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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 cooperación con Arts Midwest.

Upcoming Dates

21 February 2018

Fluency Dawg-Gone Fast: Three Day Introduction to Mandarin

Join in this fast-paced introduction to Mandarin—the most-spoken language in the world. Led by Terry Waltz, expert in Mandarin and Total Physical Response Storytelling, the course introduces participants to a new language teaching methodology aimed at promoting fluency fast.

23 February 2018

NEA Big Read Literary Fashion Shows: 'To Live' by the Color Red, Gold, and Black

Fashion students from UGA’s Department of Textiles, Merchandising, and Interiors will host their annual public fashion show. This year's fashions will include those influenced by Hua’s novel and inspired by Chinese couture.

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.