The Pulitzer Prize winner is best known for sharing intimate chapters of her personal life, while shedding light on the black experience in America. She's the first African-American to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate. She speaks with host Michel Martin about her latest work and life, and offers wisdom to young poets.
In her weekly commentary, host Michel Martin shares that to her chagrin, her stepdaughters proposed to skip the china and use plastic plates for their holiday feast. The episode made Martin empathize with the deficit-cutters in Congress, and consider how tough it is to change the status quo until good-willed people choose to do so.
And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Here, once again, is Ammad Omar, editor at TELL ME MORE. Welcome back, Ammad. What do you have for us?
AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Well, Michel, we're digging really deep into the mail bag today for some of our best listener interaction of the year, but we're going to go into the virtual mailbox, take a look at some of those stories that got a big response on Facebook, Twitter, email and our website.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We cannot say goodbye to 2011 without asking the Barbershop guys to give us their final thoughts on the year.
So, sitting in the chairs for the final 2011 shape-up are author Jimi Izrael, civil rights attorney and author Arsalan Iftikhar, Sports Illustrated reporter Pablo Torre and Republican strategist and former White House aide Ron Christie.
Take it, Jimi.
JIMI IZRAEL: Thanks, Michel. Hey, what's up? Welcome to the shop. How we doing?
Host Michel Martin looks at some of the year's top political moments with the 'Tell Me Awards.' Who are the winners and losers? Nominees range from Tim Geithner to the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. Martin talks with journalism professor Cynthia Tucker and U.S. News and World Report columnist Mary Kate Cary.