The Big Read Blog (Archive)

NEA

“All children, except one, grow up.” So begins one of the world’s great works of children’s literature, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I first read the novel as an adult for a college course, and was immediately enchanted by the adventure, fantasy, and wry observations about that terrifying realm known...
What do these three tremendous actors have in common? They’ve all read excerpts of Big Read books, featured below. To hear the entire audio guides to these respective novels ---The Grapes of Wrath, The Death of Ivan Ilyich , and The Call of the Wild ---head over to The Big Read website . Start May...
A few weeks ago, a colleague passed along a link to a new series of postage stamps dedicated to the birth of modern art in America. As I browsed the miniature tributes to Georgia O'Keeffe, Man Ray, and Joseph Stella, I wondered how many stamps the United States Postal Service has dedicated to...
When looking for post ideas for the Big Read blog, I often like to browse through our online events calendar for topics. Our Big Read communities always have tons of great events out there, but every once in a while, one will really stand out and make me itch to participate. I had that exact...
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...
William Shakespeare is the most-produced playwright in the English-speaking world. It's been said that every single day, at least one of his plays is being performed. Obviously, this means his plays are studied by almost anyone involved with the theater, from directors to actors to designers. Add...
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...
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...
One of the pieces of artwork completed as part of the oral history project at Miami Dade College's Center for Literature and Theatre. Photo courtesy of Paola Fernandez Rana As a civilian, I’ve always felt sincere gratitude and respect towards those who have fought for our country. I’ve studied past...
great gatsby by flickr user cdrummbks Given that F. Scott Fitzgerald coined the term “Jazz Age,” it seemed appropriate to herald Jazz Appreciation Month with a look at the author’s definitive novel of the Roaring 20s, The Great Gatsby . As we note in our Big Read audio guide of the book, “the...

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