What's the Use of Reading? Literature and Empathy

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Developmental Neuroscience | Reading and Language


Reading literature educates us emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, according to poet and author Beth Ann Fennelly, who joins her two decades of experience in the classroom with new studies from the emerging field of literary neuroscience to prove that reading literature makes us more empathetic. Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Her work has won a Pushcart Prize and three times been included in The Best American Poetry Series. Fennelly has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, and a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, all published with W. W. Norton. A novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, called The Tilted World was published by HarperCollins. Her sixth book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-memoirs, recently published by W. W. Norton, was named an Atlanta Journal Constitution Best Book of 2017 and a Goodreaders Favorite for 2017. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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