Obamahope blurs
Visitors walk past Shepard Fairey's portrait of U.S. President Barack Obama, based on a photograph by Mannie Garcia, at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington on January 19, 2013, two days before Obama's second inauguration. - 

Think back four years ago.

There was a word that became intertwined with President Obama’s campaign and first days in office. Hope. President Obama had his second inauguration this week. And so we decided to ask folks who wrestle with words for a living a question: What does hope mean now?

That’s a question we’re exploring in this special podcast. Hope as a word, as a symbol, as an experience.

Listen to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith talk about hope becoming separate from action. Hear author Margaret Atwood share the questions that hope raises. And maybe hope isn’t just about the economy or politics, as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides remarks. It is not about complicated concepts. It could be about love. Or it is about living in a city of second chances, as author and journalist Hector Tobar says.