New Letters on the Air

GroupAccount image

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

Series image
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

Caption: PRX default Piece image
This week on NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR... Anthony Grooms is a two-time winner of the Lillian Smith Book Prize, given to writers who tackle issues of ...

  • Added: Jan 17, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
Caption: Tony Barnstone
The son of a poet and visual artist, Tony Barnstone was surrounded by great works of art, literature, and philosophy as a child and like his sister...

Bought by WETS and WJCU


  • Added: Jan 13, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Next time on NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR, hear Annie Barrows, the co-author of the international best seller and book club favorite, THE GUERNSEY LITERA...

Bought by KAAD-LP


  • Added: Jan 07, 2022
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: PRX default Piece image
On the next classic NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR, we'll hear from the playwright, screenwriter and novelist who was recently named the State Author of Ne...

  • Added: Dec 31, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
Thomas Fox Averill discusses his award-winning novel, A CAROL DICKENS CHRISTMAS, that weaves the influences of Charles Dickens and traditional Vict...

Bought by WMUU-LP


  • Added: Dec 23, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: PRX default Piece image
This week, NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR features the writer made famous on public radio with the airing of his “Santaland Diaries.” In this 1997 intervie...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
Both Lemony Snicket (the pen name of Daniel Handler) and Kate DiCamillo are authors of children's literature whose work has multigenerational appea...

  • Added: Dec 09, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
Caption: Chanukah Tales
Writer Marilyn Kallet reads from her book, ONE FOR EACH NIGHT: CHANUKAH TALES AND RECIPES, a collection of eight food inspired tales that explain ...

Bought by KMUN, KREV-LP, WNJR, and WJCU


  • Added: Dec 03, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 4
Piece image
NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR celebrates the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, Martin Espada, whose new book FLOATERS tackles the social issue...

Bought by WCPN and WNJR


  • Added: Nov 26, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
We honor Native American Heritage Month with U.S. veteran and writer, Gerald Vizenor. Raised on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, Vizenor a...

Bought by KVNF, WNMU-FM, RadioFreePalmer, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., and WNJR


  • Added: Nov 17, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 5