National Endowment for the Arts Hosts Poetry & Prose Pavilion
at the National Book Festival on Saturday, September 25, 2010
Nobel and Pulitzer-prize winning authors, NEA Literature Fellows, and Poetry Out Loud state and national champions will gather at the NEA's Poetry & Prose Pavilion, as part of the Library of Congress's tenth annual National Book Festival on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, DC. All of the day's events are free and open to the public.
The Poetry & Prose Pavilion will host ten authors reading and discussing their work: Orhan Pamuk, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as Elizabeth Alexander, Rae Armantrout, Jonathan Franzen, Gail Godwin, Allegra Goodman, Chang-rae Lee, Thomas Mallon, Jane Smiley, and Natasha Trethewey. Five of whom received NEA Literature Fellowships early in their careers: Alexander (1992), Franzen (2002); Godwin (1974); Smiley (1978 and 1987); and Trethewey (1999).
The Poetry & Prose Pavilion is one of six themed pavilions where more than 70 writers and illustrators will discuss their work. Other pavilions feature family activities, history and biography, teens & children's literature, fiction & mystery, and a pavilion on the literary heritage of the 50 states and Washington, DC.
The next generation of poets and poetry fans have a place at the Pavilion as well. Teen champions from the 2010 Poetry Out Loud National Finals will recite classic and contemporary poetry that garnered them titles at Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition for high school students sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Pavilion will have midday readings by 2010 National Poetry Out Loud National Champion and Rhode Island State Champion Amber Rose Johnson; 2010 Maine Poetry Out Loud State Champion Will Whitham; and 2010 Alabama Poetry Out Loud State Champion Youssef Biaz.
Both the National Endowment for the Arts and Library of Congress websites highlight the festival, through interviews with current and past Book Festival authors, audio clips, downloadable materials and interactive features. The NEA will be live-blogging via Twitter at twitter.com/NEAarts, and is promoting the official Festival hashtag #nbf to help National Book Festival fans follow the days' events on Twitter.
Festival-goers can hear their favorite authors, get books signed, have photos taken with storybook characters, and participate in learning activities. More than 130,000 people attended in 2009. The event, which will be held rain or shine, is free and open to the public, and is located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 7th streets. Contact the National Book Festival Information Line at 888-714-4696 for more information.
For complete schedule information on the National Book Festival, including author book-signing schedules, visit the Library of Congress website.
About the NEA Literature Fellowships
Since 1968, the NEA has awarded more than 3,400 literature fellowships in prose, poetry, and translation. NEA Literature Fellowships are highly competitive, and the prose and poetry fellowships are selected through an anonymous, panel-review process in which the sole criterion for review is artistic excellence.
The NEA has a strong track record of finding and supporting talent. Forty-six of the 70 recipients of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction since 1990 were previous NEA Literature Fellows. All but three received NEA Literature Fellowships before any major national award, usually at least a decade earlier.
The NEA offers other grants and programs to support American writers and connect them with communities. These include NEA grants to literary journals and presses, literary centers, reading series, festivals, writers-in-the-schools programs, libraries, and other literary organizations. Special NEA initiatives such as The Big Read and Poetry Out Loud offer model literary programs of artistic excellence and national reach.
About the Library of Congress and the National Book Festival
The National Book Festival is a keystone event of the Library of Congress promoting literacy and creativity. The Library, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov; the National Book Festival website can be found at www.loc.gov/bookfest.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
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 Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
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