Arts and Culture

 Practice dummy, Cryonics UK standby team training | Tim’s house, Sheffield, UK 2010

Photographer Murray Ballard says he expected a cryonics facility to look like something out of a sci-fi movie scene. But in visiting one, Ballard says he was intrigued by the contrast between such an ambitious endeavor and the somewhat unremarkable architecture and equipment.More

 Social gathering and sharing a meal during Russian Easter honoring the dead, Spring Valley, New Jersey, 1997

Between 1996 and 1998, Bastienne Schmidt and her husband Philippe Cheng traveled throughout the United States photographing the diverse services and ceremonies Americans use to mark the death of family members and friends. According to Cheng, one of the goals was to "show some of the poetry of death and dying in America."More

elderly woman

Nicholas Nixon has devoted a significant amount of his long career — which stretches back to the 1970s — to taking portraits of people who are sick and dying. He continues to work with people coming to the end of their lives, including those in palliative care and hospice.More

A wolf eyes the horizon

Horror writer Stephen Graham Jones loves werewolves. He redefined the genre with his 2016 novel "Mongrels," about a family of werewolves on the run in a hostile American landscape — a story drawn from his own background.More

the raven

Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from the old shapeshifting myths and fairy tales.More

bomb shelter

Mary Laura Philpott's memoir is called "Bomb Shelter." It is also an apt metaphor. When the world is on the brink, what do you and your family need to survive?More

duality

Susan Cain is the author of "Bittersweet." She says the experience of sadness can help us feel whole. Cain said "bittersweet" is one of those words we use, but don't know what it means.More

television

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.More

Jim Thorpe (left) and Tall Paul (right) on the cover of Tall Paul's latest album.

Tall Paul is an Anishinaabe and Oneida rapper enrolled on the Leech Lake reservation in Minnesota. His new album is called "The Story of Jim Thorpe." Charles Monroe-Kane spoke with him about Thorpe’s legacy, sports and hip-hop.More

Kipling with illustrations from his home.

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.More

yellow plains against a blue sky

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.More

Bernadine Evaristo

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.More

a massive futuristic African city hidden away

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."More

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o — the renowned Kenyan author — believes African writers should write in their native language, not the colonial language of English or French. He says the best way to decolonize the mind is to reclaim native languages.More

An African man with two arms and two legs in silhouette

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.More

An African imagination of the future.

Given the chance, how do Africans tell stories about their own imagined future? And how might the story be different? To get a sense of where African science fiction is heading, we talked with Nnedi Okorafor and Ainehi Edoro.More

Still of Wendell Barry from "Wait and See"

Aside from acting and woodworking, Nick Offerman has another obsession — the Kentucky writer Wendell Berry. Offerman told Steve Paulson that his admiration of Berry is rooted in their shared belief in the enduring value of craftsmanship and hard work.More

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