Art Works Blog

The Big Read

You can find NEA Big Read author Stephanie Burt among the obscure fandoms of comic books, indie rock bands, women’s basketball, science fiction, and, above all, poetry. She’s written several books on how to read poetry, given a TED talk called “Why People Need Poetry” that’s been viewed over a...
NEA Big Read author Jeff VanderMeer spent his early years in the Fiji Islands where his father, an entomologist and research chemist, went to study rhinoceros beetles until he turned his attention to fire ants and moved the family to Gainesville, Florida. A lifelong birdwatcher, VanderMeer has...
Goldie Goldbloom—NEA Creative Writing Fellow and new NEA Big Read author—grew up in Western Australia. On her family farm in the country’s rural outback, her grandparents hosted Italian prisoners of war during World War II, which inspired Goldbloom to write her award-winning novel, The Paperbark...
“Don't worry about what a poem means,” says poet Joy Harjo. “Do you ask what a song means before you listen? Just listen.” Harjo’s book of selected poems, How We Became Human , is one of the recent additions to the NEA Big Read library , along with two other books of poetry: Citizen by Claudia...
Goldie Goldbloom—NEA Creative Writing Fellow and new NEA Big Read author—grew up in Western Australia. On her family farm in the country’s rural outback, her grandparents hosted Italian prisoners of war during World War II, which inspired Goldbloom to write her award-winning novel, The Paperbark...
Nearly 30 years ago Tim O'Brien published his novel The Things They Carried , about the experience of being a foot soldier in the Vietnam War. As described for the NEA Big Read library, The Things They Carried is "part memoir, part fiction and O'Brien—the original master of truthiness—wishes you...
Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts assembles a committee of readers around the country to discuss and recommend books to add to the NEA Big Read library . Who are these readers? Booklovers for sure, but also community organizers—such as prior NEA Big Read grantees—who can speak to the...
There are a ton of exciting new books coming out all the time (we know because we support many of them through our grants to literary presses and journals!). It sometimes feels overwhelming trying to decide what book to read next, which is why the NEA literature staff loves a good book...
We're celebrating heading back to school--and a new season of the NEA Big Read--with a round-up of quotes that celebrate our love of books and of reading. Find out where there's an NEA Big Read taking place near you on arts.gov ! (And it's not too soon to start thinking about applying to host a Big...
Here’s a question the NEA literature staff has been thinking about lately: what do you call a literary title that infuses text with art and is primarily geared toward grownups? A graphic novel? Picture book? Art book? Illustrated book? Or, as the poet Matthea Harvey suggested to me recently as we...

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