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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Our SAVE AMERICA'S TREASURES selection this month features a 2001 public reading by Maxine Kumin, who shares poetry on a a variety of topics from b...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Aug 14, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Peggy Shumaker
Peggy Shumaker, Alaska's State Writer Laureate, 2010-2012, is adept at capturing the beauty of landscapes, both internal and external. She reads fr...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Jul 24, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: James Richardson
Poet James Richardson has called himself an "accidental aphorist," but his well-crafted works are no accident. He reads from his 2010 book, BY THE ...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Jul 18, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Two of Daniel Woodrell's eight novels are now acclaimed films. The 1998 movie RIDE WITH THE DEVIL was adapted from his novel WOE TO LIVE ON, and th...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Jun 28, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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This month's Save America's Treasures Archive selection features the perfect poet to hear around Memorial Day--the late John Ciardi, who was a gunn...

Bought by KMUN and WJCU


  • Added: May 31, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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After working for years as a corporate lawyer in England, Alex George moved to the states with his family and opened his own law practice in mid-Mi...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: May 15, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Pakistani-American writer Ayad Akhtar has made a living as a screenwriter, but 2012 brought him notice as both a playwright and a novelist. He deb...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: May 01, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Terrance Hayes and Yona Harvey
African-American poet and National Book Award-winning author of LIGHTHEAD, Terrance Hayes and his wife, Yona Harvey, author of the 2013 release, HE...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Apr 19, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Natasha Trethewey
Natasha Trethewey is currently serving as both the Poet Laureate of the United States and of her home state of Mississippi. Trethewey discusses he...

Bought by KQED and WJCU


  • Added: Apr 03, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Gloria Vando
Mother-daughter poets, Gloria Vando and Anika Paris, read from their book, WOVEN VOICES, which includes the poem that inspired the musical drama, T...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Mar 27, 2013
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1