San Diego to Read and Celebrate The Essential Emily Dickinson

| July 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Write Out Loud is a recipient of a grant of $15,000 to host the National Endowment (NEA) for the Arts Big Read in San Diego. An Arts Endowment initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Write Out Loud is one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between September 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in San Diego will focus on The Essential Emily Dickinson (a selection of poems by Dickinson, introduced by Joyce Carol Oates). Activities with students will begin in the fall and community wide events will take place through the month of April 2021, including a  student awards presentation of The NEA Big Read – Read Imagine Create featuring student projects inspired by Dickinson’s poetry.

Write Out Loud Artistic Director, Veronica Murphy shared “The NEA Big Read grant allows us to put books into the hands of young people and then challenge them to create something inspired by the story. We are honored to receive this grant for the sixth time and very excited about this collection of poetry by Emily Dickinson. This beloved American poet is the perfect way to introduce young people to poetry.” 

“We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to San Diego, Write Out Loud will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one another.”

The NEA Big Read offers a range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.

Local partners for this project include: San Diego Public Library, The Book Catapult, Playwright’s Project, San Diego Writers INK, Vocabulary Boutique, Juvenile Court Schools, San Diego Unified School District and other schools throughout the county.

For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit

Pictured are winners from the 2019 Read Imagine Create. Photo is courtesy of Ron Logan.

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