Colin Dwyer | KERA News

Colin Dwyer

Less than a week after his election, Donald Trump has begun to fill out the team he plans to bring with him to the White House. The president-elect announced Sunday that he has selected Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to serve as chief of staff in his incoming administration.

In the same announcement, Priebus' appointment shared top billing with the news that Trump campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president.

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

From a group of 40, the finalists for the National Book Awards have been whittled to just half that number. The National Book Foundation released its shortlists Thursday for its annual prize in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.

Say one thing for certain: The lists don't lack for leading lights.

When President Obama doled out the 2015 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals on Thursday, plenty of the artists and arts patrons he draped with awards had familiar names — including Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Terry Gross and nearly two dozen others.

From the lingering sins of a nation's snarled roots to the complexities of mental illness and even to the colorful quest for a name of one's own, the books that round out this year's Kirkus Prize shortlists won't let you easily forget history — on whatever scale it's defined.

It was the night of the small-screen giants. And none stood taller at the 2016 Emmys than the HBO juggernauts Game of Thrones and Veep, which won for best drama and comedy series, respectively. The People v. O.J. Simpson also won the Emmy for outstanding limited series.

Game of Thrones and VEEP may have pulled off repeat wins at Sunday's Emmy Awards, but there was also plenty of room for fresh faces in the winner's circle.

The U.S. has halted an attack in eastern Syria amid fears that the airstrike hit Syrian soldiers in the region on Saturday. The attack, which had been targeting Islamic State militants, hit Syrian soldiers instead, according to the Russian military.

"The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military," U.S. Central Command announced in a statement.

And so the opening salvo of the National Book Awards has been launched ... gradually.

Over the past four days, the National Book Foundation has been rolling out the lists of nominees for its prestigious literary prize in waves — beginning the week by revealing the nominees for its young people's literature, nonfiction and poetry prizes. On Thursday, the foundation capped the multiday rollout with the release of its longlist of 10 nominees for the fiction prize.

Join me, if you will, on a brief trip down memory lane — back to Wednesday, when authorities told residents of a small Colorado town that their tap water had been laced with THC. At the time, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said that multiple tests of a local well had turned up "presumptive positive" for the compound, best known as the mind-altering component in marijuana.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the latest episode of the Invisibilia podcast and program, which is broadcast on participating public radio stations.

Walking among the California redwoods, drifting blank-brained on a break from college, I got to thinking about shoes. I can't say why, exactly. Perhaps it was because they were touching my feet.

Less than 24 hours after a truck sped down more than a mile of a beachside promenade in Nice, France, claiming the lives of at least 84 people and wounding many others, details are beginning to surface about the victims of the attack.

All five of those killed Thursday night at the Dallas protest were law enforcement officers — four of whom served with the Dallas Police Department, while a fifth worked for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART. That DART officer has been identified by the department as Brent Thompson.

A planned white nationalist rally unraveled into violence in Sacramento, as counter-demonstrators clashed with the gathering just outside the California Capitol. At least 10 victims have been hospitalized with what the Sacramento Fire Department characterized as "critical trauma stab wounds."

Officials say many others suffered minor cuts, scrapes and bruises.

The photograph has been ingrained in American culture since almost the moment it was taken — a steadfast presence in high school textbooks and an enduring symbol of U.S. perseverance. But it appears we've been wrong about Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer Prize-winning image of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, Japan, at least in one very important respect.

One of those six men has been misidentified for decades.

It has been nearly a month now since National Poetry Month wrapped up, but don't let the calendar fool you: All Things Considered still has some unfinished business with the month that was.

That's because, just a few weeks ago, NPR's Michel Martin checked in with the Words Unlocked poetry contest. The competition — launched in 2013 by the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings — drew more than 1,000 poem submissions from students in juvenile correctional facilities across the country.

Exaggerator has taken home the second gem in horse racing's triple crown. The colt won a mud-filled Preakness Stakes on Saturday, handing rival Nyquist the first loss of his career and ending his shot at a triple crown.

It wasn't an easy win for Exaggerator, though. For much of the race, the colt trailed not only Nyquist but Uncle Lino, as well. As in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, Exaggerator mounted a last-minute bid to take the lead; unlike that last race, however, Exaggerator finished the job.

Before the final match of the season could even get underway Sunday, Manchester United's fans were leaving the team's stadium in droves. Local police oversaw the mass evacuation of the soccer team's Old Trafford stadium, prompted by reports of a suspicious package found in the stands.

Now, Greater Manchester Police say that item — which had been described as an "incredibly realistic-looking explosive device" — was a training device.

Nearly one year since American Pharoah made history, Nyquist has embarked on a star-making turn of his own at Churchill Downs. The thoroughbred has won the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

The colt beat out 19 other competitors over the course of a hectic mile and a quarter, crossing the finish line about a body length ahead of Exaggerator.

The way Jimmy Santiago Baca tells it, poetry saved his life — but he's not speaking in hyperbole. Long before the poet won an American Book Award, Baca was in prison on a drug conviction, where he was facing down a prison-yard fight with another inmate.

Baca sought padding however he could get it.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Time now for more of your poems. And guess who's back with me - Colin Dwyer, NPR digital producer and the curator of our Twitter poetry call out for this month of April.

Hello, Colin.

COLIN DWYER, BYLINE: Hello.

The National Book Foundation announced Wednesday that it will soon have a new leader at the helm. Lisa Lucas, the 36-year-old publisher of Guernica magazine, is set to become only the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which oversees the annual National Book Awards.

Peyton Manning is once more on top of the world. The Denver Broncos quarterback — a future Hall of Famer in what may be his final season — is once more a Super Bowl champion. The Broncos have beaten the Carolina Panthers, 24-10.

The game fell well short of a quarterback duel, though. Again, it was the Denver defense that led the way, harassing Cam Newton, forcing turnover after turnover and even tacking on a score of their own.

It was a tale of two defenses — and two very divergent outcomes — in the NFL's conference championship games Sunday.

In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers stormed their way to a commanding victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Earlier in the day, in the AFC, the Denver Broncos narrowly survived a late-game push from the New England Patriots to emerge with a win.

The victories mean conference titles for the Panthers and the Broncos — and, more importantly, a trip to the Super Bowl for both teams.

With less than two weeks to go until the Iowa caucus, Donald Trump remains characteristically confident about his chances. In fact, the Republican front-runner is so confident, he says his supporters would stay loyal even if he happened to commit a capital offense.

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" Trump remarked at a campaign stop at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. "It's, like, incredible."

At a ritzy Sunday night ceremony, The Martian emerged with the Golden Globe for best comedy motion picture.

The Revenant followed, taking home the award for best picture in the drama category.

Meanwhile, on the TV side of the ceremony, Mozart in the Jungle and Mr. Robot snagged the top prizes.

But that's not all: More than two dozen Golden Globes were distributed Sunday night.

Below is the full list of winners (in bold), coupled with the fellow nominees they beat out for the prize.

The Mexican government shocked the world Friday, revealing that it had caught drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán nearly six months after his second escape from prison. On Saturday night, it was Sean Penn's turn to deliver a shock: In Rolling Stone, the actor revealed that he had spoken with the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel during his time as a fugitive.

Shortlists for the National Book Awards went public Wednesday, halving the number of nominees to just 20 finalists. Among the books that have survived the second round of cuts, a few clear favorites are beginning to emerge — while others have been displaced by less familiar names.

The full lists of finalists can be found below.

Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET

Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.

Alexievich won "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," according to the citation for the award.

Out of 1,032 books, only 18 remain.

Judges for the Kirkus Prize have whittled a vast list of eligible entrants down to just six finalists each in three categories: fiction, nonfiction and young readers' literature. The shortlists for the literary award, now in its second year, boast a healthy mix — between Americans and writers in translation, second-timers and old hands, headline-grabbers and small presses.

And that's not to mention the picture books.

Pages