Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist William Stanley Merwin was known in the 1960s as an anti-war poet. Now an environmental activist, Merwin has published a new book of poems, The Shadow of Sirius, which addresses themes of memory and mortality.
Think of everything your brain processes in a single day: your breakfast, a stain on a book cover, a meeting at work. If you remembered all those things, your brain would reach capacity. Author and neuroscientist Penelope Lewis says sleep helps sort through the memories that are worth keeping.
For nearly 50 years, neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin worked with Henry Molaison, who lost most of his memory in 1953 after experimental surgery for severe seizures. Their work together taught us much of what we know today about memory, and she writes about Mollison and their work in her new book.
On Thursday, W.S. Merwin was named the 17th poet laureate of the United States. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, known for his environmental activism, joined Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 2008 for a discussion about memory, mortality and his writing process