Broadcast journalist Robert MacNeil is producing a new television series called The Story of English, which examines how the language is changing. His experience working in three Anglophone countries--Canada, England, and the United States--has given him unique insights into the subject. He joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about his experiences as a journalist in conflict zones, as well as his start in television broadcasting.
Ethnomusicologist Steven Feld shares soundscapes of the daily life of indigenous rain forest communities in New Guinea. He explains the importance of song as a mode of communication in the cultures he studied.
Poet Gwendolyn Brooks was, in 1954, the first black person to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Brooks has written over fifteen books, her poetry has been widely anthologized, and has received over forty honorary doctorates. Brooks is also the Poet Laureate of Illinois. Brooks is in the are to deliver the "Marion Moore Poetry Reading" at Bryn Mawr College. Brooks discusses her career and reads some of her poetry.
Jim Quinn is a journalist and writer who is currently the restaurant critic for New York's SoHo News. He is also known for his writings on language and the Philadelphia dialect. His new book "American Tongue in Cheek: A Populist Guide to Our Language," promises to defend all the language errors "you want to stamp out." He joins the show to discuss language and answer listener calls.