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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While at the Woodneath Library Center, novelist Larry Watson reads from his tenth book, AS GOOD AS GONE, now out in paperback. He reveals how cowbo...

  • Added: Aug 15, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
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We travel to the Virginia tidewater region with poet Dave Smith, who grew up along that coast. Though he has lived and taught elsewhere, his many b...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Aug 08, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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We continue our summer travels with native American poet Deborah Miranda, who reads from her multi-genre book, BAD INDIANS: A TRIBAL MEMOIR, winne...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Aug 01, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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In this interview with Philip Lee Williams, winner of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Writers Association, he discusses his mo...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Jul 25, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Poet Susan Aizenberg discusses the use of fiction within poetry, admitting that she draws from real life, but notes that there is a distinction bet...

Bought by KFCF FM and WNJR


  • Added: Jul 18, 2018
  • 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: Jul 11, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Daniel Magariel, a Kansas City native, is a young writer who hit it big with his debut novel, ONE OF THE BOYS. A NEW YORK TIMES Editor’s Choice in ...

  • Added: Jul 03, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
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Guggenheim Fellow Charles Harper Webb reads from his collection of essays, A MILLION MFAS ARE NOT ENOUGH and shares poetry from his earlier books, ...

  • Added: Jun 27, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
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Arab-American writer Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis and is now a long-time resident of Texas. In the second part of this conversation, Nye ...

  • Added: Jun 20, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
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NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR continues National Pride Month with Guggenheim fellow, Jericho Brown, who describes the joy he finds in writing poetry and h...

Bought by WNMU-FM and WNJR


  • Added: Jun 13, 2018
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2