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: 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 15, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Diane Glancy
Writers Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez discuss co-editing the anthology THE WORLD IS ONE PLACE: NATIVE AMERICAN POETS VISIT THE MIDDLE EAST. Glan...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Dec 08, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Poet Michelle Boisseau died November 15, 2017 from cancer at age 62. In this interview conducted earlier this year at the Kansas City Public Libra...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Nov 28, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Geoffrey Brock
In part two of this interview with husband and wife writers, poet Geoffrey Brock and novelist Padma Viswanathan, the couple discusses their shared ...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Nov 08, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Padma Viswanathan
Novelist Padma Viswanathan, a 2017 recipient of the Porter Fund Literary Prize, and poet Geoffrey Brock, discuss how they balance their writing car...

  • Added: Nov 01, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
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National Hispanic Heritage Month continues with a look at Puerto Rico’s culture and stories through the eyes of the late Judith Ortiz Cofer. In the...

  • Added: Oct 12, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
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Inspired by the documentary THE VIETNAM WAR, we return to an archive interview with the poet John Balaban, who served as a conscientious objector i...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: Oct 04, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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National Hispanic Heritage month continues with former California Supreme Court attorney, Michael Nava. The author of now eight novels in the Henry...

Bought by WNJR and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Sep 27, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
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We begin National Hispanic Heritage month with the Past American Voice of Judith Ortiz Cofer, who influenced and mentored Latina writers around the...

  • Added: Sep 20, 2017
  • Length: 29:00
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NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR pays tribute to the Past American Voice of John Ashbery. The poet, critic, and translator, who died on September 3rd at age ...

  • Added: Sep 13, 2017
  • Length: 29:00