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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Taiwanese-American poet, Shin Yu(Yee) Pai(Pie), reads from her seventh collection, ADAMANTINE, and her earlier work, SIGHTINGS, in which she not on...

Bought by WMUU-LP and WJCU


  • Added: May 19, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Beth Ann Fennelly, the Mississippi Poet Laureate 2016-21 discusses her roles as poet, teacher, mother and wife in creative partnership with novelis...

  • Added: May 14, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
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In this interview at the Kansas City Public Library as part of Park University's Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, Patrick Rosal talks about the impetus...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: May 06, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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We're celebrating National Poetry Month with a nod to what Missouri-born poet T.S. Eliot called THE CRUELEST MONTH. Listen to ten poets, reflectin...

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


  • Added: Apr 21, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 9
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We continue National Poetry Month with a special program about four important feminist poets who led the the next generations into the 21st century...

Bought by KBIA, WNMU-FM, WDCB, GCR (Global Community Radio), WNMU-FM and more


  • Added: Apr 07, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 17
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U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (2019-2021) talks about her Native American heritage and reads poetry from her multi-award-winning book IN MAD LOVE AN...

Bought by KBIA, GCR (Global Community Radio), WNMU-FM, and KWMR


  • Added: Apr 01, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 4
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Poet Victoria Chang talks about approaching poetry from the business world, and the influence of her Taiwanese immigrant parents on her work. She ...

  • Added: Mar 24, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
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Poet and essayist Kathryn Nuernberger discusses how she once shied away from being a "woman writer" and why she now embraces it, as she reads from ...

  • Added: Mar 16, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
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In part one of this interview, Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort reads from her early books, including FACTORY OF TEARS, in both English and Belarusian...

Bought by WNJR and WJCU


  • Added: Mar 09, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Patricia Smith, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellow and the 2018 winner of the coveted Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, is now the 2021 Ruth...

  • Added: Feb 28, 2022
  • Length: 29:00