The Big Read Blog (Archive)

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Rickey Laurentiis. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths When I first contacted poet Rickey Laurentiis a few weeks ago, he was preparing to defend his MFA thesis at Washington University in St. Louis. This, I thought, was ironic: the 24-year-old has been awarded an NEA Poetry Fellowship, a Cave Canem...
Citywide Poets alumnus and community liaison Justin Rogers performs his spoken word in Detroit. Photo courtesy of InsideOut Literary Arts Project In 2011, InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit launched a Big Read program around the poetry of Emily Dickinson, an ideal choice for an organization...
Take a Poem by flickr user pedrosimoes7 Take a Poem by flickr user pedrosimoes7 Well, it's officially April. Not only does this mark the start of National Poetry Month, but it's also time to begin our countdown to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals , which will take place April 29-30 in Washington...
A few weeks ago, we shared our 15 favorite fictional females with you. As we close out Women's History Month, we thought we'd put together a different set of literary heroines: the authors themselves. While this list is far from complete, we hope it serves as an acknowledgement of those who inspire...
Charles Waugh. Photo by Donna Barry Charles Waugh. Photo by Donna Barry While it's commonplace to say that art is a universal language, there is at least one artistic field where this doesn't quite hold true, and that is literature. Unlike visual art or dance or music, literature must go through an...
Think back to the last time you wrote something down. Not typed it out but, wrote---with your hands, on a piece of paper, for an extended period of time to complete a thought. Chances are it has been a while. Technology and literature is something we talk a good deal about at the NEA: how readers...
W.B. Yeats. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Since we’re just a few days from St. Patrick’s Day, we thought we’d celebrate with a brief look at Ireland’s most famous poet, William Butler Yeats, and his role in the Irish Literary Revival. Although no...
A 1920 photo of Alice Paul, the 28 year-old powerhouse behind the 1913 Woman Suffrage Parade. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing, [reproduction number LC-DIG-ds-00180] One hundred years ago this Sunday, 5,000 women’s...
love by flickr user .jennifer donley. We all have our favorite literary love affairs. Rhett and Scarlett. Rochester and Jane. Elizabeth and Darcy. But as much as these fictional flings have come to symbolize the height of passion and heartbreak, one can find plenty of love stories in the nonfiction...
Jack London with his dog, Rollo, 1885. Photo courtesy of Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” While I agree with dear Ernie to a certain extent, the loyalty of man’s best friend is hard to rival. The lifelong...

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