This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Twenty-five people were indicted in Baltimore this week, 13 of them prison guards in a story that involves gangs, bribes, drugs and sex - and it's real life, not a TV show. The indictments say a group of prisoners have essentially been in charge of the Baltimore City Detention Center, working with prison guards to run a lucrative drug and cell phone smuggling operation.
In many disasters, there are both human and animal victims. After the fertilizer plant exploded in the town of West, Texas, people and organizations came from near and far to help those who were affected, whether they walked on two legs or four.
Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:52 am
April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than with new poetry releases? Here are four of this month's highlights — a new translation, a "best of" collection, a "collected works" worth revisiting and a camera-eye view of the world.
The Divine Comedy
The season premiere of Mad Men opened with John Ciardi's 1954 translation of Dante's Inferno:
Midway in our life's journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.
Brendan, Cordelia and Eleanor Walker were suspicious from the first. They may be young — Cordelia is 15, Brendan is 12 and Eleanor is 8 — but they have enough worldly experience to know that when a real estate agent says a place is charming and rustic, she means that it's small and has wild bears in the backyard. So when the siblings first hear about the house at 28 Sea Cliff Avenue in San Francisco, they're skeptical. And their caution is quite warranted; the Kristoff House, as it's called, turns out to hold secrets, magic, skeleton pirates and a behemoth who looks like Mick Jagger.
Nominations for the Tony Awards, Broadway's annual honors, will be announced April 30. Among the shows eligible: loud London transplants like Matilda the Musical, a new play by David Mamet, a revival of David Mamet, two revivals of Clifford Odets and a revival of the '70s musical Pippin.
Lots of Hollywood stars have made the trek to Broadway this season, ranging from Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Tom Hanks in Norah Ephron's last play, Lucky Guy.
When Edna O'Brien wrote The Country Girls in 1960, the book was acclaimed by critics, banned by the Irish Censorship Board and burned in churches for suggesting that the two small-town girls at the center of the book had romantic lives. Oh, why be obscure? Sex lives.
April is National Poetry Month. And throughout the month, WEEKEND EDITION is speaking with younger poets about the importance of poetry in daily life. This morning, we hear from translator and poet Kazim Ali.
After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.
Kal Penn has a pretty unusual resume: He has starred in Harold and Kumar, the most successful series of stoner movies made in the past decade; and has served in the White House as the Obama administration's liaison to youth. Now he's hosting a new show, The Big Brain Theory, on the Discovery Channel.
Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.
I keep going back to the documentaries. Out of the 14 films I've seen here so far, the documentaries have consistently offered some of the most inherently dynamic subjects — and served up surprising moments of discovery.
Mass shootings, bus crashes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks — we've gotten adept at talking about these things. Act of God or act of man, they're all horrific. At least that was the word you kept hearing from politicians and newscasters describing the Boston bombings and the explosion at the fertilizer plant in Texas.