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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...

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...

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...

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...

Al Young

In the second half of our conversation with two time American Book Award-winning poet Al Young, he shares more from his book ...

Al Young

Former California Poet Laureate (2005-2008) Al Young has penned 25 books, won two American Book Awards, and was recently included in ...

Jen Mann

Kansas blogger Jen Mann talks about her humorous book Spending the Holidays Wit...

Chanukah Tales

Poet Marilyn Kallet reads from her book, One for Each Night: Chanukah Tales and Recipes, whic...

The World Is One Place

Writers Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez discuss co-editing the anthology The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East. The pair, who both have...

Michelle Boisseau: Past American Voice

Poet Michelle Boisseau died November 15, 2017, at age 62. In this interview conducted earlier this year at the Kansas City Public Library, the late Michelle Boisseau discusses her fifth book, ...

Geoffrey Brock and Padma Viswanathan

In the second half of this interview with poet Geoffrey Brock (shown) and novelist Padma Viswanathan, the husband and wife couple discusses their shared interest in translation. Brock reads a translation of the Italian poet Cesare Pavese from his ...

Geoffrey Brock and Padma Viswanathan

In the first half of this conversation with novelist Padma Viswanathan (shown) and poet Geoffrey Brock, the husband and wife writing duo reveal how they balance their writing careers and family life. Brock reads one of his wife's favorite poems fr...

Judith Ortiz Cofer: Past American Voice

The late Puerto Rican writer Judith Ortiz Cofer talks about how her heritage has influenced her work. This multi-genre writer of poetry, fiction, and memoir was Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia, when ...

John Balaban

Discover the stories behind the poetry of John Balaban, who served as a conscientious objector in Vietnam. He returned to the country later to help war-torn children and to collect folk poems, when he discovered the work of an 18th century Vietnam...

Michael Nava

As an attorney for the California Supreme Court, Michael Nava moonlighted as a novelist, authoring seven novels in the Henry Rios mystery series, six of which won the Lambda Literary Awards for Gay Men's Mystery books. (Now retired, he's reimagine...

Judith Ortiz Cofer: Past American Voice

The work of the late Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952-2016) often reflected her Puerto Rican heritage and her childhood in New Jersey. A li...

John Ashbery: Past American Voice

The poet, critic, and translator John Ashbery, who died on September 3rd at age 90, won nearly every major writing award, including in a single year, the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award. Besides writing ...

Natasha Trethewey

In the first part of this interview, Mississippi Poet Laureate (2012-16) and guest editor of Best American Poetry 2017,...

James Tolan and Olivia Stiffler

Olivia Stiffler always wanted to be a poet, but writing took a backseat to her family life. Decades later, while at a Savannah writing workshop, she met James Tolan (shown), a poet and English professor, who helped her envision her work as a...

Conger Beasley: Past American Voice

We honor the Past American Voice of Conger Beasley Jr.(1940-2016). This author of fiction, poetry, essays and non-fiction covered various subjects, ranging from texts for the Sierra Club Guide to the history of the Lakota Sioux to the fictionalize...

Jeannette Walls

A journalist who worked for such publications as Esquire, New York Magazine, and MSNBC.com, Jeannette Walls turned to memoir for her first book, the 2005 international bestseller, ...

Kent Haruf: Past American Voice

We look back on the life of novelist Kent Haruf (1943-2014), still a favorite writer of book clubs across the country. September 2017 marks the inaugural Kent Haruf Literar...

Kansas City Literary Events

Barth, Brookhart, Courtois & Ferruzza

Friday, June 21, 2019
Kansas City, Mo.

News

UMKC's New Letters Ranks Among the Top Literary Journals in the United States

New Letters continues its standing as among the most highly regarded journals for discovering, publishing, and promoting the best new fiction, poetry, and essays. 

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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.