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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National Hispanic Heritage Month continues with this "Classic" program featuring Ada Limón (lee-moan). In this 2020 reading at Rockhurst University...

Bought by WNMU-FM


  • Added: Oct 14, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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We continue National Hispanic Heritage Month with essayist and fiction writer, Sergio Troncoso. A 2020 International Book Award winner for Best Col...

Bought by XRAY.fm


  • Added: Oct 07, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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We celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month with the second part of our interview with poet Xanath (shaw-nath) Caraza, who is a finalist for the ...

  • Added: Sep 30, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
Caption: PRX default Piece image
This Classic NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR features a look back at the importance of poetry after 9/11 with readings by Arab-American Naomi Shihab Nye, no...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Sep 17, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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The rigors and joys of work are celebrated in this special anthology program entitled WORKING CLASS POETS. B.H. Fairchild, Susan Gubernat, Robert S...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio) and WNJR


  • Added: Sep 09, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Poet Kazim Ali discusses ways portrayals of biblical characters vary in Islam, and the similarity between the Persian poet Rumi and Emily Dickinson...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Aug 26, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR features the Past American Voice of Conger Beasley Jr. whose last book, ON BECOMING APACHE, was published posthumously at th...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Aug 19, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Discover the poetic variety of Missouri in this special program featuring readings from current and past Missouri Poets Laureate: Walter Bargen, th...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Aug 12, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Kansas City poet Stanley E. Banks reads from his collected poems, BLUE BEAT SYNCOPATION, and talks about overcoming the hardships of growing up in ...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio)


  • Added: Aug 05, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR's Classic Series continues with "Back to the Writing Well." This time we'll hear about the influence of place and family fro...

Bought by GCR (Global Community Radio), KRZA, WNJR, WNJR, and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Jul 29, 2021
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 5