Saturday, June 13, 2009
Listen to the radio broadcast of the Big Read - D.C. book THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER (available as an audio guide on CD). The nationl Big Read website also includes a link to a transcript of the radio program, and a link to an iTunes download. Total time is 28:58.
Carson McCullers 's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter radio show is narrated by former NEA chair Dana Gioia and features Blake Hazard, D.C.'s own E. Ethelbert Miller, P.J. O'Rourke, Mary-Louise Parker, Gore Vidal, and Jim White.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The month of May ended with a grand finish for the 2009 Big Read - D.C. as the newly published poets from Coolidge High School and Model Secondary School for the Deaf shared their poems and experiences from the writing/publishing workshop leading up to the publication of "BRIDGES". Students signed copies of their book in the Langston Room at Busboys and Poets, named for Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes who was discovered while working as a busboy in a Cleveland Park hotel.
Teachers, parents, school administrators, and friends celebrated the young writers' achievements during this book launch. The poems published in the volume reflect themes of this year's city book THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers. "BRIDGES: Hearing and Deaf Students Connect Through Poetry" is a Book-in-a-Day project, a hands-on writing and publishing program created by poet and publisher Kwame Alexander. It was the perfect "Final Chapter" for the 2009 Big Read - D.C.
Copies of BRIDGES are available from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC. The price is $10/per book plus $5 for postage. Checks and money orders are preferred.
Write to: Humanities Council of Washington, DC (attn: Bridges), 925 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; or call 202-387-8391.
For on-line orders, visit www.wdchumanities.org.
And stay tuned. An announcement will be made about the 2010 Big Read later this month.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Students from Calvin Coolidge High School and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf will release their book, BRIDGES: Hearing and Deaf Students Connect Through Poetry, Friday, May 29 at 6 PM at Busboys and Poets, 14th & V Streets, NW.
This year, the Big Read – D.C. introduced a landmark literacy program to these two very distinguished schools. Washington, DC’s Calvin Coolidge High School and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) participated in a project called Book-in-a-Day. Over the course of two six-hour workshops, the students worked together diligently to write and publish a book of their poetry. The workshop is the creation of poet and publisher Kwame Alexander.
This will be the final program for the 2009 Big Read - D.C. The event will also include the teachers and principals from Coolidge and MSSD; Joy Ford Austin, Executive Director of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Gloria Nauden, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Michon Boston, Project Director for the 2009 Big Read - D.C.; and Kwame Alexander of Book-in-a-Day.
Students will read and sign copies of the book for the final program. There is no admission fee for the event. The price of the book is $10.
For information, call 202-387-8391 or email dcbigread@wdchu
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Today is another big day for the Big Read - D.C. At 10 AM this morning, David Kipen (Director of Literature for the NEA), Rev. Derrick Harkins (Senior Pastor of 19th Street Baptist Church), and I will be on WPFW for a live discussion of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on "On the Margin" with host Josephine Reed.
BOOK IN A DAY
This afternoon students from the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, Coolidge, and Roosevelt high Schools will be completing their Book-In-A-Day workshop with Kwame Alexander. Over the several weeks this group of deaf and hearing young writers have been working on a collection of poetry taken from the themes of the city book. Kwame Alexander, who's well known for his own poetic harmonies, is part of our experiment to forge a collaboration between hearing and deaf youth. Have you seen dancing haiku?
It's been great getting to know teachers like Amy Malone (MSSD) and Michael Fleegler (Coolidge)who have not just contributed unsuspecting new poets to this project, but the kind of enthusiasm teachers have that inspires the rest of us.
The book launch and reading will be the final program of the Big Read - D.C. on Friday, May 29 at 6 PM at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW. Poems will be read and signed aloud.
It's been a challenging process more so for the adults than the youth. But what worthwhile endeavor isn't challenging?
Kwame wrote about the first day on his blog. Here's his entry.
BOOK-IN-A-DAY Kwame Alexander May 2, 2009
You started Book-in-a-Day to inspire students to write. To make writing cool. To create student authors. To open young minds to extraordinary possibilities. The whole "one day" thing was sort of a fluke. You kind of backed into it. But, hey it works.
Since 2006, you've created over 400 student authors.
You've never worked with deaf students. Until Saturday.
At 8am, 8 deaf students were on one side of the room, and 8 hearing students were on the other.
There was fear, nervousness, all kinds of hesitation. You know this, because you experience all three.
You were prepared for this workshop. You did the work.
Nothing can prepare you for teaching poetry to a group of deaf and hearing students.
Except doing it.
You begin with a rhyme poem. It's your comfort zone first 30 seconds routine.
There is no concept for rhyme in ASL (American Sign Language).
Why didn't you know this? What do you do now?
Clerihews always work. Wait a minute. Clerihews are rhyme poems. Oh my, maybe my father was right.
The workshop will last for five hours, and you're supposed to inspire the students to write poetry that behaves, for publication, and you are like an ABC drama, after only 4 minutes.
When you are teaching deaf and hearing students to write poetry, and how to publish a book, and you suddenly have the realization that Sign Language is NOT ENGLISH, and grammar, rhyme and other English constructs to do not apply, IT IS TIME TO DANCE.
A deaf student says there is no such thing as bad poetry. A hearing student agrees.
You ask them is there such a thing as bad fried chicken. You tell them to season their poems right, cook them well…you ask them the ingredients that go into a poem.
Rhythm. Imagery. Feeling. Line breaks. ..
You start getting a little comfortable.
Deanna has a brilliant idea. Pair them up together, one hearing, one deaf, and let them write a list poem together.
Until now, the students are Capulets and Montagues. Okay, well maybe not that extreme, but they are of two different worlds. Afraid. Unaware. Unknowing.
You watch the resistance.
You walk around and see the poems forming. You see the walls coming down.
You see a deaf girl and a hearing boy texting each other.
You see a deaf girl and a hearing boy smiling. At each other. For a while.
You see something happening that is magical, and wonderful.
You do not know where the time has gone. You finally have everyone dancing, and it is almost time to go.
You ask the students to read their poems. Deaf students sign. Hearing students read. Some simultaneous. It is honest. Authentic.
A phenomenal interpreter (because none of this works without fabulous interpreters) asks if you've considered doing this at other deaf schools. She wants to come with you.
The students leave. You will see them again in two weeks.
This is what you do.
And, you are making a living.
And, you love your job.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The presentation will take place in the Library of Congress Madison Building, Room LM 602,(Independence Avenue between 1st & 2nd Streets SE
Space is limited to 20 persons for this brown bag lunch. Reservations Required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 387-8391
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Louis MacNeice observed that the residents of 7 Middagh Street were "ever so bohemian, raiding the icebox at midnight and eating the catfood by mistake." Was this eccentric, highly tolerant, and often chaotic environment a necessary part of the creative equation? What might the ideal conditions be for writing a novel or composing music — a routine, quiet life, as Gustave Flaubert suggested, or a life open to all of life's random elements and occurrences? Which kinds of conditions do you find best facilitate your own creative work?
Paul Bowles traced his wife Jane's increased alcohol consumption and, following Auden's example, her use of Benzedrine tablets to her stay at 7 Middagh. Years earlier, it was George Davis who introduced Auden to the stimulants in the first place. Do you see a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse in the house? What role did it play in setting the stage for the creative synergy that characterized the experiment? How would the house have been different without these substances? To what degree did they lead to the end of the communal living experiment?
Carson felt that she could tell Gypsy anything, so of course she did.
He found it too painful, he said, to witness Carson's self-destruction through drinking and George's dangerous adventures among the bars and brothels of Sands Street.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Dr. McGraw's expertise extends beyond southern culture and sensibilities. She is an expert equestrian. Her recent book, Greatest Kentucky Derby Upsets, came off the press in 2007 and is now begging for an update thanks to this year's long-shot, Mine That Bird (50-1). In an email chat, I asked McGraw if she saw that coming:
I definitely did not see that long shot coming. I was pulling for Pioneer of the Nile, because I am a Bob Baffert fan and believe he is due for a comeback. (But the last time I picked a Derby winner was Silver Charm, so I don't have a very good record as a handicapper.)
The Washington DCJCC is located at 1529 16th Street, NW - use 16th Street entrance. The introduction and film begin at 7 PM. For information, email email@example.com, or call 202-777-3248.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
2009 Big Read - D.C.
I am happy to share this article (link from my AuthorsDen website blog http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewblog.asp?authorid=56467) of my participation in DC's BIG READ at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library this past Saturday (May 2, 2009).
Please share the link with friends you feel would be interested. I've also included a few photos from Saturday below. Enjoy!
Sistah Joy & Jordan, about to head out for our "Big Read" adventure
at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library! (5/2/09)
Excited to be riding the train to the MLK Library!
Checking out a game of Chess at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library
Sistah Joy reads Carson McCullers' The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
at DC's "Big Read" at MLK, Jr. Memorial Library (5/2/09)
Blessings, Sistah Joy
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and The Veteran’s History Project will present an oral history workshop, Saturday, May 8 from 10 am until 12 noon.
The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress’American Folklife collects and preserves the remembrances of American war veterans. This free oral history workshop offered at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. will give you a chance to work with experts from the Veterans History Project and learn methods and techniques for collecting and preserving the stories of veterans from your family and in your community.
The Historical Society of Washington, DC is located at 801 K Street, NW (zip - 2001). Closest Metro is Mt. Vernon/Convention Center.
For information Ph. (202) 383-1830 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Friday, May 8 at 6 PM, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities presents its Larry Neal Writers Awards from its annual writers competition named for the poet, journalist, playwright, essayist and former DCCAH executive director. The annual competition is open to emerging and professional writers of all ages residing in the District of Columbia.
This year, the Commission is awarding a Big Read-D.C. Special Recognition Award for Creative Expression as part of DC’s 2009 Big Read celebration of author Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. This special prize will be given in each age group to writers who composed an essay on the theme of courage. The 2009 Big Read – D.C. honorary chair George Pelecanos will present the awards.
The awards ceremony will take place in Theater J at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street, NW at Q – 16th Street Entrance. [Note: the venue is changed from the earlier versions of the Big Read – D.C. schedule.]
The ceremony is presented in partnership with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP – Email RSVP to email@example.com, or call (202) 724-5613, TDD (202) 724-4493.
To learn more about Larry Neal and his influence on the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, visit the dcarts.dc.gov website or our competition blog post on the Big Read – D.C. blog .
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Big Read - D.C. Marathon starts 10 AM TODAY at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memeorial Library (901 G Street, NW - Gallery Place Metro). Guest readings of THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER begin at 10 AM and end at 3:30 PM, followed by swing and hand dancing in the Great Hall. Chess, Book bingo and other surprises throughout the day.
For a complete list of readers, visit www.wdchumanities.org/bigreadwp; and for an activities calendar, visit www.dclibrary.org.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Throughout our discussion there was the push and pull between those who read the book and felt a sense of despair and those who felt a sense of hope. Those on the side of hope prevailed, which is a good thing. As we bounced between hope and despair, we explored the complexity of the five main characters and thought that the number should have been expanded to at least six to include Portia. We praised the writing style and the ability of someone who started writing the novel at age 19 to capture so many different individual styles and themes – themes such as race and class and gender and the promise of the writings of capitalism and democracy and those of Marxism. We focused on the inability of the characters to create meaningful relationships. It seemed that for all the characters – major and minor – that they lacked the knowledge and skills to create non-lonely relationships. One interesting theme discussed was the extent to which McCullers found wanting a practice of “religion” that was no more than mere projection of human wants, needs and desires onto a real or imagined being who could offer nothing in response. As noted, we ended on a note of hope, which suggests that the heart is really a “hope-filled” hunter. The April meeting marked the seventh anniversary of the book club. Jerome
The "Heart is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers was truly an interesting read. I found the imagery to be outstanding. The details place you right on the scene. I would have liked a little more action and a little less dialogue. But that's ok. McCullers' novel solidified the fact that, as individuals, we are so different that sometimes it is difficult for us to connect and grasp the sense that we are truly understood by our fellow "hunters". But that's ok too, because "The Hunt Goes On.” Liz
Sunday, April 26, the Oracle Set Book Club, founded in 1966 in Washington, DC hosted "A Bit of Deaf Culture" at Gallaudet University's Alumni House (that used to serve as the college's gym). Bettie Waddy Smith and Rosalyn Coates (our Big Read postcard models) facilitated the discussion which included a book summary by Susan Schatz who works with Bettie at Gallaudet. Schatz is deaf and gave some insight into the deaf community at the time McCullers wrote the novel: In the 1930s, deaf education consisted of teaching children how to talk. If that failed, they learned to sign (not so today); American Sign Language (ASL) was not recognized until 1960. And a question - "Why did Singer move to the South from Chicago which was a hub for deaf community?" Was he a loner or individualist by character/nature. Schatz is also a visual artist and talked about her life growing up deaf and attending "regular" schools. The program also included a performance by the children's class of the Deaf Dance Academy introduced and led by Tara Downing. We have pics (see below):
The Women's National Democratic Club Book group will have its discussion of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter April 29 (members only). An update of that discussion will be posted here.
In the meantime, if your bookclub or group is talking about The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, let us know. Just add your comments and news on this blog.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Tomorrow, (Sunday, 4/26) the Oracle Set Book Club is hosting "A Glimpse Into Deaf Culture Through Dance" at Gallaudet's Alumni House. The National Deaf Dance Academy will perform. The program begins at 3 PM and includes a book discussion.
Gallaudet University is located at 800 Florida Avenue, NE.
For a full calendar of events, visit http://www.wdchumanities.org/.
Make your heart an open book.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
SpeakeasyDC is scheduled to open the city read with a performance of a new work inspired by McCullers' book. The event is at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street, NW) at 7:30 PM. General seating in the Langston Room.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Upcoming Events and they're FREE!
Tuesday, April 21, 6 PM, The DC Public Library explores deaf characters in popular films with a screening of "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" based on Carson McCullers' book. Alan Arkin received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of John Singer. (Note: The Washington DC Jewish Community Center will also host a screening of the film on May 13 with an introdcution by Dr. Liza McGraw, author of Two Convenants: Twentieth-Century Representations of Southern Jewishness)
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Romance fiction generated $1.375 billion in sales in 2007. And while other forms of entertainment suffer economically, romance novels usually sell better during economic downturns. Why? Probably because it's cheap -- anywhere from $4 to $8 for several hours worth of escape in the privacy of your own garden, bed, or bathtub --- and best of all, when times are awful everywhere you're guaranteed a happy ending.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
It is most fitting that we gather in Memorial Continental Hall at Constitution Hall, the place which historically represents a sad chapter in our country's history and in the history of DAR. We deeply regret that Marian Anderson was not given the opportunity to perform her 1939 Easter concert in Constitution Hall but recognize that in the positive sense the event was a pivotal point in the struggle for racial equality.
Ms. Anderson's legendary concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial will always be remembered as a milestone in the Civil Rights movement. The beauty of her voice, amplified by her courage and grace, brought attention to the eloquence of the many voices urging our nation to overcome prejudice and intolerance. It sparked change not only in America but also in the DAR.
I stand before you today wishing that history could be re-written, knowing that it cannot, and assuring you that DAR has learned from the past.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
to me the most impressive aspect of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life which enables Miss McCullers to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness.
- Richard Wright, New Republic (August, 1940)
To read Richard Wright's full review of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, visit http://www.carson-mccullers.com/html/wright.html.
Another writer who was particularly dear to me is Richard Wright. … Dick and I often discussed the South, and his book, [Black Boy,] is one of the finest books by a Southern [Negro.]
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We learn that what happens, even in these relationships with people that we love, we have difficulty communicating. We wind up being "deaf" to each other.
E. Ethelbert Miller, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Audio Guide
Carson McCullers never got to 2nd base in her 5th inning. She died at age 50.
A launch party for The 5th Inning and the Busboys and Poets press is scheduled for Monday, March 16 at 7 PM at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street, NW). The event will feature readings by Miller and other special guests as well as a book signing.
Copies of the Big Read Audio Guide to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter will be available at Big Read - D.C. events including the upcoming SpeakeasyDC event at Busboys and Poets April 23 (7:30 PM); and the official kick-off at Gallaudet University, April 25 (11 AM). For more information, call 202-387-8391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
For more information, contact Library Services to the Deaf Community:
Voice (via Janice Rosen; ) and ask for
Voice (direct) or VideoPhone ; TTYE-mail: email@example.com.
Saturday, March 21 from 11 am - 4 pm, the DCPL Adaptive Services Division will have a new Grand Opening and Open House:
11am to 12 noon ASL (American Sign Language) Story Hour, Librarian Janice Rosen signs in ASL, "Moses Goes to the Circus," by Isaac Millman - stories projected on a screen page by page as the story as told. Therapy dog teams from People Animals Love will join us for the story hour and will stay after the story hour at a designated table to talk to people and answer questions.
12:15 pm to 1:45 pm Library director, Ginnie Cooper, and members from the blind community and the Library of Congress National Library Services for the Blind. including Michael Mellor, the author of the most recent biography of will speak.
2 to 3 Sing and Sign in ASL. Learn to sign a simple song and learn a few other signs, too.
CART and ASL interpreters will be provided. Deaf-Blind who need tactile or close-vision interpreters or other accomodations, please let us know right away.
Germantown LibraryGermantown , MD 20874
Saturday March 28 at 12 noon - 2 pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW (Rm A-5), Washington, DC 20001
Independent Researcher Steven Sandy presents William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy: Deaf Baseball Hero
Dummy Hoy was the first deaf player in major league baseball and had to overcome many obstacles on his way to becoming one of the greatest outfielders of his time. Hoy is credited with the creation of the hand signals used by umpires to indicate whether the pitch thrown was a “strike” or a “ball.” Not being able to hear the calls which were shouted out by the umpires, Hoy asked his coach to stand at third base and raise his right hand for a strike and left hand for a ball. These hand signals are used by baseball umpires all over the world today. Mr. Sandy’s research covers the whole range of Hoy's life from the time he was born on May 23, 1862 on a farm in Houcktown , Ohio to his death on December 15, 1961 in Cincinnati , Ohio at the age of 99.
Let's Communicate - American Sign Language Classes - Spring Schedule
Classes are held at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW. Check the electronic bulletin board at the entrance to confirm meeting room. All sign language programs are FREE and open to the public. There is NO need to register.BEGINNING LEVEL (100+ Basic ASL Vocabulary and Basic ASL Structure)
Mon./Tues. March 16 – May 11, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm - 2nd Floor E. Lobby
Mon./Tues. May 18 – June 30, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm – 2nd Floor E. Lobby
(Instructor: Maurice Smith)
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL (More Vocabulary / Advanced Rules of ASL)
Tuesdays February 3 – April 28, 2009: 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Room 221
(Instructor: Richard Stokes. NOTE on March 10, 17, 31, class will NOT meet in Room 221. Check electronic bulletin board or the Book Information Desk for the room number.)
Mon./Tues. March 16 – May 11, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm – 2nd Floor E.
(Instructor: Linda McCrimmon)
Tuesdays May 5 – June 30, 2009: 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Room TBA
(Instructor: Richard Stokes)
Mon./Tues. May 18 – June 30, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm – 2nd Floor E. Lobby
(Instructor: Linda McCrimmon)
CONVERSATIONAL (Communication Practice – All skill levels)
Saturdays February 7 – May 23, 2009: 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon – Room 221
(Instructor: Andrea Galer)
Saturday, February 28, 2009
"The Lonely Hunter" was one of many poems written by Fiona MacLeod aka William Sharp.
Green branches, green branches, I see you beckon; I follow!
Sweet is the place you guard, there in the rowan-tree hollow.
There he lies in the darkness, under the frail white flowers,
Heedless at last, in the silence, of these sweet midsummer hours.
But sweeter, it may be, the moss whereon he is sleeping now,
And sweeter the fragrant flowers that may crown his moon-white brow:
And sweeter the shady place deep in an Eden hollow
Wherein he dreams I am with him — and, dreaming, whispers, “Follow!”
Green wind from the green-gold branches, what is the song you bring?
What are all songs for me, now, who no more care to sing?
Deep in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.
Green is that hill and lonely, set far in a shadowy place;
White is the hunter’s quarry, a lost-loved human face:
O hunting heart, shall you find it, with arrow of failing breath,
Led o’er a green hill lonely by the shadowy hound of Death?
Green branches, green branches, you sing of a sorrow olden,
But now it is midsummer weather, earth-young, sun-ripe, golden:
Here I stand and I wait, here in the rowan-tree hollow,
But never a green leaf whispers, “Follow, oh, Follow, Follow!”
O never a green leaf whispers, where the green-gold branches swing:
O never a song I hear now, where one was wont to sing.
Here in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Local author and native Washingtonian George Pelecanos is honorary chair for the 2009 Big Read - D.C. Pelecanos is the author of 15 novels set in and around the District as well as editor for two short story anthologies under the title D.C. Noir. Most recently, he was a producer, writer, and story editor for the acclaimed HBO dramatic series, "The Wire."
Pelecanos has been a friend of the Big Read - D.C. since he participated in our community partners's meeting to select the 2008 Big Read - D.C. book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
As a crime novelist, Pelecanos has a special kinship with Washington, DC area where he grew up, went to school, church, and worked. The road to the first novel was paved with a variety of jobs including linecook, dishwaster, woman's shoe salesman, and bartender. The first novel, A Firing Offense, brought a small advance but not enough to pay the rent. It did lead to a second novel, a new publisher and a larger advance to live on, plus a film option from Miramax. Options of books don't guarantee films, but they can bring writers some attractive income from Hollywood. His novel Right as Rain is currently in development with director Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential, Wonder Boys) and Warner Brothers.
Carson McCullers was no stranger to Hollywood either. She adapted her third novel, Member of the Wedding (1946) into a stage play. It went to Broadway and then was optioned for a Hollywood film production starring Julie Harris and Ethel Waters. McCullers' other novels --The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter--were all optioned and adapted for film.
For the 2009 Big Read - D.C., George Pelecanos will be joining us for the official kickoff Saturday, April 25, the Larry Neal Writers Competition Awards on May 8, and a reading at Politics & Prose of his new novel, The Way Home due for release in May. (Stay tuned to this blog for the complete and most up-to-date calendar for the 2009 Big Read - D.C.)
This year's Big Read - D.C. aims to inspire new readers and writers. Each year, the Big Read - D.C. introduces new work by community partners like SpeakeasyDC and DC WritersCorps, as well as D.C. high school student poets and essayists.
For more information about George Pelecanos, visit his website at www.georgepelecanos.com
Read about our February community partners meeting on the national NEA Big Read blog
Monday, February 16, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Larry Neal Writers' Competition to give a Big Read - D.C. Special Recognition Award for Creative Expression in 2009
Special initiative for 2009: The Big Read-D.C. Special Recognition Award for Creative Expression. As part of DC’s 2009 Big Read celebration of author Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a special prize will be given in each age group to writers who compose an essay on the theme of courage.
DEADLINE: Submissions must be received in the Commission’s office by 7:00 pm Thursday, March 19, 2009. For more information, program guidelines and an application form, please visit http://www.dcarts.dc.gov/ and click on “special events.”
About Larry Neal (photo): Larry Neal was a journalist, essayist, arts and culture critic, playwright, and poet during an artistic era known as the "Black Arts Movement" from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s. Lawrence P. Neal was born in Atlanta, GA in 1937. His family moved to Philadelphia, PA where he and his four brothers grew up. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1961 and received his Masters from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. In 1968, Neal co-edited Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing with Amiri Baraka which captured the spirit of the Black Arts Movement. Neal also wrote an essay about "The Black Arts Movement" in the same year. He worked as executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities from 1976 - 1979. Larry Neal died from a heart attack in 1981.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Last year we explored the excess and indulgences of the jazz age in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. This year our city book may be a lot more sober than the previous year's book, but thanks to our Big Read - D.C. team and community partners, you can look forward to not just reading The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, but experiencing the book from April 23 - May 23, 2009.
Get started with the Readers guide posted on the national Big Read website: