Arts

Arts and culture

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When he was 2 years old, Ocean Vuong's family immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that he didn't learn to read English until he was 11. Now 27, he's making his mark in the world of poetry.

Vuong is the 2016 winner of the Whiting Award for poetry and published a new book of poems called Night Sky with Exit Wounds, weaving his personal stories of growing up with his family memories of life in Vietnam.

If you came of age in the 1960s, chances are you think about rock 'n' roll as the music of youth, of rebellion, of fighting the establishment. But in Nigeria, which was in the middle of a civil war, rock was one of the ways in which people expressed their politics.

This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, and here at The Salt, we wanted to celebrate with a selection of the sauciest, most scrumptious verses about food.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When Laura Dunn decided to make a film about America's foremost farmer-philosopher, Wendell Berry, she ran into one significant complication: He was willing to be interviewed, but he didn't want to go on-camera.

Berry, an old-fashioned man to his core, believes that experiencing the world through computer or movie screens diminishes literacy and deadens the imagination.

It's officially prom season. And for girls especially, that means one thing in particular: dresses — lots of dresses.

Because it's been, well, more than a few years since the Weekend Edition staff had been to a prom themselves, NPR's Rachel Martin reached out to the person who would know best what's trending this year: Justina Sharp, a teen fashion writer who's been blogging on the topic at A Bent Piece of Wire since she was 13 years old.

Why 'Will From Warwickshire' Never Lost His Touch

Apr 24, 2016

Shakespeare has always been there for me when I needed him.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Lupita Nyong'o lives in a sunny apartment high above the East River in Brooklyn. Black-and-white photos of African wildlife hang on orange accent walls, near a collection of pretty blue pottery. The actress just earned rave reviews for her Broadway debut, in the play Eclipsed. She's also featured in the biggest movie in theaters now, The Jungle Book. It's possible you heard about her last little film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

When it comes to Shakespeare's legacy, it seems safe to conclude that "what's past is prologue."

Today marks 400 years since the day Shakespeare died, and people are celebrating his life and work around the world.

April 23 is also believed to be the Bard's birthday. As you might expect, the biggest events honoring Shakespeare are taking place in the U.K.

This has been a tough year for celebrity deaths — and a sad week for fans of Prince, who died Thursday at age 57. But as flashes of purple filled my social media feeds from friends mourning Prince's death, I just felt numb — and like an outsider, watching a ritual I couldn't fully join.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

As a Latina who married into a Jewish family, I've long lobbied my in-laws to include beans and rice on the Passover menu. The holiday is a time when Jews avoid leavened foods in commemoration of their biblical exodus from Egypt — when they had to flee so fast, they couldn't even let the bread rise.

But beans and rice aren't leavened, I've argued, so why not include them in the Seder meal? The answer I've long gotten from my mother-in-law: tradition.

April 23 is a big day in England: It's St. George's Day, a national holiday named for the country's patron saint, and it's also the day William Shakespeare is said to have been born and died. This April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of his death.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Editor's note: This week, to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, we will be running a series of stories examining the links between food and the Bard.

In Shakespeare's time, England was a hungry and volatile nation.

'Maestra' Is Pure Pulp Madness

Apr 23, 2016

When boundaries are broken, they aren't always broken through high-brow means. Today, we all agree that some of the best writing can be found in mysteries and thrillers, but when the genre began, what sustained its development was pulp fiction — and L.S. Hilton's Maestra is pulp fiction for sure.

Following a national nomination process, the Bank of England has announced the new face of the £20 bill: famed painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), known for his landscapes, seascapes and innovative depiction of light.

Turner will replace economist Adam Smith, the influential advocate of free market policies who came up with the notion of the "invisible hand."

We all love our mothers, right? Though sometimes they drive us crazy. From the title of Susan Sarandon's new comedy, The Meddler, you might guess that mix of fealty and frustration informs the worldview of filmmaker Lorene Scafaria, and you'd be right.

The film centers on Marnie (Sarandon), a widow who's moved to L.A. after her husband's death to be closer to Lori (Rose Byrne), her screenwriter daughter. And that's a good thing, as they're both still grieving — though Lori sometimes feels as smothered as she does mothered.

Let's call this the opposite of a spoiler alert: An acknowledgement that TV critics don't know much about Game of Thrones' sixth season, which starts Sunday.

That's because some knucklehead last year leaked new episodes of the fifth season online before they appeared on HBO. So producers of the show and HBO executives decided this season nobody — except, it seems President Obama — would get an early look at new episodes.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The Code Switch team was sitting in our daily team meeting when our editor looked up from Twitter and broke the news that Prince was gone.

Just as the winter holiday season seems to arrive sooner and sooner every year, so goes the season for summer movie blockbusters. When Batman V. Superman came out in late March, it felt like the equivalent of picking out your Halloween costumes at a store that's already hawking tinsel. A few years ago, the first weekend in May became the de facto launch of summer-movie season — itself a move up from Memorial Day Weekend a while back — but this year has been different.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Arthur Brook's TED Talk

Social scientist Arthur Brooks explains how conservatives and liberals can cooperate to overcome gridlock and build a better economy.

About Arthur Brooks

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Vernā Myers' TED Talk

Diversity advocate Vernā Myers makes a powerful case for acknowledging our subconscious biases and assumptions about others.

About Vernā Myers

How Can Tourism Promote Peace In The Middle East?

Apr 22, 2016

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Aziz Abu Sarah's TED Talk

Social entrepreneur and educator Aziz Abu Sarah describes how he came to lead tours in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians cross contested borders to spend time in each others cultures.

About Aziz Abu Sarah

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Aspen Baker's TED Talk

The strong emotions sparked by abortion leave little room for thoughtful debate. To cut through the tension, Aspen Baker says we should openly tell — and listen to — stories about women who had abortions or decided not to.

About Aspen Baker

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