Arts

Code Switch
11:23 am
Tue April 8, 2014

For Poetry Month, We're Taking To Twitter — And We Want Your Help

According to iStockphoto, these floating letters "symbolize the idea of literature." Sure. We'll just roll with that.
iStockphoto

Help us make poetry!

April is National Poetry Month: 30 days set aside for the celebration of all things verse. Many of us here at Code Switch love poetry every month of the year, but we can't always make space for it in our coverage.

So this month, we're taking advantage of the national celebration and highlighting great poets and poems that address issues of race, ethnicity and culture.

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The Salt
11:01 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Roshen is a premium brand but some say it tastes "less refined" than Western European chocolate.
Bodo Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 2:21 pm

In the political battle between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest pawns is chocolate.

That's because the current front-runner in Ukraine's presidential race is Petro Poroshenko, known as "the Chocolate King." His billion-dollar empire was founded on candy factories.

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My Big Break
10:49 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Ken Jeong, Leaving Medicine For Movies

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You might have heard that some of our listeners actually joined Twitter just to participate in our Twitter poetry series. You might call it their big break into poetry. Well, our colleagues at All Things Considered have been hearing stories from a number of people about the moment when their careers in other fields took off.

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#TMMPoetry: Muses and Metaphor
10:20 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Creating An Ecosystem In 140 Characters

Dennis Macdonald Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:36 pm

For Tell Me More's second week of Muses and Metpahor poet Holly Bass stopped by to talk about her teen writing initiative at a Washington, D.C. detention center. Bass has been working with her students to create poems that are 140-characters or less. She shared how she inspires them to navigate the sometimes difficult limitation.

"I tell them to just write a whole poem and then you can take one line or two lines from that poem and turn that into your Twitter poem" Bass told Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Book News: Donna Tartt, Jhumpa Lahiri On Baileys Prize Shortlist

Donna Tartt reads from her novel The Goldfinch at the world book launch in September 2013 in Amsterdam.
AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue April 8, 2014

In 'Paradise,' Finding Understanding In The Ruins Of Horror

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:58 am

Over the course of his long and distinguished writing career, Peter Matthiessen — who died this past weekend at the age of 86 — chased numerous demons, from Florida outlaws to missionaries and mercenaries in South America. In his latest novel, which the ailing writer suggested would be his last, takes us back to a week-long conference held at Auschwitz in 1996. Here, as autumn shifts toward winter, Jews and Germans, Poles and Americans, rabbis, Buddhists, European nuns and slightly crazed survivors of Nazi genocide stand witness to the atrocities of some of the greatest demons of history.

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Race
4:37 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Soprano Alyson Cambridge Among Those Honoring Marian Anderson

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:09 am

A special concert this weekend will commemorate Marian Anderson's historic performance on Easter Sunday 1939 at the Lincoln Memorial. Soprano Alyson Cambridge will be among those performing.

Theater
1:42 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Broadway Director Kenny Leon Opens Theater Doors To New Audiences

Ten years after first directing A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, Kenny Leon is back with a new rendition of the play, starring Denzel Washington and Sophie Okonedo. (Also pictured, from left: David Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Anika Noni Rose).
Courtesy of Rinaldi PR

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:09 am

Stage director Kenny Leon is one of the most sought-after creative talents on Broadway today, even if he isn't a household name. He's guided Denzel Washington and Viola Davis to Tony Awards in a Tony-winning revival of August Wilson's Fences, he directed Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop and he's got two Broadway shows opening within three months of each other.

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Remembrances
2:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Mickey Rooney, All-American Boy For More Than 90 Years, Dies

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Mickey Rooney, who lived a long life on stage and screen, died last night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 93. For a while, the star seem to have it all, but he ended up playing the comeback kid as our film critic Bob Mondello remembers.

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Remembrances
12:02 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Peter Matthiessen On Writing And Zen Buddhism

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 12:57 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The publication of Peter Matthiessen's final novel "In Paradise" is coinciding with his obituary. He died Saturday at the age of 86. We're going to listen back to an excerpt of my interview with him. Matthiessen was a naturalist, as well as writer, and his fiction and nonfiction books were often inspired by his travels to remote regions, including mountains and rainforests. His books include "The Snow Leopard," "Men's Lives," "At Play in the Field of the Lords" and "Far Tortuga."

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Religion
11:57 am
Mon April 7, 2014

If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One?

"If Jesus had not been declared God by his followers, his followers would'™ve remained a sect within Judaism, a small Jewish sect," says historian Bart Ehrman.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:26 am

When Bart Ehrman was a young Evangelical Christian, he wanted to know how God became a man, but now, as an agnostic and historian of early Christianity, he wants to know how a man became God.

When and why did Jesus' followers start saying "Jesus as God" and what did they mean by that? His new book is called How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Book News: CIA Tried To Use 'Doctor Zhivago' To Weaken The USSR

A scene from the 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, based on Boris Pasternak's epic novel.
AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Remembrances
3:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

The Inimitable Mickey Rooney Dies At 93

Mickey Rooney plays Oliver Nugent in the short-lived television series One of the Boys in 1982. Rooney died Sunday at the age of 93.
NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:48 am

Mickey Rooney was a 5-foot-3 dynamo. Whether he was acting, singing or dancing, he poured an uncanny energy into his performances. It's an energy that sustained a lifelong career alongside some of the biggest names in show business, including Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor.

He died Sunday at his North Hollywood home, at age 93. He was still working — on a new film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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Author Interviews
3:40 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

In Book's Trial Of U.S. Justice System, Wealth Gap Is Exhibit A

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 4:56 pm

Investigative journalist and author Matt Taibbi has long reported on American politics and business. With an old-school muckraker's nose for corruption, he examined the events leading up to the 2008 financial crisis in Griftopia. With Gonzo zeal, he described a two-party political system splintered into extreme factions in The Great Derangement.

And in his newest book, Taibbi sets out to explain what he thinks is a strange state of affairs:

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Arts & Life
9:22 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Global Grannies Don't Sweat Travel Headaches

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 11:49 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Over the past year we've brought you many adventure stories - the world's most traveled man, a journey by cargo ship and an octogenarian sailing to Antarctica.

(MUSIC)

MARTIN: On this week's Winging It, we introduce you to three adventurers who have dubbed themselves the Global Grannies. They're a group of women in their 50s and well into their 80s, who have started second lives as world travelers.

JODY NUNLEY: I'm Jody Nunley from Billings.

TANA: I'm Tana.

JO LOU KNOLL: And I'm Jo Lou Knoll.

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Race
9:22 am
Sun April 6, 2014

#CancelColbert Let Asian-Americans Call Out The Real Ding-Dongs

Stephen Colbert responded to criticism about a tweet about his show from his TV network last Monday, saying he would dismantle the imaginary foundation that created the stir.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 12:20 pm

It surely says something about our culture that a single tweet can turn into a major racial incident.

You've likely heard the flap over comedian Stephen Colbert's send-up of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's new foundation to help Native Americans.

The controversy erupted when a Twitter account associated with Colbert's show, The Colbert Report, took the joke too far — away from its original context.

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Remembrances
8:34 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Peter Matthiessen, Co-Founder Of The Paris Review, Dies At 86

Peter Matthiessen, shown here at his New York house in 2004, was a Zen Buddhist priest, a spy, an activist and a well-respected writer of both fiction and nonfiction.
Ed Betz AP

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 11:34 am

Author Peter Matthiessen has died in New York at the age of 86 from acute myeloid leukemia. Matthiessen, a novelist and naturalist, wrote 33 books; among his best-known works are The Snow Leopard and the novels Far Tortuga and At Play in the Fields of the Lord, which was made into a Hollywood film.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Peter Matthiessen Dies At 86; Wrote Of Travels In The Natural World

Writer Peter Matthiessen died Saturday at age 86 after a long fight with leukemia, according to his publisher. Here, he stands in the yard of his house in Sagaponack, N.Y., in 2004.
Ed Betz AP

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 9:31 am

Author Peter Matthiessen, who used fiction and nonfiction to explore how man relates to nature, has died at 86. The revered naturalist and novelist had been suffering from leukemia; he died Saturday afternoon, his publisher confirmed.

In a career that began in the 1950s, Matthiessen connected readers to people and places that were being irrevocably changed by the modern world. And in the process, he often gave them a window into the changes that shaped his own life, as well.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Under Scrutiny, Teen Learned Defiance From 'President's Daughter'

Cover of The President's Daughter
Courtesy of Feiwel and Friends

Long before the election of a female president was an actual possibility, I read obsessively about Meg Powers — the witty, moody teenage daughter of Katharine Vaughn Powers, United States president. I was in 9th grade at a tiny, all-girls Orthodox Jewish high school in Memphis, TN, while Meg was leading a very different life on the pages of Ellen Emerson White's The President's Daughter.

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Author Interviews
3:21 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Lydia Davis' New Collection Has Stories Shorter Than This Headline

Lydia Davis is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 11:49 am

The writer Lydia Davis has released a new collection of short stories — and, in her trademark style, some of them are really short stories. Here's "Contingency (vs. Necessity)" in its entirety:

He could be our dog. But he is not our dog. So he barks at us.

And the title story of the collection, Can't And Won't:

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All Tech Considered
3:17 am
Sun April 6, 2014

What Silicon Valley's Cast Thinks About Silicon Valley Culture

Cast and crew on the set of HBO's Silicon Valley (from left): Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch, Alec Berg, Mike Judge, T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani.
Jaimie Trueblood Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on

Sunday night, HBO's new comedy, Silicon Valley premieres, and as a Slate review notes of the titular place, "Rarely has a show had to do so little to find so much to mock."

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Television
3:12 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

How To Kill A Character

Jeff Perry (left) and Dan Bucatinsky play Cyrus Beene and James Novak in ABC's Scandal.
Richard Cartwright ABC

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 4:19 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers.

OK. If you're still catching up on your favorite TV shows, let me say it now. You are being warned. There are major spoilers up ahead.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOUSE OF CARDS")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (As character) Oh, my God.

KEVIN SPACEY: (As Frank Underwood) And the butchery begins.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

An Astronaut Asks: What Does This Cloud Look Like?

Do you see what I see? That's the question Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield asks about this image he took from the International Space Station.
Cmdr_Hadfield

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 7:54 am

The image comes from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who gained fans last year when he he tweeted photos from the International Space Station, along with his refreshingly wide-eyed excitement at being in orbit.

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My Big Break
11:47 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Ken Jeong: Doctor By Day, Comedian By Night

Actor Ken Jeong, formerly a doctor, credits his first big break to the 2007 film Knocked Up, which led to his role in the Hangover series.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 4:19 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before Ken Jeong was an actor, he was a doctor.

"Internal medicine was my specialty," he says. "General practice with an emphasis on adult medicine."

After a long day at the office, Jeong says he would take to the stage and perform comedy routines as a way to blow off some steam.

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Performing Arts
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

History And Faith Collide On Stage In 'Camp David'

Ron Rifkin as Menachem Begin, Richard Thomas as Jimmy Carter and Khaled Nabawy as Anwar Sadat in the new play Camp David.
Teresa Wood

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

In the new play, Camp David, President Jimmy Carter muses, "Put an Arab and a Jew on a mountaintop in Maryland and ask them to make peace. What was I thinking?"

36 years ago, Carter did get Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin together for two weeks at the presidential retreat at Camp David, where they signed the Camp David accords; the two countries have not been to war since.

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Book Reviews
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country.
Linda Girvin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

Originally published on

At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.

Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.

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Around the Nation
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime."

Author Interviews
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

A Century Of History In The Life Of An Ordinary Indian

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Music Interviews
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Puerto Rico's Most-Loved And Most-Hated Band

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:11 am

The bad boys of Puerto Rico have grown up. Step brothers Rene Perez Joglar and Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 have a new album that takes a more thoughtful route to deliver their message.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Percussive Poems In 'Shorty Bon Bon' Pin The Stage To The Page

iStockphoto

Willie Perdomo's third collection of poems is sonically charged: he celebrates his Puerto Rican heritage and the music that came out of the Puerto Rican community in New York by narrating the imagined life of Shorty Bon Bon, the percussionist of a descarga (jamming) salsa band in the 1960s and '70s. The character is partly inspired by Perdomo's real-life uncle, who played percussion on two of Charlie Palmieri's '70s recordings.

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