New Letters
On The Air

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...

Judson Mitcham

In the second half of a conversation with Georgia State Poet Laureate (2012-present) Judson Mitcham talks in front of a WUGA audience in Athens, GA, about his two novels, ...

Antonya Nelson

The author of eleven books of short stories and novels, Antonya Nelson appears as UMKC's 2015 Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence at the Kansas City Public Library. She talks about her most recent books: the novel ...

Rodney Jones

Visiting Kansas City for the Midwest Poets Series, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Rodney Jones discusses what he learned about the use of language from the late writers and friends, Kent Haruf and ...

Michelle Boisseau

In this interview at the Kansas City Public Library, poet, editor, and Guggenheim Fellow Michelle Boisseau discusses her fifth book, Among the Gorgons....

Edward Hirsch

In the second part of this conversation, poet and "MacArthur genius" Edward Hirsch discusses how the sudden death of his son inspired his 2014 book ...

Whitney Terrell

Novelist Whitney Terrell talks about his time being embedded with the military in Iraq, writing nonfiction for ...

Gwendolyn Brooks: Past American Voice

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Gwendolyn Brooks' birth, we turn to our extensive archive to present this look back at the legacy of the legendary poet. The first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize for her 1949 poetry collection, An...

William Trowbridge

Missouri Poet Laureate (2012-2016), William Trowbridge is the third person appointed since the creation of the position in 2007. In this reading at Rockhurst University's 2014 Mi...

Dave Smith

This conversation with Dave Smith, the author of more than 20 books of poetry, essays, memoir and fiction, is the second half of this interview recorded as part of the Midwest Poets Series. He talks about the importance of elegiac poetry and the i...

Bianca Stone

Poet and visual artist Bianca Stone talks about her various projects, from her first full length book Someone Else's Wedding Vows to her 2016...

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch is a poet and "MacArthur genius" who heads up the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation and was most recently the editor of ...

Juan Felipe Herrera

In front of an audience at the Kansas City Public Library, Juan Felipe Herrera, our first Chicano U.S. Poet Laur...

The Cruelest Month

"April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land..." The famous words of poet T.S. Eliot prompted us to mix this anthology of American poets, who examine the mysteries of love in various forms. Listen to former Poets La...

Sinéad Morrissey

When Sinéad Morrissey won the 2013 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for her fifth book, Parallax, that spurred U.S. publisher Farrar, Strauss...

Sinéad Morrissey

The first Poet Laureate of Belfast (2013-14), Sinéad Morrissey discusses her formative childhood during "the troubles" in Ireland and some influences for her poetry from gypsy relatives to her travels in China. In the first half o...

Phyllis Becker

A great promoter of poetry in Kansas City, Phyllis Becker served on the board of The Writers Place and is coordinator of the Riverfront Reading Series. Her own publications include the 200...

August Wilson: Past American Voice

We remember the late August Wilson in this 2002 interview with the playwright who chronicled African-American life in the 20th century in plays such as...

Dan Jaffe

Poet Dan Jaffe, the guest co-editor of a recent issue of New Letters magazine that focuses on jazz, has always combined his poetry and his love of music in performances with modern ...

Anne-Marie Fyfe

Irish poet and former Chair of the Poetry Society in England, Anne-Marie Fyfe explores parallels in her poetry with the life and work of the renowned William Butler Yeats as part of the "Mapping Yeats Symposium" at the 2015 Kansas City Irish Festi...

Alice Friman

Alice Friman, the 2012 Georgia Author of the Year for her book, ...

Back to the Writing Well

We go "Back to the Writing Well" to hear from writers of place, including the late Pat Conroy. Famous for his novels about the south, with several made into movies such as ...

The Loudest Voice: Grace Paley

A holiday favorite, this highly anthologized short story is read by the late author Grace Paley. "The Loudest Voice" is an amusing tale about a little Jewish girl, chosen to play the lead in her ...

Kansas City Literary Events

Leif Enger

Monday, October 15, 2018
Kansas City, Mo.

News

Winners Announced: New Letters Literary Awards

New Letters is pleased to announce the 2018 winners of the $2,500 Conger Beasley Jr. Prize for Nonfiction, the $1,500 New Letters Prize for Fiction, and the $1,500 Prize for Poetry. See the winners, judges, and finalists 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.