National Endowment of the Arts - The Big Read
The Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Nationality is a good thing to a certain extent, but universality is better. All that is best in the great poets of all countries is not what is national in them, but what is universal.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1855 (Photo courtesy the Longfellow National Historic Site)

Dana Gioia, the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (2003-2009), is an acclaimed poet, critic, and literary anthologist. His third collection of poetry, Interrogations at Noon (2001), won the American Book Award. He has also written collections of essays, including Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992; 2002) and Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture (2004).

Author and radio host Martin Goldsmith is Director of Classical Music Programming at Sirius XM Satellite Radio in Washington, DC. His books include The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany (2000) and The Beatles Come to America (2004).

Bill O'Brien is the Senior Advisor for Program Innovation at the National Endowment for the Arts. Prior to his appointment, O'Brien served for seven years as producing director and managing director of Deaf West Theater. As an actor, O'Brien has appeared on stage in 48 states with national touring productions and frequently appeared on television, including a recurring role as Kenny Thurman (Marlee Matlin's voice/interpreter) on The West Wing.

Deirdre Levinson has spent a lifetime teaching literature. She is the author of many short stories, essays, and two novels, including Modus Vivendi (1984). She was born in Wales and educated at Oxford.

Josephine Reed is Media Producer at the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been program director of the book and contemporary theater channel at XM Satellite Radio and a long-time producer and host of a literary public radio show heard in the Washington, DC, area.

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