NEA Big Read in New Haven!

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts 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. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery.

The 2017 Big Read centers on Luis Alberto Urrea's book "Into the Beautiful North," with related free events offered throughout Greater New Haven. If your organization would like take part, please submit your event below. Past Big Read events at a variety of venues have included book club discussions, panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions, and poetry readings directly related to or inspired by the central book.

Key collaborators so far include New Haven Free Public Library, New Haven Story Project, Citywide Youth Coalition, Junta, Youth Media and more—join us! E-mail Sarah Sherban, Louise Endel Community Engagement Manager at ssherban@artidea.org.

Into the Beautiful North 
by Luis Alberto Urrea

The U.S.-Mexico border is not just a line on a map; it is a dream-like destination and departure point, surrounded by desperation and expectations. “No one writes more tragically or intimately about border culture than this son of a Mexican father and Anglo mother,” journalist Bill Moyers said of Luis Alberto Urrea, author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In his third novel, “Into the Beautiful North,” Urrea transcends the “us against them” discourse of immigration and writes with compassion, complexity, and humor about the people and places caught up in the border wars. Urrea invites us to think of the border as more than a stark divide between nations: he reminds us that it is a place of convergence where meaningful conversations, and even love, between cultures begins.