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Articles

Critic Alissa Wilkinson has found that artists have been responding to the pandemic by doing what they do best: creating and making things that — for at least some people — helped them feel like they are still alive even as they face grief and trauma.

Length: 
9:01
Poudre Lake is the headwaters of the Cache la Poudre River
Articles

Environmental philosopher and bonafide "mountain man" John Hausdoerffer explains how mountains are connected to all life on earth, and what it means to treat them as "living kin."

Length: 
12:12
Moonhouse
Audio

We're part of an extended web of kinship that includes not just people, but plants, animals, rivers and mountains. For Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, that knowledge has been passed down through many generations.

Length: 
9:35
Audio

People in the Andes have been telling stories about their mountains for centuries. Writer and educator Lisa Madera says they tell us something essential about the nature of mountains as geologic marvels and sacred sites.

Length: 
11:13
Kipling with illustrations from his home.
Photo Gallery

If you want to cancel a famous writer because of his retrograde politics, Rudyard Kipling — author of "The White Man's Burden" — is an obvious choice. So should we still read Kipling? We ask novelist Salman Rushdie and literary scholar Chris Benfey.

Length: 
19:25
yellow plains against a blue sky
Articles

From an early age, Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky developed a deep personal understanding of the political power of poetry and language. He explains why poetry is such a powerful tool in crisis.

Length: 
14:15
Bernadine Evaristo
Articles

Bernardine Evaristo became the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other.” Evaristo talked with Shannon Henry Kleiber about how her childhood and her writing energize her advocacy supporting artists and writers of color.

Length: 
16:44
a massive futuristic African city hidden away
Audio

The "Black Panther" movies have been cultural touchstones. They’ve also sparked a lively dialogue on how Hollywood tells stories about Africa. Anne Strainchamps talked with Kenyan scholar Mshai Mwangola about her take on "Black Panther."

Length: 
14:56
An African man with two arms and two legs in silhouette
Audio

After Jamaican writer Marlon James won the Booker Prize, he plunged into the world of African witches and demons, tricksters and shapeshifters. James recounts how he created his Dark Star Trilogy by digging into old African myths and folklore.

Length: 
13:51
Going for Broke series logo
Articles

The hosts of "Going for Broke" discuss reporting on poverty and how to give economic insight a tone of empathy and a tangible sense of human connection.

field hockey witch
Audio

The 1980s were a golden age for witches. Women everywhere started covens. Among them, the girls field hockey team at Danvers High School in Massachusetts. At least, that’s how Quan Barry imagines it in her recent novel, “We Ride Upon Sticks.”

Length: 
12:08
witches
Audio

Archaeologist Chris Gosden has written a global history of magic, from the Ice Age to the internet. He told Steve Paulson he’s come to believe our own culture would be healthier and happier if we took magic more seriously.

Length: 
9:26
Honey Rose
Video

Honey Rose is part of the next generation of witches. They perform traditional magic on TikTok, do tarot readings via email, and seek to control social media algorithms with spells. Producer Angelo Bautista wanted to learn more.

Length: 
13:02
Doo Lough, Co Mayo
Articles

The Irish know how to talk about death — and also celebrate it. Even in difficult times. Gillian O'Brien is an Irish historian who went on a dark tour of her country's historic sites and memorials of death, going back to the Irish Potato Famine.

Length: 
14:33
Charles' tattoo in memory of his brother, Joe Kane.
Audio

An estimated 20-30% of inked skin consists of memorial tattoos. Charles Monroe-Kane has a lot of ink, but he just got his first memorial tattoo. He reflects on his beloved brother Joe Kane— a hard-living, Harley-Davidson biker who died too young.

Length: 
4:34
Barred owl
Audio

Heather Swan is a writer with a gift for listening to the natural world. Still, she didn't know what to make of the barred owl who came to visit her every day for three weeks. And then she realized, with a jolt, the owl had a message for her.

Length: 
13:23
Mural of ancient soldiers returning from battle
Articles

Why do humans still wage wars? Despite their terrible costs, they benefit certain groups, and thoughout history, they've also galvanized social movements and sparked scientific advancements. Margaret MacMillan explains how wars have shaped us.

Length: 
17:21
Ruthie
Articles

Merle was smart, obedient, and always up for an adventure — the kind of dog you can take anywhere. But even the most cherished dogs grow old. A friend suggested that essayist Sarah Miller get a “bridge dog" — a young dog who might make Merle’s impending loss easier to bear.

Length: 
10:28
"Junebug"
Photo Gallery

Nathaniel Mary Quinn was abandoned as a child. Today, he’s a celebrated painter, exhibiting around the world. He tells Charles his remarkable story about talent and perseverance in the face of enormous odds.

Length: 
15:05
The creative mind
Articles

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.

Length: 
11:00
Prairie Fires of the Great West
Articles

Laura Ingalls Wilder insisted that every detail in her beloved "Little House" books was true. But Caroline Fraser, her biographer, says Wilder heavily edited the story of her family's life on the Great Plains. And in the process, created an American myth based on a lie or two.
 

Length: 
14:07
Fire man
Audio

TTBOOK producer Charles Monroe-Kane is a great storyteller who's led an adventurous life. Here's a wild story from his memoir "Lithium Jesus" about smuggling mob money when he lived in Prague in the 1990s.

"The Days Of Abandonment" by Elena Ferrante
Bookmarks

Alissa Quart recommends Elena Ferrante's "Days of Abandonment" and Elizabeth Hardwick's "Sleepless Nights."

Patti Smith
Audio

Legendary poet and singer Patti Smith has two selves. On stage, she revels in collaborating with the people around her and creating a memorable performance. But she reveals a very different self in her memoir "M Train." 

Charles (right) interviews Prince Marfo (left). (TTBOOK)
Audio

Prince Marfo is the Suyani Cultural Director of Ghana. He says his government needs to do a better job of welcoming African Americans — he wants to see them welcomed as sisters and brothers not just as Americans with resources.

Length: 
7:44
Tree
Articles

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” has overturned a lot of conventional thinking. Though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.

Length: 
20:23
foggy trees
Articles

Suzanne Simard is a forest ecologist who's revolutionizing our understanding of trees. She has discovered that trees use underground networks to communicate and cooperate with each other. It turns out that whole forests can exist as a superorganism.

General Sherman, AKA Karl Marx
Audio

There's a famous sequoia named General Sherman that's the biggest tree on the planet. It has its own distinctive history linked to the Civil War general and a radical anarchist group. Cultural historian Daegan Miller tells this fascinating story.

Desert at Dusk
Articles

Ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan has been called the “father of the local food movement.” Many of his insights come from the farming practices of Indigenous people living near the U.S.-Mexico border, who’ve grown food in arid habitats for centuries.

Length: 
36:17
osprey
Sonic Sidebar

Locking eyes with another creature in the wild can be a profound experience. For physicist and writer Alan Lightman, half a second of eye contact with a pair of ospreys felt like an epiphany.

Length: 
2:24

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