New Letters on the Air

GroupAccount image

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

Series image
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

Piece image
Multi-award winning short story writer, Amina Gautier, shares excerpts from her 2018 PEN/Malamud Award-winning, THE LOSS OF ALL LOST THINGS, as par...

  • Added: Jul 17, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
George Saunders, the renowned short story writer, talks about his debut novel, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, winner of Britain's Man Booker Prize for best ...

  • Added: Jul 10, 2019
  • 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: Jul 03, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
In the second part of a conversation with poet and "MacArthur genius" Edward Hirsch, he discusses how the sudden death of his son inspired his awar...

Bought by WMUU-LP


  • Added: Jun 26, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Arab-American writer Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis and is now a long-time resident of San Antonio and the 2018 winner of the Texas Institu...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
Joaquín Zihuatanejo discusses poems based on life in his hometown of East Dallas. He also talks about his early life growing up without his father ...

  • Added: Jun 12, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
With Walt Whitman's 200th birthday on May 31st, we're revisiting the time just before the Civil War with Justin Martin's book, REBEL SOULS: WALT WH...

Bought by WNJR


  • Added: May 31, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Listen to Vietnam veteran Tim O'Brien at the Kansas City Public Library, as he discusses experiences that fueled his collection of short stories, T...

  • Added: May 23, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
A lawyer-turned-poet and twice a finalist for the National Book Award, Monica Youn reveals why she felt the need to leave the legal field for creat...

  • Added: May 23, 2019
  • Length: 29:00
Piece image
Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess reads from his multi-award winning poetry book, OLIO, delving into the voices of African American creatives in ...

  • Added: May 17, 2019
  • Length: 29:00