The poetry of Robinson Jeffers is emotionally direct, magnificently musical, and philosophically profound. No one has ever written more powerfully about the natural beauty of the American West. Determined to write a truthful poetry purged of ephemeral things, Jeffers cultivated a style at once lyrical, tough-minded, and timeless.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 NEA report, identified a critical decline in reading for pleasure among American adults. The Big Read addresses this issue by bringing communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate books and writers from American and world literature.
In 2007, The National Endowment for the Arts partnered with the Poetry Foundation to create American Literary Landmarks, a pilot program of The Big Read that celebrated American poets and the historic sites associated with their lives and works. In 2009, poets Emily Dickinson, Robinson Jeffers, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were officially added to The Big Read library.
Great literature combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us. Whether you're a regular reader already or a nonreader making up for lost time, thank you for joining The Big Read.
Robinson Jeffers, 1948 (Photo by Nat Farbman/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Tor House (Photo by Horace Lyon, courtesy of the Tor House Foundation)
Jeffers as a young man (Photo by Nat Farbman/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Una Jeffers (Photo by Nat Farbman/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)