On Being Blog

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 07:50

A new generation of Asian-American poets are finding power of expression in slam poetry. For Bao Phi, it's the lifeblood of exploring his identity in America.

Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 07:23

A recap of our favorite bits of curiosity from this week, including epistolary correspondence, Krista re-entering the Twitter fray, and a revival post. And a whole lot more!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 05:42

A.E. Lefton on Bahá’í leaders being persecuted and imprisoned in Iran — and how they remind her of the sacrifice and the richness of human life.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 01:27

A wandering reflection arriving at a "found poem." The muse? Our show with Marie Howe. Simply marvelous.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 08:26

A bartender who was born and raised in Jamaica sent us this lovely essay in response to our latest show. A testament to the power of poetry and pursuit.

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 07:34

When one's pen goes silent for three years, what's the first line to come out. Christian Wiman tell us. Listen to his beautiful reading of "Every Riven Thing" too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 11:31

Rilke follows the course of change through seasons and captures the loneliness of uncertainty in everyday life. Includes Joanna Macy's brilliant reading of "Onto a Vast Plain."

Monday, May 20, 2013 - 07:14

Talking with your pre-teen son or daughter can be difficult enough, says Naazish YarKhan, without adding terrorism and its misguided association with Islam to the mix.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 05:49

An imaginative video that brilliantly captures the essence and impact of David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College.

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 06:51

Glenn Greewald's calling out of Sam Harris' speech as anti-Muslim rhetoric sparked quite a debate. Is Mr. Harris a new form of atheism an old form of colonialism?

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Latest Interviews

July 17, 2014

Sixteen Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam's holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one's family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.

July 10, 2014

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

July 3, 2014

For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

June 26, 2014

We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.

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