National Endowment for the Arts Presents Poetry and Prose Pavilion at the National Book Festival
Presenters include Marilynne Robinson, Tim O'Brien, and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan
September 21, 2009
Washington, DC -- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will host a Poetry and Prose Pavilion from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, on September 26, 2009. The pavilion features readings and book signings by 11 writers from across the nation, including award-winning novelists Marilynne Robinson and Tim O'Brien and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan. Hosted by the Library of Congress and honorary chairs President and Mrs. Obama, 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.
"The NEA is honored to support the Library of Congress and the President and First Lady in celebrating America's literary heritage by hosting a pavilion again this year," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "That Thomas Jefferson's library grew into the Library of Congress attests to the fact that books are an indelible part of the fabric of our country. The Arts Endowment is excited to be part of this event at which we celebrate not only our nation's writers but also our readers."
The line-up also will feature recitations by William R. Farley, III, 2009 Poetry Out Loud National Champion and Audrey Kiely, Vermont's current Poetry Out Loud State Champion. A joint project of the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is an acclaimed national poetry recitation contest for high school students now in its fifth year.
Kay Ryan was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate by Librarian of Congress Dr. James H. Billington last fall, the 16th poet to hold the post since its creation in 1937. A California native, Ryan has published seven books of poetry, including The Niagara River. Her work also has appeared in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and Paris Review. Ryan's awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2006, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Visitors to the NEA tent will have an opportunity to make a brief audio recording about their favorite books from 10:45am-noon. Arts Endowment staff also will be on hand to distribute educational materials from the NEA's literature programs.
The schedule of events for the Poetry and Prose Pavilion is:
Please visit the National Book Festival website for more information on the festival authors.
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.
Presented by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest 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 invites aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English classroom. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. For more information on Poetry Out Loud, please visit www.poetryoutloud.org.
The Library of Congress, 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 and treasures may be accessed through the Library's website, www.loc.gov, and via interactive exhibitions on myLOC.gov.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency