The Big Read Blog (Archive)

poetry

When I was a kid, I would spend entire days writing stories of sneaking into museums in the night or flying to Mars. I was always imagining some great adventure, and felt that I was destined to share these stories. If you asked ten-year-old me what I thought I would grow up to be, the answer would...
On this day in 1819, Walt Whitman was born into the world. But what if May 31, 1819, never occurred? What would a world without Walt look like? To pay tribute to the "Bard of Democracy," we're imaging what would be lost in a world sans Whitman---and it "ain't" (as Uncle...
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...
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...
Take a Poem by flickr user pedrosimoes7 Take a Poem by flickr user pedrosimoes7 Well, it's officially April. Not only does this mark the start of National Poetry Month, but it's also time to begin our countdown to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals , which will take place April 29-30 in Washington...
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...
J. Patrick Lewis. Photo by Robert Donaldson After years of working as an economics professor at Ohio’s Otterbein College, J. Patrick Lewis picked up a passion that made little economic sense: children’s poetry. In 1998, he turned to writing full-time, and has since published some 80 books and...
Rashawnda Williams and Dr. Jill Biden at Do the Write Thing, a benefit organized by 826DC. Photo courtesy of Ms. Williams At the tender age of 16, Rashawnda Williams has already had quite the literary career. A senior at Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Williams doubles as the Young...
Washington, DC DSC24197, Carmel, California, USA by jimg944 via flickr Artists like Georgia O?Keefe and Paul Cézanne are well known for creating evocative portraits of their natural surroundings. Robinson Jeffers on the other hand painted the landscapes he loved with poetry, instilling in readers...