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.
John Mellencamp joins Terry Gross to talk religion, politics and his album Life, Death, Love and Freedom. And he performs solo acoustic versions of four songs from the album from his Indiana home studio.
Long a standout purveyor of rootsy, direct "heartland" rock, Mellencamp is in the midst of a folksy, pessimistic streak on his new album. He speaks to host Terry Gross about the spare sound and dark themes of Life, Death, Love and Freedom.
Richard Ford, author of The Sportswriter and Independence Day, has written a new novel entitled The Lay of the Land. Independence Day was the first book to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.
Musa Mayer is a breast cancer survivor and is the author of several books about breast cancer, including Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease and After Breast Cancer: Answers to the Questions You're Afraid to Ask. She has also written Examining Myself: One Woman's Story of Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery.