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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Maxine Hong Kingston & Julia Alvarez Honored as Recipients of the National Medal of Arts

Maxine Hong Kingston and President Barack ObamaWriters Maxine Hong Kingston and Julia Alvarez have been awarded the National Medal of Arts.

Here’s more from the press release: “The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government. It is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States.”

President Barack Obama himself presented all the recipients with their medals in a ceremony at the White House. Follow these links to check out podcasts featuring Kingston and Alvarez. (Photo Credit: Jocelyn Augustino)

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Enter Out of Print’s ‘Put a Poe On It’ Contest

poeOut of Print, a book-themed clothing merchant, is hosting the “Put a Poe On It” design contest.

To enter, just download this PNG file of Edgar Allan Poe’s head, create a piece of art with the image and submit to the ”Put a Poe On It” Tumblr page.

One grand prize winner will receive the “Poe Prize Pack.” The runner-up will be awarded a $50 Out of Print gift card.

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Barack Obama Writes To Booksellers

President Barack Obama has sent a long letter to New England Independent Booksellers Association executive director Steve FischerPublishers Weekly has the complete letter.

Responding to independent bookseller outcry over Obama’s visit to an Amazon warehouse, the President’s letter focused on small business initiatives of the Obama administration, but did not mention books or Amazon. What do you think? Here’s an excerpt:

I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure America remains the best place on Earth to turn a great idea into a successful business. I encourage small business owners to take advantage of the on-the-ground counseling resources available through SBA District Offices, and local Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers. We have provided funding for those organizations to help businesses connect with the resources they need.

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The Progressive Opens eBook Line

The Progressive magazine has opened a line of digital books, collecting stories from a century’s worth of articles. The books were created with support from Middleton-based August Publications.

The first eBook (Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall) was inspired by President Barack Obama‘s Second Inaugural address, celebrating the American belief “that all of us are created equal” that the President called “the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” Here’s more from the release:

Newly digitized and fully searchable, The Progressive archives are a treasure trove of progressive history, beginning with the magazine’s founding in 1909 by Fighting Bob La Follette … In its early years, it joined the cause of women’s suffrage under the leadership of Belle Case La Follette, Fighting Bob’s wife. The Progressive documented that struggle, throughout its early, suffragist years under the guidance of Belle Case La Follette, during the great civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s, and with joyful declarations of gay liberation by Allen Ginsberg and Harry Hay, founder of the modern gay rights movement … This collection also features writing from civil rights leaders, including James Baldwin and A. Phillip Randolph, in the 1950s and 1960s.

President Barack Obama Edits

Ever wonder what it looks like when Barack Obama edits?

The Newsweek Tumblr spotted the photograph embedded above: “A detailed look from White House photographer Pete Souza at Barack Obama, Copy Editor in Chief. ”

Follow this link to see the full-sized version of the photograph, exploring how Obama edited his Inaugural Address earlier this year. (Via kleinbl00 )

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John Green Joins Google Hangout with President Barack Obama

Novelist John Green is among the people “who regularly discuss important issues of the day online” picked to ask President Barack Obama questions in a Google+ “Fireside” Hangout tomorrow (February 14) at 4:50 pm EST. Above, we’ve embedded Green’s video about this virtual event.

Along with the other participants, Green will ask the President both his own questions and queries submitted by readers. Google outlined the event in a blog post:

the President will turn to Google+ to continue a more recent tradition, by taking questions online after his speech … Much like the Fireside Hangouts held by Vice President Biden and Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz over the past few weeks, the President’s Fireside Hangout will include a group of people who regularly discuss important issues of the day online.

James Franco Writes Inauguration Poem

Yahoo News asked a group of poets to write their own inauguration poems, just like President Barack Obama commissioned Richard Blanco to write a poem for the swearing-in ceremony.

The participating writers included Pulitzer Prize-winning poets James Tate and Paul Muldoon, Our Andromeda author Brenda ShaughnessyThe Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness author Kevin Young and James Franco.

The video embedded above features readings by Young, Muldoon and Franco. What do you think?

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What Richard Blanco Read at Barack Obama’s Inauguration

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco read “One Today” for President Barack Obama‘s inauguration in Washington D.C. yesterday. What did you think of the poem? Here is an excerpt:

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper — bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives — to teach geometry, or ring up groceries, as my mother did
for 20 years, so I could write this poem.

Below, we’ve linked to 14 of Blanco’s poems online, including the free poetry chapbook, Place of Mind.

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Barack Obama Shares Bible Verses at Newtown Vigil

In an emotional vigil in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama spoke about the tragedy that occurred in that community last week.

In his speech, the President quoted three passages from the Bible.  Obama concluded with Matthew 19:14: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them — for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

You can read a transcript of Obama’s speech online or watch the video below. If you want to see the passages in context, we’ve linked to English Standard Version of the Bible for the individual quotes.

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Mark Halperin & John Heilemann to Reunite for Game Change 2012

Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will once again be teaming up on a new nonfiction project. Following the success of their 2010 title, Game Change, the writing duo plans to pen Double Down: Game Change 2012.

This book will examine Presidential race between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Penguin Press president and editor-in-chief Ann Godoff negotiated the deal with The Wylie Agency’s Andrew Wylie. According to The New York Times, the publisher has planned a release date for fall 2013.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “The book already has been optioned by HBO. The cable network aired Game Change, a Jay Roach-directed and Danny Strong-written movie about the 2008 election that in September won four Emmys, including one for Julianne Moore‘s performance as Sarah Palin. Roach and Strong are likely to return for the sequel.”

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