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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New Letters on the Air features Glenn North, the inaugural Poet Laureate of the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District. This Cave Canem fellow shares...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2020
  • Length: 29:00
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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CHEERS TO ALL THE YEARS! Before we roar into the 20s, we look back at our decades of publishing magazines, books and radio shows. This compilation ...

  • Added: Jan 02, 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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Molly Peacock gives an in-depth look into her latest work, THE ANALYST, which traces her decades long journey with her personal psychologist throug...

  • Added: Dec 10, 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 continue National Novel Writing Month with NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author, Meg Wolitzer. She reads from her most recent novel, THE FEMALE PER...

  • Added: Nov 19, 2019
  • Length: 29:00