Michael Longley was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1939. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and studied Classics at Trinity College. Strongly influenced by the classics, he has alluded to his love of Homer in many of his poems. Early in his career, Longley worked as a schoolteacher in Dublin, London, and Belfast. He founded the literary program in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and in 1970 he became the assistant director of that organization. Holding…Find out more »
The powerfully told story of a group of German Jews desperately seeking American visas to escape Nazi Germany, and an illuminating account of America's response to the refugee crisis of the 1930's and 40's. This book complements the exhibition The Americans and the Holocaust that is now on view at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC In October 1940 the Gestapo expelled 6,504 Jews from southwest Germany, creating the first official "Jewish free zone" in the Third Reich. Interned…Find out more »
Selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, Richard Blanco followed in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. The youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first openly gay person to serve in the role, he read his inaugural poem, "One Today," on January 21, 2013. Blanco and his family arrived in Miami as exiles from Cuba through Madrid, where he was born. The negotiation of cultural identity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his…Find out more »
For John Urschel, what began as an insatiable appetite for puzzles as a child quickly evolved into mastery of the elegant systems and rules of mathematics. By the time he was thirteen, Urschel was auditing college-level calculus courses. But when he joined his high school football team, a new interest began to eclipse the thrill he once felt in the classroom. Football challenged Urschel in an entirely different way, and he became addicted to the physical contact of the sport.…Find out more »
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.