The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Library of Congress

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...
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...
Philip Levine. Photo by Geoffrey Berliner Stretching from the car factories of Detroit to the Poet Laureate's office in Washington, DC, the arc of Philip Levine's life reads like a good story. Or in his case, like a great poem. Born in Detroit in 1928, Levine spent his early years mired in...
, [flv: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//video/NBF-David.mp4 450 253] As we close out National Reading Month, we're taking a trip back in time to check out more scenes from the 2011 National Book Festival. We chatted with some real nice readers back in September and we wanted to share a bit more of...
Walter Dean Myers. Photo courtesy of the author "Reading is not optional." ---Walter Dean Myers When Walter Dean Myers was a teenager, he was so embarrassed by his love of reading that he carried his library books hidden in a paper bag. In a January interview with the New York Times , Myers said, "...
[flv: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//video/bookfest1.mp4 450 253] In September, readers and writers from across the country came together for the National Book Festival . For fellow Big Read blogger Adam Kampe and I, it meant one thing: time to get our video on. We hit the Mall with a camera, a...
Katherine Paterson. Photo by Samantha Loomis Paterson Katherine Paterson isn't exactly one for sugarcoating emotion. For many children, death was first experienced in Bridge to Terebithia . Sibling rivalry was discovered to be a universal syndrome, not just a personal one, in Jacob Have I Loved...