Latest Stories

The Illustrated London News's illustration of the Christmas Truce
Sonic Sidebar

In 1914, over the week leading up to Christmas day, the opposing troops sang carols to each other, played ball and exchanged gifts, in spite of their generals’ wishes. Historian Stanley Weintraub says that the Christmas Truce was a one-time-only event.

Length: 
7:31
Dæmon Pan and the alethiometer in HBO's adaptation of "His Dark Materials"
Articles

Philip Pullman, the celebrated English writer has just written a 630-page sequel brimming with contentious ideas about religious tyranny, the loss of imagination and the nature of consciousness — all in a book that’s marketed to children.

Length: 
16:00
Empty New York streets
Articles

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.

Length: 
5:12
Dafne Keene as Lyra Silvertongue on HBO's "His Dark Materials"
Articles

The return of HBO's adaptation of Philip Pullman's classic series "His Dark Materials" is the perfect time to dive into his new trilogy, "The Book of Dust." The tales of an older Lyra Belacqua probe more deeply into the central question of his earlier books: What is the nature of consciousness? 

letters
Audio

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.

Length: 
13:39
Audio

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.

Length: 
1:35
Alice Walker
Interactive

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.”

Length: 
2:49
Heart graphic
Audio

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.

Length: 
11:15