Literature

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"I like to think we’re all striving for that moment when we’ve gotten it right enough that we, as artists, stop working and the art, itself, starts instead.” --- Meg Day A 2013 NEA Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry, Meg Day is not only a talented poet, but a fiery arts...
"[L]iterary translation demonstrates that human beings everywhere have more in common than their differences, confronting as we do the shared joys and anxieties of existence, identity, mortality, and consciousness itself." ---George O'Connell Today the NEA has announced 16 grants...
"How did I find my voice? I don’t think it’s something that you find and you say, "Ah-hah, I have a voice," done, move on. For me, finding my voice is an exercise in daily-ness. And I don’t care who we are or where we find ourselves, especially as women. I think it...
“[T]he poet doesn’t define the poems. The poems define the poet.” --- Jill Alexander Essbaum Learn more about poet Jill Essbaum and other NEA Literature Fellows in the NEA Writers' Corner . Like poetry? Then you might like our Art Talks with poets Ken Chen , Srikanth Reddy and...
"The 'work' of art may be to simply clear a space for reflection and feeling amid the onslaught of modern life---and that in itself is a pretty serious act of excavaton. To that end, it may help for the artist to think of him or herself as a kind of laborer---while also keeping in mind...
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...

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