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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Gary Ferguson speaks about wilderness, loss, grief, and the symbolism of loons as reads from his memoir, THE CARRY HOME: LESSONS FROM THE AMERICAN ...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Nov 09, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Poet Adam Zagajewski (zah-gah-yev-ski), the 2016 recipient of the Griffin Lifetime Achievement Prize for Excellence in Poetry, was born in Lwow, Po...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Oct 26, 2016
  • Length: 30:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Claudia Rankine, recently named a 2016 MacArthur Genius Fellow, discusses the motivation for writing her National Book Critics Circle Award-winning...

Bought by WJSU and WNJR


  • Added: Oct 19, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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As National Hispanic Heritage Month is concluding, we also mark October's LGBT History Month with Rigoberto Gonzalez, the 2015 winner of The Bill W...

Bought by KFCF FM, WNJR, KRZA, and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Oct 12, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 4
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For National Hispanic Heritage Month, we revisit Benjamin Alire Saenz, who is known for his award-winning fiction, young adult novels, and poetry....

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Sep 28, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Discover the poetic variety of Missouri in this special program featuring readings from the Midwest Poets Series by three very different Missouri p...

Bought by WNJR and WJCU


  • Added: Sep 14, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Scotland native Robin Robertson talks with New Letters Magazine editor Robert Stewart. Known for his translations of ancient Greek works, they dis...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Aug 17, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Winner of the 2012 Bellday Poetry Prize for his fourth book, PIE 8, Dennis Finnell discusses his unique approach to composing this work and how it ...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Aug 03, 2016
  • Length: 30:00
  • Purchases: 1
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National Magazine Award winning essayist Thomas E. Kennedy discusses his approach to essay writing, particularly in his collection RIDING THE DOG: ...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Jul 28, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Father and daughter poets Willis and Aliki Barnstone share their work, talk about how they influence each other, and read from poems old and new.

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Jul 22, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1