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

Caption: (Photo by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0)
Novelist, retired Princeton professor, and mountain climber, Russell Banks discusses his recent memoir, VOYAGER. Interviewed by his former student ...

  • Added: Jan 14, 2020
  • 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: Jan 07, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
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We feature literature and commentary about the December holiday season from our rich archives. The late Rabbi Gerald Kane discusses the origins of ...

  • Added: Dec 23, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
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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...

  • Added: Dec 17, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
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A member of the Navajo Nation, Bojan Louis is a poet, fiction writer, essayist and author of the 2018 American Book Award-winning poetry collection...

Bought by WMMT


  • Added: Dec 02, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Stewart O'Nan has written over 20 books as varied as the best-selling novel, SNOW ANGELS (now a film) to the non-fiction book co-written with Steph...

  • Added: Nov 25, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
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We mark Veteran's Day with two interviews featuring Alan Proctor. His book, THE SWEDEN FILE: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN EX-PATRIATE, was named one of th...

  • Added: Nov 12, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Caption: Photo by David Shankbone CC BY 3.0
We kick off National Novel Writing Month with Laura Kasischke. The National Book Critics Circle Award-winning poet discusses her journey to writing...

  • Added: Nov 05, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
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Poet Randall Freisinger is the author of five collections of poetry, including his 2019 poetry collection WINDTHROW & SALVAGE. He reads from early...

  • Added: Nov 05, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
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SHORT DESCRIPTION: National Book Critics Circle Award-winning poet Laura Kasischke explores topics from motherhood to beauty queens in her 2017 boo...

  • Added: Oct 23, 2019
  • Length: 29:00