The Death of Vishnu , The Age of Shiva, and now, The City of Devi, is...
On this day in 1819, Walt Whitman was born into the world. But what if May 31, 1819, never occurred? What would a world without Walt look like? To pay tribute to the "Bard of Democracy," we're imaging what would be lost in a world sans Whitman---and it "ain't" (as Uncle...
In this week's podcast, we meet Terry Tempest Williams. Over the course of her 14 books, Williams has been celebrated for writing about the environment in poetic language that reads like a literary text. She's been described by Donna Seaman in Booklist as an author who is, "Scientific...
On April 30, 2013, after approximately nine months of competition and more than 375,000 competitors, Langston Ward of Spokane, Washington's Meade High School took top honors as the 2013 Poetry Out Loud National Champion . This year, Ward, who was also Washington's 2012 state champ, wowed...
Given that we're super fans of reading here at the Arts Endowment, we're always asking each other for book recommendations. We thought it was about time we asked all of you. So we did. Here are the reading recs from fans of our Facebook page . Have something to add? Let us know in the...
Here's a podcast to mark the finals of the NEA's national recitation competition Poetry Out Loud, which took place this week---and a big shout-out to the new champ, Langston Ward! In the past few weeks leading up to the competition, I've been giving a lot of thought to memorizing poetry...
Who's right? Find out tonight at 7:00 pm ET! Join us in person at GW's Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC or online at arts.gov . Visit our News Room for details. And don't worry, it's not to late to invite some pals over to watch. Register for a viewing party here . (from l-r) #...

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