Arts and Culture

A glowing radium clock.

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.More

"If Beale Street Could Talk" by James Baldwin

The author of "Another Brooklyn" recommends a James Baldwin novel she says belongs on everyone's bookshelf.More

Nikka and Strings

When Nikka Costa was ten, she was a pop sensation in Europe. In her 20s, she was Britney Spear’s opening act. But she’s left pop music behind and now she’s performing songs by some of the musicians she’s known, including Prince and Frank Sinatra.More

"The Land at the End of the World" by António Lobo Antunes

The author of "The Sympathizer" recommends António Lobo Antunes' novel.More

"The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy"

The notorious filmmaker recommends the complete short stories of "one of the greatest―and most underappreciated―writers in America in the latter half of the twentieth century."More

Books on books on books

Why do we keep dividing the world of books into different genres — like romance novels, science fiction and literary fiction? Novelist Lauren Beukes says we should simply get rid of the whole idea of genre.More

Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016.

Rashid Johnson is a rising star in the art world. Using signature materials like shea butter and black soap, he explores themes of race, yearning and escape, and grapples with what it means to come of age as a black artist and intellectual.More

From Vivienne's Shadow Walk in Venice

 Sound artist Vivienne Corringham takes us on one of her "shadow walks," where she records local spaces and how they affect the people who live there, then "sings the walk" through vocal improvisations.More

headphones in the city

A composer, environmental philosopher and guest producer on "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" teaches us how to deeply listen to urban spaces.More

Dictators who are also authors

When they weren’t committing mass murder, many of the noteworthy authoritarian leaders of the 20th century wrote books. Terrible books. Journalist Daniel Kalder read all of them.More

trains for the train sounds, Paris

Cities are full of music — but can cities also BE music? David Rothenberg gives us a tiny history of how composers have used cities to make music, beginning with Pierre Schaeffer’s “Musique concrète.”More

Left to Right: Aaron Henkin, Wendel Patrick (WYPR)

Baltimore-based podcasters Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick are interviewing people and telling their stories, block by block.
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gas station

Can you hear racism and intolerance? Jennifer Stoever can when she listens to the “sonic color line” — a way to hear racial division, how it’s reinforced and maintained, by whom and why, and at what cost. 
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Well, maybe not all of them. But we'd like to get there! In "Listening to the City" we travel from New York to Los Angeles to Jacksonville to Baltimore and beyond, seeking to better understand the urban environment through some seriously close listening. More

Marina Lutz in "The Marina Experiment"

Marina Lutz grew up with a father who was obsessed with watching her. She discovered the full extent of his obsession as an adult, and made an award-winning short documentary about it called “The Marina Experiment.”
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Chloe Benjamin

Author Chloe Benjamin on how the magical worlds of her novels are rooted in her daily life.More

Baby with tag

Wendy Kline says the history of birth in America is the story of the medical establishment’s deliberate suppression of midwives. For her as for most mothers, it’s a story that’s political and personal.  More

The midwives of "Call the Midwife" (BBC)

Anne Strainchamps joins a group of women, Laurie, Jane, Carol and Liz, to watch the premiere of Season 7 of "Call the Midwife" and talk about birth.  More

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