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"The greatest gift is not being afraid to question." — Ruby Dee Ruby Dee was an award-winning actress, Civil Rights activist, poet, and playwright. In 1995 she received the National Medal of Arts (with her husband Ossie Davis). Listen to her inspiring words on the human spirit—recorded as part of...
When poet Hadara Bar-Nadav —whose most recent collection is The New Nudity —received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in 2017, she said, “The NEA fellowship is a recognition that the arts are absolutely vital. It reminded me that there is a way to ask difficult questions,...
"We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives. These 84 organizations leading NEA Big Reads will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one...
“What we're trying to do at Kaya is to show what is possible,” said Sunyoung Lee, publisher and editor of Kaya Press , a longtime National Endowment for the Arts grantee. Through Kaya’s innovative offerings of diasporic Asian and Pacific Island (API) literature, which push the envelope in terms of...
Although the POL National Finals were cancelled due to COVID-19, we're happy to announce we're working with our POL partner, the Poetry Foundation, to recognize and celebrate the 2020 state POL champions. Over the coming weeks we will honor both the students who won their state Poetry Out Loud...
Are you short on time but want to celebrate both Jazz Appreciation Month AND National Poetry Month? We can help with that! Click on the name of the poem to read the enire text. "…Hawk melodicized my ear of infatuated tongues/ & Blakey drummed militant messages in/ soul of my applauding teeth...
In many ways, NEA Creative Writing Fellow Kiki Petrosino ’s latest book, White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia , is deeply personal, exploring the genealogy and legacy of her African-American ancestors in Virginia. At the same time, she grapples with the messy history of slavery and discrimination in...
"[P]oetry has always existed & always existed in a communal context. So I feel like, well, people must need it because people always did it & never stopped doing it & that part of what people get from that is the story of who I am and who we are." — Elizabeth Alexander...
I have hundreds of picture books in my home. Some of them belong to my two sons, who are now eight and 11, but most of them belong to me. Now that the schools are closed and we’re sheltering in place, I’ve been pulling them off the shelves and finding inspiration among their pages, often in the...
Inspired by a Chicago program of the same name, Matt Mason, executive director of the Nebraska Writers Collective, launched the Louder than a Bomb: Great Plains Youth Poetry Festival with the goal of giving young people first-hand experience with what he described as, "what poetry and creative...

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