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."

Series

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5 Pieces

NOTE: ALL EPISODES CAN STAND ALONE; NO OBLIGATION TO RUN THE ENTIRE SERIES. This five-episode series of one-hour programs features 17 of the men and women who have served as United States Poet Laureates over the past four decades, from the late Howard Nemerov (1963-64) to Donald Hall (beginning 2006). These conversations and readings of poetry vary from humorous to heavy, but are always thought-provoking, and are perfect for National Poetry Month in April, though they can be used anytime.


Pieces

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We continue Native American Heritage Month with Sherwin Bitsui, who reads from FLOOD SONG, his collection of poetry that won the American Book Awar...

Bought by KMUN, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo., and GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Nov 23, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Diane Glancy
We continue Native American Heritage Month with Cherokee writers, Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez, who discuss co-editing the anthology THE WORLD ...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio), WNJR, and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Nov 12, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3
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We begin Native American Heritage Month with Cherokee citizen, Kim Shuck, the author of the recently released poetry collection, WHOSE WATER. San F...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Nov 05, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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A decades-long resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Randall Freisinger gives insight into the often wintery world of his surroundings and shares...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Oct 29, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil is a first-generation American, whose parents are from India and the Philippines. She pays tribute to them with quirky,...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Oct 22, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Poet and muralist Jose Faus was born in Bogota, Colombia but grew up in Kansas, just across the Missouri border. In this interview in front of an a...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Oct 15, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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National Hispanic Heritage Month continues with Xanath Caraza, a multi-International Latino Book Award winner. In part one of this interview, she t...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Oct 07, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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National Hispanic Heritage Month continues with the first Chicano U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera who served from 2015-17. With the recent...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio), WETS, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., WMUU-LP, and WNJR


  • Added: Sep 30, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 5
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National Poetry Month continues with Ada Limon (lee-moan), a great poet to also mark Earth Day. In this 2020 reading at Rockhurst University for th...

  • Added: Sep 22, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
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Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Peter Balakian talks about his 2010 book, ZIGGURAT-- a contemplation on architecture, visual arts, his personal experi...

Bought by KMXT


  • Added: Sep 15, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1