One of America's most respected and enduring poets, W.S. Merwin, has died. Merwin's poetry is known for its mystery and wonder, and he was twice named the U.S. poet laureate. He also won a National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes.
Merwin died today in his sleep at his home in Hawaii. His death was announced by his publisher, Copper Canyon Press. He was 91 years old.
When was the last time you picked up a book and really looked at how it was made: the typeface, the feel of the paper, the way the words look on the page? Today, when people can read on their phones, some books never even make it to paper.
Once, bookmaking was an art as refined and distinct as the writing it presents. And in some places, like Larkspur Press in Kentucky, it still is.
A legendary airplane that helped America win World War II is being reborn at age 75. The B-17 bomber "Memphis Belle" flew 25 missions against Nazi Germany and then came home to help sell war bonds and raise spirits.
In recent years, the Belle has been undergoing a patient and precise restoration at the National Museum of the Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio. I went to see the work in progress and talk with some of the many technicians and volunteers.
The young women in this story have labels. Three labels: Single, mother, college student. They're raising a child and getting an education — three of the 2.6 million unmarried parents attending U.S. colleges and universities.
Getting a degree is hard enough for anyone, but these students face extra challenges. And when it comes to helping out with their needs, Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., is considered one of the best in the country.
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Summer is a season for festivals, and today, we're taking you to one in southern West Virginia. It's an annual festival of old-time music. People from around the country and world come to participate. NPR's Noah Adams takes us there.
"Knee-high by the Fourth of July" is an old favorite saying, when you'd drive past a field of corn out in the country. And many of the old favorite varieties, called heirloom corn, have lots of new friends.
In recent years, seed companies have been reporting big sales numbers for these varieties. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri says sales are "skyrocketing" — a fitting verb for the fireworks holiday.
A trusty Boeing 707 is inside a new home at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The plane has graceful lines of color: white, blues and gold. In large letters: "United States of America."
Nowhere does it say Air Force One — that call sign is only used when a president is actually on board. The permanent tail number is SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000. Historian Jeff Underwood used to pronounce the tail number, like you would say the number 26,000, but he was wrong.
Marietta College has earned a global reputation for its program in petroleum engineering, drawing students from as far away as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and China to this liberal arts school in southeast Ohio.
In the past, nearly every one of the program's graduates has scored a good job in the surging energy field. But not this year. As the price of oil has plummeted, companies are cutting back on production and expansion, and cutting into Marietta's placement rate.
Thanksgiving feasts are always in need of something special.
Can a sprinkle of artisanal salt noticeably pump up the experience?
Let's meet a new Appalachian salt-maker in West Virginia and find out.
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works is nestled in the Kanawha River Valley, just southeast of the capital city of Charleston in the small town of Malden (not to be confused with Maldon, a sea salt brand from the U.K.). It's mostly pasture land, with cows nearby.
Here's what might have sounded like a pretty shaky business plan for a neighborhood pizza cafe: "We'll only be open one day a week. Won't do any advertising. No prices on the menus. We'll serve mostly what we grow in the garden – and no pepperoni. And we'll look on this work as an 'experiment of faith.'"
That's what Erin and Robert Lockridge said two years ago, when they decided to open a pizza place called Moriah Pie in Norwood, a small town part of greater Cincinnati.
This story began in 2012 while I was working on a story in Iowa. I was taking pictures on a foggy afternoon and saw a young girl on a blue bicycle, a newspaper bag slung across her shoulder. She stopped and held up a copy of The Daily Times Herald.
These days, most newspapers are delivered by fast-moving adults driving vans and trucks. I guess I didn't know that kids still had paper routes, anywhere.