God’s Own Music

A look at the English choral tradition, a form of music that has spread more widely that you’d imagine.

Published: Feb 22, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,013 words)

To Be, or Not to Be

A personal essay in which Russian emigre Masha Gessen ruminates on the culture’s tendency to privilege those who’ve suffered for a lack of choice — in becoming refugees, in picking their gender — and the choices (her own, and those of her parents and ancestors) that have impacted her life.

Published: Jan 29, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,037 words)

Portrait of the Artist as a Single Mom

In this personal essay, created with support from the non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Stephanie Land chronicles her struggle to support herself and her two daughters while attending college and trying to make a living as a writer.

Published: Dec 29, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,085 words)

The Afterlife of a Memoir

Novelist Aminatta Forna writes about the lingering effects, fourteen years later, of having written a memoir, The Devil That Danced on the Water, about the political hanging of her father in Sierra Leone.

Published: Nov 13, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,371 words)

A Presumption of Guilt

Bryan Stevenson examines the connection between the modern day death penalty and lynchings of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Published: Jul 13, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,467 words)

Tenants Under Siege: Inside New York City’s Housing Crisis

Despite having the most progressive housing laws in the country, New York City is in the throes of a humanitarian emergency: a large-scale “displacement of populations” from their homes.

Published: Aug 17, 2017
Length: 34 minutes (8,669 words)

A Voice for the Voiceless

Poet Charles Simic celebrates the late Philip Levine, a working class writer from Jewish Detroit who spoke for the middle class and saw the extraordinary in ordinary life. It’s refreshing to talk about poetry instead of Trump sometimes.
Published: Jun 22, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,345 words)

The Art of Difference

With the publication of two books and new gallery showings featuring photographer Diane Arbus, Hilton Als explores her work, writings, artistic motivation, and her uncanny ability to capture on film the humanity of the “freaks” — the marginalized people — who were the subjects of her work.

Author: Hilton Als
Published: Jun 8, 2017
Length: 17 minutes (4,301 words)

Lessons from Hitler’s Rise

Confucius said, “Study the past if you would define the future.” A good place to start is this newly translated biography of Hitler.

Published: Apr 20, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,092 words)

‘Fuck’-ing Around

The history of swearing is more than just an evolution of social mores — it’s also a politically charged narrative at the “intersection of anger and gaiety.”

Published: Jan 23, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,235 words)