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This year Athens, Georgia, will celebrate the East-West Dog! It's the zodiac year of the dog in 2018, and we will have a series of events lined up to help us learn more about the literature, language, and culture from China and other Asian countries.

A Big Read project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, "To Live in Athens, GA" is focused on the great novel "To Live" by Yu Hua as well as Asian-American children and young adult novels by Grace Lin (author of the "Year of the Dog" book and many others).

Join us as we celebrate our third Big Read event in Athens and welcome the lunar new year!

Artwork by Phineas Alexander

NEA Big Read logo

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperaciĆ³n con Arts Midwest.

Donate today!

Big Read Athens events focus on community celebrations of great literature! Events attract a wide diversity of readers and are free or low cost, but similar events are made possible thanks to donations. To donate to this or future events, visit LLE's support fund page.

Funds are for the NEA Big Read or Misha's Creative Literacy programs.


Download NEA's "To Live" Resources Book.

Watch Yu Hua's film "To Live" on YouTube.

Previous Big Read events in Athens

Athens has hosted NEA Big Read events for several years. In 2015, the city celebrated poet Robinson Jeffers; in 2016 it was writer Edgar Allan Poe

The Big Read: A Focus on Robinson Jeffers

robinson jeffers banner

Robinson Jeffers lived much of his life in the Big Sur area of the California coast. He wrote about the rough beauty of the natural world and is considered by some to be an early leader of the environmental movement.

This slate of events, which kicked off in April 2015 to conincide with National Poetry Month, intertwined the work of Jeffers with the culture and landscape of the South

Learn more about Jeffers

The Big Read: Poe-Tober

poe banner

Athens celebrated the works of Edgar Allan Poe during October 2016. Events kicked off with a celebration at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and wrapped up with an lecture on All Soul's Day, Nov. 1, at the Georgia Museum of Art.

About the Organizer

Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor is Professor of TESOL and World Language Education at the University of Georgia. She is the 2015 winner of the Beckman Award for Professors Who Inspire, a 2013-14 Fulbright Award (Oaxaca, Mexico), Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prizes and a Leeway Poetry Grant. Cahnmann-Taylor is the author of three books, "Imperfect Tense" (poems) (2016); "Teachers Act Up: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities Through Theatre" (2010); and "Arts-Based Research in Education" (2008). You may also follow her blog.

The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.