Zach Houston makes a living on the streets of San Francisco by composing poems on a manual typewriter. Give him a topic, and he'll pound out a poem in a matter of minutes — hopefully for a donation that will help him stay in business.
In his new book, Heaven on Earth, English barrister Sadakat Kadri describes how early Islamic scholars codified — and then modified — the Shariah laws that would govern how Muslim people lead their daily lives. He then reflects on the present day, describing how today's religious scholars interpret the Shariah.
Tania Head was one of the most visible survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks. She'd been in the south tower of the World Trade Center, lost her fiance in the north tower, and devoted her life to getting recognition for survivors. Just one problem: Her entire story was fake.
Americans are still as religious as ever, says New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. It's the churches and institutions that have declined. In his latest book, Bad Religion, Douthat argues that the U.S. become a nation of heretics.
In a new book, Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine, Harvard entomologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki documents his travels, from New Guinea to New Zealand and beyond, looking for organisms whose genes can tell us something about conditions on Earth millions of years ago.
"Poetry holds the knowledge that we are alive and that we know we're going to die," poet Marie Howe tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. One of Howe's most famous poems, "What the Living Do," was recently included in The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry.
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