Interviews By Topic

"Stop the killing" on mortuary van

Tyrone Muhammad is tired of seeing so many young black men die from street violence. So the Newark mortician is using an in-your-face strategy to show people the effects of that violence: taking his work into the streets.More

flowers

The poet Nikki Giovanni, reading her poem "One Ounce of Truth Benefits Like a Ripple on a Pond."More

brain light

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist says most neuroscientists have downplayed the differences between the left and right sides of the brain. He says he thinks the left hemisphere has become so dominant in Western culture that we're losing the sense of what makes us human.More

TTBOOK

Writer Karen Armstrong's dangerous idea is to love your enemies.More

TTBOOK

Are we witnessing the birth of a new "dark green religion"?More

TTBOOK

The celebrated cartoonist Chris Ware has a graphic novel called “Building Stories.”  It is full of stories. It is an actual building. Steve Paulson says, “it’s like nothing he’s even seen or read before.”More

Why is filmmaker Errol Morris is still outraged by the famous philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn?More

Terese Marie Mailhot's brave and beautiful memoir about life on a Pacific Northwest reservation is making waves. She originally intended to tell her story as fiction, but ultimately made the difficult decision to write the whole, painful truth.
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Petina Gappah on "Persuasion"

Author Petina Gappah recommends a book she explains is “The most African of Jane Austen’s novels.” Her reason why is a look at women in African today told through the eyes of two novelists: a Zimbabwean in 2020 and English woman in 1818.More

Prairie Fires of the Great West

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.
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Alice Walker

Hope is a complicated, even slippery, word. One that demands a poet’s voice. Here’s Alice Walker, reading her poem “Hope is a Woman Who Has Lost Her Fear.”More

Ken Nordine is the epitome of jazz poetry, nicknamed "the Voice." Best known for his "Word Jazz" series, this poem is one he did for a paint company. The paint company is long forgotten, but the poem lives on.More

Heart graphic

Poems can hold grief and mark loss. But what about love? Romantic love. Poet Li-Young Lee understands this completely. Because he’s in love.More

Empty New York streets

In Lake Mills, Wisconsin, a retired school teacher named Kitty O'Meara wrote a short poem at lunch one day and posted it to friends on Facebook. A week later, it had been shared by Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey and millions of other people.More

letters

Jimmy Santiago Baca was in a maximum security prison. He taught himself to read and fell in love with words. Today he’s a champion of the International Poetry Slam, and the author of multiple books of verse.More

"The Tradition" book cover design by Phil Kovacevich and art by Ralphi Burgess. (Copper Canyon Press)

Jericho Brown is an award-winning poet who has been working with religious language for a long time. His poems have titles like "1 Corinthians 13:11" and "Hebrews 13." His book "The Tradition" continues to mine Brown's childhood in the church.More

Ghosts

Poet Edward Hirsch has written many collections of poetry and criticism. He wrote the long-running “Poet’s Choice” column in the Washington Post. He spoke with Steve Paulson about his elegy to his son, “Gabriel: A Poem.”More

Karl Ove Knausgaard

Given the hyper-realism of author Karl Ove Knausgaard’s "My Struggle," you might be surprised to hear that the formative books of his childhood were filled with magic and imaginary worlds. He says Ursula K. Le Guin’s "Earthsea" fantasy series shaped him as an early reader.More

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