Margaret Bonds, who died in 1972, is perhaps near the top of the very short list of African-American female composers. Thanks to her partnerships with Langston Hughes and soprano Leontyne Price and others, she's remembered in some circles as an important figure in American composition. But, mostly, she's been forgotten.
"It's amazing that people don't know who she was, although she was quite well known in her time," says Louise Toppin, an opera singer and a voice professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ben & Daniel talk with Carlene Bauer, author of “Frances and Bernard,” a novel told in letters inspired by the lives of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. Bauer talks about the inspiration behind creating a relationship between these two characters, and why she rather enjoys writing about 19th century characters instead of contemporary ones. She also reveals how the religious beliefs she grew up with found their way into the book.
For the Poem of the Week, Benjamin Alire Saenz reads “First Love” by Edwin Rolfe, from his 1952 collection “First Love and Other Poems.”
And in this week’s Poetic License, Ben offers his reflections on the state of Western education.
Syrian President Bashar Assad, in apparent response to Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks last week in support of opposition forces in Syria, says only the Syrian people can tell him to step down.
"Only Syrian people can tell the president stay or leave, come or go. No one else," he said in an interview to Britain's Sunday Times.
It was a rare TV interview for the Syrian president, whose regime has battled rebels as well as calls to step down for nearly two years.
Cardinals from all over the world are gathering at the Vatican, as they take their first steps toward electing a new pope. They'll meet Monday for their first official meeting since Pope Benedict stepped down last week. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.
The Dragon has been captured. The SpaceX unmanned craft connected with the International Space Station at 5:31 a.m. ET, NASA tweeted. The spacecraft arrived a day late due to mechanical problems after Friday's launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.