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Susan Aizenberg

Poet Susan Aizenberg discusses the use of fiction within poetry, admitting that she draws from real life, but notes that there is a distinction between truth and fact. Recently retired from teaching at Creighton University, she reads from her thir...

Jo McDougall

Jo McDougall discusses her two recent books of poetry—The Undiscovered Room and ...

Daniel Magariel

Daniel Magariel, a Kansas City native, is a young writer who hit it big with his debut novel, One of the Boys. A New Yor...

Charles Harper Webb

Guggenheim Fellow, licensed psychotherapist, and author of a dozen poetry books, Charles Harper Webb reads from his 2016 essay collection, A Million M...

Naomi Shihab Nye

Arab-American writer Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis and is now a long-time resident of Texas with her husband, photographer Michael Nye. She discusses how her late father h...

Jericho Brown

Guggenheim fellow Jericho Brown describes the joy he finds in writing poetry and how his work helps him examine his world as a gay black man. He talks about some of his poetic mentors—from Emily Dickinson to Alice Walker—and the lesson...

Ellen Bass

In part two of our conversation with poet Ellen Bass, she discusses how, after being married and having two children, she came to discover another part of her sexuality and committed to a more than three-decade relationship with her now wife. She ...

Matt Gallagher

Former U.S. Army Captain Matt Gallagher discusses his novel, Youngblood, which draws from his military service during the Iraq War...

Ellen Bass

Growing up in a Philadelphia apartment above a liquor store, poet Ellen Bass thought her childhood was "the most mundane, pedestrian, unpoetic world you could possibly live in," but after many years and the death of her parents, she finds herself ...

Bonnie Bolling

Bonnie Bolling's award winning poetry collections often tackle tough subject matter, blending tragedy with beauty. The editor-in-chief of Verdad magazine since...

Monica Youn

The second half of this conversation with lawyer-turned-poet Monica Youn focuses more on her background. Both her parents were born in Korea and met in the U.S., where she was raised in Houston and rarely heard about family history. Youn, a member...

Stephen Corey

A three-time Georgia Author of the Year for poetry, Stephen Corey is the editor of the National Magazine Award-winning, The Georgia Review. He talks about his literary life and r...

Kansas Poets Laureate

The second half of this reading by Kansas Poets Laureate, Past and Present, begins with Wyatt Townley (2013-15), who introduces the Kansas Poet Laureate she followed, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (20...

Kansas Poets Laureate

In part one Kansas Poets Laureate, Past and Present, the current holder of the post, Kevin Rabas, reads along with former laureates...

Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart, the St. Louis born writer and editor of New Letters magazine, has written several books of poetry and essays. Winner of the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence and a National Magazine Award for Editorial Excelle...

Hadara Bar-Nadav and Kathryn Nuernberger

In this interview at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library, poets Hadara Bar-Nadav and Kathryn Nuernberger, who were both chosen as 2017 NEA Literary Fellows, discuss their latest collections along with their origins and influences, a...

Rachel Hall

Published in various anthologies and literary magazines, including New Letters as the Fiction Prize winner of 2004, Rachel Hall discusses her first book, a collection o...

Monica Youn

A lawyer-turned-poet, Monica Youn has written three books of poetry, and now teaches creative writing in New York. Twice a finalist for the National Book Award, she reveals why she felt the need to leave the legal field for creative writing after ...

Nuala NĂ­ Dhomhnaill

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was born in the UK, but was sent to live with her aunt in Ireland at age five. Now considered one of the country's leading poets writing all in Irish, she has won numerous awards for her books of poetry and essays, with ...

The Augurs: Women of an Age

In ancient Rome, an Augur was thought to be a herald or one who could interpret the natural signs as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of proposed actions. This public poetry reading was recorded in Washington D.C. during the 2017 As...

James Alan McPherson: Past American Voice

The late essayist and short story writer James Alan McPherson (1943-2016) was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. In this 1991 archive interview ...

Black Women Writers in History

We go to the archives to revisit a program that examines important African-American writers, beginning with the 18th century's Phillis Wheatley and concluding with former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. This show also features the late Margaret Walk...

Marcus Wicker

Michigan native Marcus Wicker talks about how his poetry has progressed since his early days with poetry slams and reads from the 2011 National Poetry Series winning collection, ...

Natasha Trethewey

The 19th U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-14), Natasha Trethewey talks about the role's effect on her work and her life as a literary citizen, and shares some of the projects she took on afterwards, including her year's work selecting poetry for...

Kenneth Irby: Past American Voice

The late poet Kenneth Irby (1936-2015) was born in Texas and raised in southeast Kansas. A history graduate of K.U., he got his graduate degree from Harvard before serving in the U.S. Army. Afterwards, he graduated from Berkeley, and became associ...

Naomi Shihab Nye

In part one of this conversation, Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye, whose numerous books of poetry, essays and stories have delighted children and adults alike, reads from her book, ...

Kansas City Literary Events

Morse, Plum, & Savich

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Kansas City, Mo.

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New Letters Summer 2018 Poetry Series

Follow our new series of poems about children, each day or two through July. Begin reading here. 

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Clarion Awards Selection CD Special

Jamaica KincaidJim ShepardGloria Vando & Anika ParisLuis Alberto Urrea, and Alex George, normally $7.99 per episode, this cd collection comes with over $15.00 in savings. Downloads of these programs have been reduced and are available through our archives.