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Season 4


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David Finckel: The Chamber Music Maestro

Cellist David Finckel, in concert and conversation with Jim Cotter.
Season 4, Episode 13

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Scott McCloud: Constructive RagE

The graphic novelist Scott McCloud’s upcoming manifesto on visual communication is rooted in what he calls “constructive rage.”
Season 4, Episode 12

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Sarah Williams Goldhagen: Welcome to Your World

Sarah Williams Goldhagen is on a crusade to fix architecture, now.
Season 4, Episode 12

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Hélène Grimaud: The Keys to Life

Early in life, music found Hélène Grimaud. It would turn out to be but one tool for this spiritual seeker.
Season 4, Episode 12

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Oliver Jeffers: Principled Uncertainty

An artist falls in love with an engineer. Perspectives shift.
Season 4, Episode 11

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Sylvia Plath: The Iconic Sad Girl

Sylvia Plath should be remembered as more than a poster girl for despair.
Season 4, Episode 11

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They Might Be Giants: Cultivated Eccentricity

On first listen, the music of They Might Be Giants can come across as lighthearted, even glib. Don’t be fooled.
Season 4, Episode 11

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Radnor and Lee: A Beautiful Bro-Mance

Actor/writer/director Josh Radnor and singer-songwriter Ben Lee were friends for a decade before they decided to make music together.
Season 4, Episode 10

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Amy Seiwert: Ballet's Mad Scientist

Amy Seiwert is constantly pushing against boundaries—seen and unseen.
Season 4, Episode 10

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Balkrishna Doshi: Building Compassion

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Balkrishna Doshi learned a lot about his craft as a bedridden 10-year-old.
Season 4, Episode 10

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Hayley Kiyoko: High Expectations

Hayley Kiyoko’s “overnight success” was a lifetime in the making.
Season 4, Episode 9

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Tobias Frere-Jones: A Man of Letters

Type designer Tobias Frere-Jones disagrees with your first-grader teacher.
Season 4, Episode 9

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Unique, Nézet-Séguin

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is one-of-a-kind in the world of conducting.
Season 4, Episode 9

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Marc Bamuthi Joseph: Stage, Page, Body, Mind

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a master wordsmith and a curator of ideas. He discusses his quest for a better world and shares the poems he hopes might help us get there.
Season 4, Episode 8

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Vieux Farka Touré: The Fortunate Son

Vieux Farka Touré was drawn to music because of his father, but pursued it in spite of him.
Season 4, Episode 7

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Holly Black: Architect of Magical Worlds

Readers never want to leave Holly Black’s fantastic, enchanted realms.
Season 4, Episode 7

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Taylor Mac: Incorporating Calamity

Taylor Mac prefers his theater flawed.
Season 4, Episode 7

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Erika Sanchez: Perfectly Imperfect

Erika Sanchez writes for young adults who are like she was at their age—a complex, confused outsider.
Season 4, Episode 6

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Masatoshi Izumi: The Soul of Stones

Masatoshi Izumi’s family’s relationship with stone goes back hundreds of years.
Season 4, Episode 6

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Shawn Colvin: Home From A Mission

Misery may love company, but Shawn Colvin isn’t picking up the phone.
Season 4, Episode 6

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Thi Bui: Creative Refuge(e)

Writing a graphic memoir about her family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam helped Thi Bui heal.
Season 4, Episode 5

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Kaki King: Notes and Colors

In high school, Kaki King was too scared to have actual relationships…but she could be in your band.
Season 4, Episode 5

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The Odyssey: 27 Centuries & Counting

There’s an epic poem that has survived re-reading longer than the Bible and Shakespeare—but why?
Season 4, Episode 5

Open Mike Eagle: Hip-Hope

Open Mike Eagle calls his music “art rap”—a new style of humor-infused, socially aware hip-hop.
Season 4, Episode 4

David Lang: Vanguard of the Un-Cool

Composer David Lang may be a Pulitzer Prize winner, but he’ll always think like an outsider.
Season 4, Episode 4

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Tracy K. Smith: Ghost Writing

Loss has shaped Tracy K. Smith’s perspective: as a poet, and as a person.
Season 4, Episode 4

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Robert J. Lang: Know How To Fold 'Em

Former NASA physicist Robert J. Lang finds a natural fit for his mathematical mind in the ancient art of origami.
Season 4, Episode 3

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Kory Stamper: Word By Word

Long before Kory Stamper started writing dictionaries, she was just a kid in love with language.
Season 4, Episode 3

Anthony Roth Costanzo: The Highs of Masculinity

When countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings, he confounds expectations of how a man should sound.
Season 4, Episode 3

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Our Greatest Fear

Humanity’s greatest fear is not the unknown, it’s the certainty of death. And we’ve been coping with it artistically since time immemorial.
Season 4, Halloween Special

Fear of the Known

Fear of the Known

For generations, the early 20th-century American writer H.P. Lovecraft has been terrifying readers. We find out how.
Season 4, Halloween Special

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GothiC Truth & Fiction

Goth, in all its forms, appeals to the dark side of the human spirit. But, as Tori Marchiony reports, even in the shadows, there is light.
Season 4, Halloween Special

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Tune-Yards:

Private Thoughts,

Public Person

Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards has managed to quiet the destructive voices in her head.
Season 4, Episode 2

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Bill Fontana:

Hear, Now

Bill Fontana finds musical potential in everything.
Season 4, Episode 2

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Olivia Laing:

Intimate Knowledge

Tori Marchiony spends time with Olivia Laing and discovers that her writing explores the aspects of life that are most difficult to put into words.
Season 4, Episode 2

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Jeffrey Gibson:

Icon Maker

Jeffrey Gibson’s life and work are profoundly shaped by his Native American origins.
Season 4, Episode 1

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Priscilla Renea:

Hits and Misses

Priscilla Renea went from YouTube sensation to mega-hit songwriter. She’s indefatigable, and she’s doing things her way.
Season 4, Episode 1

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David Sedaris:

This American Treasure

David Sedaris has been regaling us with tales drawn from his own life for nearly three decades—and he’s still on the hunt for fresh material.
Season 4, Episode 1