Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Clare Peterson / Marquette

As President Obama prepares to give the final press conference of his presidency on Wednesday, NPR's Michel Martin is looking towards the next Administration with a wary - but not entirely pessimistic - eye.

"I've just never been a fan of being mad in advance," the weekend host of All Things Considered says, "or being afraid in advance.  I think you give people the benefit of the doubt until they give you a reason to think otherwise."

For thirty-five years, Ed Block taught English at Marquette University. And though he continues at the university as a professor emeritus, his current work is more rooted in the writing world. 

The Milwaukee poet's new collection is called Anno Domini. Like much of Block's work, his new collection explores religious themes and references his Catholic beliefs.

Block believes that many poets - even those who don't ascribe to a particular religion - use spirituality as a source for their writing. 

Most Broadway musicals that close after 16 performances barely prompt memories, let alone documentaries. But in 1981, the Stephen Sondheim/George Furth opus, Merrily We Roll Along, rolled along so bizarrely, it became the stuff of Broadway legend, worthy of a 2017 post-mortem. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is a theatrically captivating documentary in which a director looks sideways at a musical that goes backwards.

4-Year-Old Girl Reads More Than 1,000 Books

Jan 17, 2017

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Chamoy Is Mexico's Flavor Fiesta Condiment, Courtesy Of China

Jan 17, 2017

The first time I tasted chamoy was in the Mexican border town of Eagle Pass, Texas. At a street cart vendor, chamoy apples sat alongside elotes and tamales. The tart Granny Smith was rolled in a thick paste that was sweet, salty, spicy and sour all at once.

As I took the first bite, I thought: "There is no way this is gonna work." But it did, and after that, the mere thought of chamoy made me salivate like a Pavlovian dog. I had to learn more about it.

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For all their differences, when Donald Trump takes the oath of office to succeed Barack Obama on Friday, one small but symbolic similarity will be on display. Trump will place his hand on the Bible that President Lincoln used at his first inauguration, the same one President Obama used at both of his swearing in ceremonies.

The Lincoln Bible was purchased for the 1861 inauguration by Supreme Court Clerk William Thomas Carroll.

When Morning Edition host David Greene spoke to DJ Khaled recently, there was simply too much good stuff to fit all of it on the radio. Fortunately, the show passed along to us an extended version of the interview, which opens with David explaining why this was the second time they set up an interview with the musician, producer and social media super-super-superstar.

You should listen to the whole thing for yourself, because none of this sounds as intriguing in print as it does when DJ Khaled says it, but here are a few of the things you'll hear.

Several times a month, you can find a doctor in the aisles of Ralph's market in Huntington Beach, Calif., wearing a white coat and helping people learn about food. On one recent day, this doctor was Daniel Nadeau, wandering the cereal aisle with Allison Scott, giving her some ideas on how to feed kids who studiously avoid anything that tastes healthy.

"Have you thought about trying smoothies in the morning?" he asks her. "The frozen blueberries and raspberries are a little cheaper, and berries are really good for the brain."

Transit, the second installment of Rachel Cusk's cumulatively affecting post-divorce trilogy that began with Outline, is a reading journey you wish didn't have to end — so it's a good thing there's a third volume on the itinerary. This isn't to say these subdued, meandering novels are a joyride, at least not in the usual sense. They offer little in the way of plot thrills.

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The Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia has seen its share of attention. Two of the hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks prayed there, and jihadi propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki served as an imam at the mosque before heading off to Yemen to join al-Qaida.

Now, with a U.S. president-elect who has suggested he will take a hard line with Muslim-Americans, the worshipers at Dar al-Hijrah again are bracing for scrutiny and looking for reassurance.

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique pendant buried on the site of a Nazi extermination camp. They say that they know of only one other that is similar, which belonged to Anne Frank.

Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial announced the find on Sunday, saying that they have ascertained the charm may have belonged to a girl named Karoline Cohn.

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