The Big Read Blog (Archive)

When the NEA welcomed three new books to the Big Read library last fall---Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake , Charles Portis's True Grit, and Luis Alberto Urrea's Into the Beautiful North--- we asked the writers if they had particular ties to any of the other Big Read titles. Lahiri spoke about having...
Image courtesy of Jim White In addition to being a masterful storyteller ( check out his short story, "The Bottom" ), musician Jim White knows how to pen a song. One of the best parts of my job is helping find and license relevant songs that evoke the themes and feelings in Big Read books. The tone...
“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...
Stacey Coggin (on right) of Stacey's Sweets and her assistant Kallie pose with their winning cake in the Edible Books contest. Photo courtesy of Springfield-Greene County Library The Tell-Tale Heart by Stacey's Sweets, the winning entry in the Edible Books Contest. Photo courtesy of Springfield-...
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...

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