Literary Moments

Series produced by National Endowment for the Arts

Caption: PRX default Series image
PRX default Series image 

NEA Literary Moments showcase writers and the literature they create through Big Read Moments, Poetry Out Loud Moments, and Shakespearean Moments.

Big Read Moments:
The Big Read is an NEA program designed to restore reading to the center of American culture by providing citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. In 2007, nearly 200 communities nationwide participated in the Big Read, reading one of twelve classic American novels such as "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury and "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston.
To support this effort, each community receives a grant and resources including reader?s guides, teacher?s guides, audio guides, publicity materials, and an online organizer?s guide. The Big Read Literary Moments feature readings and interviews with major cultural figures.

Poetry Out Loud Moments:
These Literary Moments are based on the NEA?s Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Conducted in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, this program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This pyramid-structure contest begins with classroom-level contests and culminates with National Finals each spring in Washington, DC. More than 1,000 high schools and 100,000 students from every state participated in the 2007 program. Poetry Out Loud provides participating high schools with a range of program materials (teacher?s guides, poetry anthologies, CDs, posters).

Shakespearean Moments:
Shakespearean Moments highlight the NEA initiative Shakespeare in American Communities. Shakespeare in American Communities is the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history, having brought new Shakespeare productions and special in-school programs to more than 1,200 communities, military and civilian, across all 50 states.

ALL PIECES IN THE SERIES ARE OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE.

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Big Read Moments: The Big Read is an NEA program designed to restore reading to the center of American culture by providing citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. In 2007, nearly 200 communities nationwide participated in the Big Read, reading one of twelve classic American novels such as "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury and "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston. To support this effort, each community receives a grant and resources including reader?s guides, teacher?s guides, audio guides, publicity materials, and an online organizer?s guide. The Big Read Literary Moments feature readings and interviews with major cultural figures. Poetry Out Loud Moments: These Literary Moments are based on the NEA?s Poetry Out... Show full description


16 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Actor Ed Harris reads from John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-Winning epic, "The Grapes of Wrath." Includes commentary from writer Richard Rodriguez.

Bought by KUCB


  • Added: Mar 26, 2008
  • Length: 01:30
  • Purchases: 1
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Olivia Seward, 2007 Poetry Out Loud Washington State Champion and national finalist, recites "When I Was Fair and Young," by Queen Elizabeth I.

Bought by WKMS


  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:29
  • Purchases: 1
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Author Rudolfo Anaya discusses the importance of oral tradition in light of his 1972 novel, "Bless Me, Ultima."

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: :59
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Actor Stephen Lang reads from "A Farewell to Arms," Ernest Hemingway's tale of love and loss during World War I. Includes commentary on Hemingway'...

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:59
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Thom Steinbeck, son of novelist John Steinbeck, discusses his father's unique method of encouraging his sons to read.

Bought by KOSU


  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Actress Mary Louise Parker reads the opening passages of Carson McCullers' moving novel about race, identity, and friendship, "The Heart Is a Lonel...

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: :59
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Novelist Alice Walker discusses the theme of revival in Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God."

Bought by KOSU


  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:00
  • Purchases: 1
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2006 Poetry Out Loud Pennsylvania State Champion Chris Estevez recites "Bilingual/Bilingue" by Rhina P. Espaillat, a poem about the challenges of g...

Bought by WBHM


  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 02:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Novelist and former detective, Joe Gores, disucsses the "hardboiled" nature of Dashiell Hammett's timeless thriller, "The Maltese Falcon."

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:29
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Garrison Keillor reads from Willa Cather's Midwestern classic, "My Antonia."

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:00
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Author Ray Bradbury discusses how he wrote his classic novel "Fahrenheit 451."

Bought by WNKU and KOSU


  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Actor Alan Arkin discusses the character John Singer in Carson McCullers' "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter."

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: :59

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:26
  • Purchases: 5
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Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor discusses Atticus Finch's sense of justice in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Bought by KPIK-LP and KMUZ


  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Musician Blake Hazard discusses the power of music in Carson McCullers' novel, "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter."

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:29
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Actor Alfred Molina reads from Edith Wharton's novel about impossible love, "The Age of Innocence."

  • Added: Mar 25, 2008
  • Length: 01:29