The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Poetry Out Loud

Even though the 2013 Poetry Out Loud National Finals have come and gone (c ongrats again, Langston! ), it's always fun to hear the recitations of past champions. Listen to Alaskan State Champion and 2007 POL finalist Deja Husberg recite Margaret Atwood’s darkly funny poem, "Siren Song." [1:59]...
The 2013 Poetry Out Loud Finals are just days away---April 29 and 30 at Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. Today, we're going back in time to hear last year's POL champ, Kristen Dupard of Mississippi, recite Cornelius Eady's poem, "I'm A Fool to Love You." If you can't make it to DC for the big...
Today we're talking with poet, professor, and NEA Literature Fellow (yup, you guessed it), Aimee Nezhukumatathil . If you're wondering, yes, that's her real name. She's a wonderful poet who has penned three collections: Miracle Fruit (2003), At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), and Lucky Fish (2011). A...
It's never too early to get in the mood for the Poetry Out Loud National Finals , which will take place April 29-30 in Washington, DC. Check out this powerful recitation of Wilfred Owen's poem, "Strange Meeting" by Vermont's Claude Mumbere, the 2012 POL second-place winner. [3:48] Note: This year's...
Poet Emily Dickinson lived over a century ago (she passed in 1886), but her innovative approach to poetry is still distinct in the 21st century. As former Poetry Foundation president John Barr says in our audio program, The Poetry of Emily Dickinson , "From her private room in the town of...
Image of Philip Levine used courtesy of The Poetry Foundation Last year, my colleague Rebecca and I were lucky enough to sit down and talk poetry with the former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine in his suite at the Library of Congress. Rebecca conducted the interview while I recorded it. One of the...
Philip Levine, the former Poet Laureate of the United States, is 84 years old. Kristen Dupard, the 2012 Poetry Out Loud National Champion, just graduated high school. Though decades apart in age and miles apart in geography---she's from Ridgeland, Mississippi; he's from Detroit---they share...
  "Woods" by DaDaAce . It's almost autumn and change is in the air. Literally. The crisp mornings and cool nights are invariably a small shock to the system. The fall change(s) can be a wee bit bigger than the typical back-to-school and back-to-the-grind work days. NEA Presenting Specialist...
Stanley Plumly. Photo by Star Black At the 2008 National Book Festival, local DC poet and NEA Literature Fellowship recipient Stanley Plumly sat down in the NEA studio to record a few poems. Here are two to help get you excited about the 2012 National Book Festival . The Book Festival is coming...
Kerry Washington emcees the 2011 Poetry Out Loud National Finals. Photo by James Kegley Actress Kerry Washington at the 2011 POL Finals. Image by James Kegley. For the past six years, the POL finals has become one of my most favorite nights in DC. Hands down. These students demonstrate such grace,...

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