Celebrating Robinson Jeffers

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia joined U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas Tuesday to announce grants to three California organizations for The Big Read: The Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, a celebration of the Pennsylvania-born poet known for his passion for the rugged central California coast, and of Tor House, Jeffers' family home in Carmel.

Through the Big Read poetry initiative, a joint effort of the NEA and the Poetry Foundation to celebrate historic poetry sites in the United States, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation will receive $15,000 to support a monthlong, bilingual celebration of Jeffers throughout Monterey County, expected to launch in October during Tor House's annual fall festival; the National Steinbeck Center will receive $17,000 to support an exhibition of Jeffers' poetry and photographs of the writer, and the University of California, Santa Cruz will receive $5,000 to host a symposium on the poet's work.

-- Diane Haithman

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