Past Big Reads

NEABigRead-ColorLogoThe NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.  It is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District has received a Big Read grant from the NEA, along with robust matching support from local businesses for many years.  The Big Read program engages local schools, colleges, public libraries, and civic, literacy, and arts organizations in studying a single piece of literature in the fall of the year.

The National Endowment for the Arts provides a list of titles from which communities across the country must choose their annual Big Read book selection. In Poughkeepsie, we have read the following:

  • 2007 – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • 2008-  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • 2009 – Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • 2010 – The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
  • 2011 –  The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  • 2012 – The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  • 2013 – The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
  • 2014 – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • 2015 – The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • 2016 – Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • 2017 – How We Became Human by Joy Harjo

To learn how your school, organization or book club can participate in the Fall of 2017, contact The Big Read Coordinator, Jewel Ratzlaff, at 845-485-3445 x 3372 or