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Posts Tagged ‘Dana Gioia’

Eloise Klein Healy Named First Poet Laureate of Los Angeles

Eloise Klein Healy has been named the first Poet Laureate of Los Angeles.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa created a selection committee and named Dana Gioia chairperson. The group also includes novelist Carolyn See and poets William Archila, Kate Gale, Douglas Kearney and Amy Uyematsu.

Here’s more from Jacket Copy: “The post, funded by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, is the brainchild of [Mayor Antonio] Villaraigosa. Most U.S. states have poet laureates, as do many cities, large and small, including Boston, Santa Fe, N.M.; San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Gioia said the committee began by brainstorming a wish list of 11 candidates they wanted to see in the mix. All but one of those poets were among the 40 people who were nominated or applied, he said.”

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NEA Extends Doom & Gloom to Teen Readers, Too

The Boston Globe reports on preliminary results of a report on children’s reading by the National Endowment for the Arts, due to be released in the fall, and the results look about as good as they did for the 2002 report on adults’ reading. “Reading scores and rates seem to be going up in the age 7-11 range,” NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said in an interview. “But when kids hit high school, all the social pressure takes them away from reading and you see an enormous fall, to a point where most kids are almost not reading at all. A quarter of all kids read for pleasure. Most of the others don’t. Because kids read less, they read less well. Because they read less well, they have lower levels of academic achievement. God bless Harry Potter, and please send us many more. But one book or series of books is not strong enough to counterbalance the trends.”

Others concur, like the Horn Books editor Roger Sutton and Kenyon College graduate Margaret Willison. “They are not necessarily reading other books,” Willison, a youth literacy coach, said of some of her students. “The [Harry Potter] books are so big that they think if they just read those books — and maybe not even the book, just see the movie — their reading is done. When this book goes away, they might not have this fervor for a book again.”

NEA Announces Cycle 2 Big Read Grants to 117 Communities

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced yesterday that more than doubled the number of communities taking part in its nationwide reading program, the Big Read. One hundred seventeen cities were awarded grants to produce celebrations of American literature from September through December 2007. The Big Read, launched nationally in October 2006 by the NEA, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Arts Midwest, encourages literary reading by asking communities to come together to read and discuss one book. Laura Bush is the honorary chair of the Big Read.

“By joining the Big Read, these cities and towns are showing that reading is necessary to the cultural, civic, even economic fabric of their communities. They understand the benefit of having people from different generations and walks of life reading and discussing a great book,” said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. “Yes, this is about reading, but it’s also about getting people to leave their homes and offices, unplug themselves for a few hours, and enjoy the pleasures of literature with their neighbors.”

NEA’s Literature in Translation Awards

The National Endowment of the Arts announced the winners of its inaugural International Literature Awards: Archipelago Books of Brooklyn; Dalkey Archive Press of Champaign, Ill.; and Etruscan Press of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The New York Times reports that each publisher received $10,000 from the endowment to support the translation and publication of a work from Greece or Spain, the focus of the first awards, as well as matching awards from each country.

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said, “Translation provides Americans with as direct a connection as possible to both the individual voice of the author and the heart of a culture. The National Endowment for the Arts is delighted to work with Greece and Spain to connect our people through the power of literature.”