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New Letters on the Air

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Listening to New Letters on the Air is like eavesdropping on intimate conversations with favorite writers who reveal secrets about their creative methods, read a few favorite passages, and inspire the listener's imagination.

NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR is a weekly half-hour show that has been entertaining and informing audiences about contemporary writers and literature since 1977. Each week, the program focuses on a writer of poetry, fiction or essays, either in an intimate interview or in a public reading before an audience. Post-produced with narrative and music, NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR gives insight into the creative writing process and the universal stories that writers tell.

Each show is self-contained and undated, except for the occasional holiday or theme related program. 30- and 60-second produced promos are provided weekly on the PRSS promo satellite feeds and on Content Depot. Written promos are posted weekly on the DACS along with the timings and cues. Other distribution methods are available.

Though educational, NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR is not pedantic, and the conversation is often filled with laughter as authors discuss and read from their books. Our archive programs contain many Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners, along with recipients of other major literary awards. Recent guests include poets Sherman Alexie, Naomi Shihab Nye, Billy Collins, and Alicia Ostriker; dramatists August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Tony Kushner; essayists Meghan Daum, Susan Orlean, and David Sedaris; fiction writers Richard Russo, Jane Smiley, and Ha Jin. The program also features less-familiar but remarkable writers whose work and contributions are equally engaging.

"Most people have a creative streak, whether they're interested in writing or not," says Angela Elam, host of NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR. "I hope by exploring the writer's process and hearing work that captures the essence of our lives, the program will inspire listeners to do something creative in their own way."

Pieces

Caption: Dave Smith
In the other half of this conversation with Dave Smith, the author of more than 20 books of poetry, essays, memoir and fiction, he talks about the ...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: May 24, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Poet and visual artist Bianca Stone talks about her various projects, from her first full length book SOMEONE ELSE'S WEDDING VOWS to her 2016 illus...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: May 18, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Diane Williams, a three-time winner of the Pushcart Prize for Fiction is the author of eight books, and the editor of the acclaimed literary journa...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: May 11, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Jo McDougall discusses her two recent books of poetry-THE UNDISCOVERED ROOM and IN THE HOME OF THE FAMOUS DEAD:COLLECTED POEMS-which explore variou...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: May 05, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Edward Hirsch, a poet and "MacArthur genius" who was the editor of THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY 2016, talks about his best-selling book HOW TO READ A P...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: May 03, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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In front of an audience at the Kansas City Public Library, the first Chicano U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera shares poetry from his books, i...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN, WMUU-LP, and WNJR


  • Added: Apr 19, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Eleanor Wilner
We continue National Poetry Month with The Augurs: Women of an Age. This public poetry reading features a a group of women poets, all over the age ...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Apr 13, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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April is National Poetry Month, and this year, it's also the 40th anniversary of NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR We'll celebrate what T.S. Eliot called THE...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN, KUER, WNJR, WMUU-LP, KQED and more


  • Added: Apr 05, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 8
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When Sinead Morrissey won the 2013 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for her fifth book, PARALLAX, her work was then published in the U.S. pulling from all f...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Mar 30, 2017
  • Length: 30:00
  • Purchases: 1
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When Sinead Morrissey won the 2013 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for her fifth book, PARALLAX, her work was then published in the U.S. pulling from all f...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Mar 24, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, considered one of the country's leading poets writing all in Irish, has won numerous awards for her books of poetry and essays...

  • Added: Mar 16, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
Caption: Diane Glancy
Writers Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez discuss co-editing the anthology THE WORLD IS ONE PLACE: NATIVE AMERICAN POETS VISIT THE MIDDLE EAST. Glan...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Mar 14, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Black History Month concludes with the second half of our conversation with former California Poet Laureate Al Young. He shares more from his book ...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Mar 07, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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We continue Black History Month with the first part of our conversation with Al Young. The Former California Poet Laureate has penned 25 books and ...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Feb 24, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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We continue Black History Month with Phyllis Becker. Coordinator of the Riverfront Reading Series in Kansas City, her own publications include the ...

Bought by WVAS, WNJR, and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Feb 16, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3
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As we approach the Academy Awards, there’s lots of buzz about the film, FENCES. The screenplay is written by the late August Wilson, adapted from ...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Feb 09, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Poet Dan Jaffe is the guest co-editor of the most recent issue of NEW LETTERS magazine that focuses on jazz. Jaffe, who has always combined his poe...

Bought by KFCF FM and WNJR


  • Added: Feb 03, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Irish poet Anne Marie Fyfe explores parallels in her poetry with work of the renowned William Butler Yeats for the "Mapping Yeats Symposium" at the...

Bought by WMUU-LP and WNJR


  • Added: Jan 26, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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A National Book Critics Circle Award winner, Rodney Jones reads from and talks about the shaping of his book of selected poetry, SALVATION BLUES: O...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Jan 19, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Alice Friman reads from her most recent of her six poetry collections THE VIEW FROM SATURN, VINCULUM, and THE BOOK OF THE ROTTEN DAUGHTER. She talk...

Bought by WNJR, WMUU-LP, and WNJR


  • Added: Jan 11, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3