Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

In the mid-1960s, Michael Nesmith was writing songs and working the Los Angeles club scene when someone showed him an ad: A new TV show was looking for people to audition. He did — and the next thing he knew, he was a Monkee.

Jeanne Galice's music reflects her global roots. She was born in France, but her father's job in the oil industry meant she and her family moved around a lot: to Dubai when Galice was 9, then to the Republic of the Congo, to Abu Dhabi and back to France. Now, the worldly pop singer — who goes by Jain when she's onstage — is on her first U.S. tour, for her album Zanaka.

Easter Bells Ring Out At The Vatican

Apr 16, 2017

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LAUD AND THANKS")

BACH-COLLEGIUM STUTTGART: (Singing in foreign language).

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What does it mean to be human? In Lidia Yuknavitch's new novel The Book of Joan, what's left of the human race is orbiting above the Earth, sexless and ageless, prisoners in a technological hell. Their lives are preserved through growing limbs and grafting skin. Presiding over it all is a one-time billionaire celebrity who evolved through media and technology into a despot.

When Forbes first listed the 400 richest Americans in 1982, there were 13 billionaires on that list.

Today, every single person on the Forbes 400 list is a billionaire.

Many have become philanthropists, and they are reshaping public policy, and society, as they see fit. And because of their numbers, they have far more influence than the philanthropists of the past, argues David Callahan, author of a new book on philanthropy, The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.

What will our dinners look like when temperatures and sea levels rise and water floods our coastal towns and cities?

Allie Wist, 29, an associate art director at Saveur magazine, attempts to answer that question in her latest art project, "Flooded." It's a fictional photo essay (based on real scientific data) about a dinner party menu at a time when climate change has significantly altered our diets.

A Strange Odyssey Through Bulgaria In 'Shadow Land'

Apr 16, 2017

In 2005, I read a book so suspenseful, so laden with longing that I could not put it down: The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. In 2010, her sophomore effort, The Swan Thieves, thrilled me slightly less, but made up for its lack of suspense with a delicate dance through the world of fine art. However, both novels lacked something else — a sense of grounding and purpose. I could sense it somewhere not far off, but it didn't yet exist.

According to Audrey Shafer, there is something profound in the moment a patient wakes up from surgery.

She would know — she's an anesthesiologist. She's responsible for people when they are at their most vulnerable: unconscious, unable to breathe on their own or even blink their eyes.

As a result, Shafer says, a kind of intimate trust forms between her and her patients. It's this closeness that moves her to write poetry about medicine.

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All right. Let's take a poetry break. It's time now for some more of your Twitter poems in honor of National Poetry Month. Here are two that deal with the old saying write what you know. This one is from Dionne Sims in Minneapolis, Minn.

Baby Or Bust: My Time Is Running Out

Apr 15, 2017

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Here's today's dilemma. A 38-year-old woman is in a relationship with a 24-year-old man. Despite the large age gap, everything is going well — she says they have "real, serious, beautiful love" for each other.

Since the conclusion of 2016's competition last May, the Eurovision Song Contest has been mired in controversies both practical and political — but mostly a combination of the two.

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