National Endowment for the Arts Presents Fourth Annual Poetry Pavilion at the National Book Festival
Donald Hall gives first official reading as U.S. Poet Laureate
Six Poetry Out Loud State Champions to Recite Winning Poems
September 26, 2006
Washington, D.C.--The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will host the fourth annual Poetry Pavilion from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the National Book Festival on September 30, 2006. The pavilion features readings and book signings by nine poets from across the nation, including newly appointed Poet Laureate Donald Hall and acclaimed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
The Poetry Pavilion also will feature recitations by six state champions from the NEA's highly successful Poetry Out Loud program, a national poetry recitation contest for high school students. Hosted by the Library of Congress and Mrs. Laura Bush, the National Book Festival will be held on the National Mall between 7th and 14th streets. All events are free and open to the public.
NEA Chairman Gioia will host an hour of recitations by the 2006 National Poetry Out Loud Champion and five Poetry Out Loud state champions. After a successful pilot phase in 2005 in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was expanded nationally in 2006, drawing more than 120,000 participating students.
Chairman Gioia also will introduce the reading by Siberian-born poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, whose work was alternately sanctioned and denounced by the Soviet Union before the fall of Communism. A professor of Russian poetry and European cinema at Oklahoma's University of Tulsa, Yevtushenko has published more than 25 volumes of poetry and prose.
"The NEA is honored to support the Library of Congress in celebrating America's literary heritage by hosting the Poetry Pavilion again this year," said Chairman Gioia. "One of the NEA's priorities is to restore literature to a meaningful role in U.S. cultural life. Among our presentations this year we are particularly excited to present the winners of the Poetry Out Loud national recitation competition performing alongside Donald Hall, the new U.S. Poet Laureate."
Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, will introduce award-winning poet Donald Hall for Hall's first public reading as U.S. Poet Laureate. A former state poet laureate of New Hampshire and the author of more than 21 books of prose and 15 books of poetry, Hall is the nation's 14th Poet Laureate.
The schedule of events for the Poetry Pavilion is:
Please see biographical information on the participants.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts--both new and established--bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the largest national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
Created by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry--recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency