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: R. Dwayne Betts of The Symphony Poets
The Symphony is a group of African-American poets originally comprised of John Murillo, R. Reginald Dwayne Betts, Randall Horton, and Marcus Jackso...

Bought by WNJR and KUFM - Montana Public Radio


  • Added: Feb 11, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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In this archive program, Ben Lerner, who was recently named a 2015 MacArthur "Genius" Fellow, discusses his first two books, THE LICHTENBERG FIGURE...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Jan 27, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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A 2015 MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Ellen Bryant Voigt talks with fellow poet and professor, Michelle Boisseau, about her collection HEADWATERS. Voigt...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Jan 21, 2016
  • Length: 30:30
  • Purchases: 1
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As a poet, teacher, and heart transplant recipient, Dean Young realizes that mankind's greatest achievements are the intangible ones. Young, the a...

Bought by WJCU


  • Added: Jan 14, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Tony Kushner
Pulitzer Prize winners Tony Kushner, Jane Smiley, Richard Russo, as well as Sherman Alexie, Naomi Shihab Nye, and the late August Wilson share some...

  • Added: Jan 07, 2016
  • Length: 30:00
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A longtime resident of Kansas and professor at Washburn University, Thomas Fox Averill discusses his award-winning novel A CAROL DICKENS CHRISTMAS,...

Bought by WMUU-LP


  • Added: Dec 23, 2015
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Philip Lee Williams talks about how science, literature, music and visual art have helped shape his writing life. In this first half of a two part ...

Bought by WMUU-LP


  • Added: Dec 18, 2015
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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We conclude Native American Heritage Month with Greg Field and Denise Low. Drawing upon their Native heritage, Greg Field reads from his 2014 book ...

Bought by WNMU-FM, WMUU-LP, and WNJR


  • Added: Dec 02, 2015
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3
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National Novel Writing Month and Native American Heritage month come together again in the work of Linda Rodriguez. She talks about how her mystery...

Bought by WNMU-FM, WNJR, and KRZA


  • Added: Nov 18, 2015
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 3
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We honor Native American Heritage Month and Veteran's Day with Gerald Vizenor. Raised on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, Vizenor at age 1...

Bought by WNMU-FM, RadioFreePalmer, WCAI / WNAN, and WNJR


  • Added: Nov 06, 2015
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 4