New Letters
On The Air

Ken Kesey

The author of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION talks about his struggle to produce a great novel...

Nikolai Tolstoy

A descendant of Leo, Nikolai Tolstoy is a historian turned novelist. He reads from ...

Lloyd Van Brunt

The founding poetry editor of the Pushcart Prize and the former book review editor of THE SATURDAY REVIEW, Van Brunt talks about...

Roy Blount, Jr.

Considered to be one of the funniest writers in America, Blount reads from his book of comic essays NOW, WHERE WERE WE?, ...

Willis Barnstone

Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for the Humanities, Willis Barnstone is the author of dozens of books, including memoir and poetry. In this program, Barnstone, who is also a prominent tr...

Ellen Bryant Voigt

Acclaimed Southern poet Ellen Bryant Voigt reads from The Lotus Flowers...

Dave Smith

Considered a Romantic poet, Dave Smith sees the writing of poetry as a redemptive act and says, "It literal...

Maxine Kumin

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Maxine Kumin, talks about the challenges she faced as a woman writer in the 1950's and how she was able to turn her gender into an asset in the literary world. She reads from...

Allen Ginsberg

The best-known Beat poet Allen Ginsberg talks about the Beat movement, his battle against censorship, and hi...

Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni has written more than 17 books and has been called "the black princess" of poetry. Here she gives a dire...

Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) is a poet, playwright, and essayist, whose 1960s play, Dutchman, became a standard for students of revolutionary theatre. Baraka reads poems from...

Gwendolyn Brooks

In the second half of this 1988 interview, Gwendolyn Brooks shares more of her award-winning poetry and talks about her motto, "Poetry is life distilled," as wells as gives her secrets to a long life. The first...

Jo McDougall

Even though she didn’t begin to write in earnest until her children were grown, Jo McDougall admits that she always felt “a terrible need to write.” A native of the Arkansas delta , she writes poetry that often incorporates the f...

Richard Ford

Richard Ford reads from The Sportswriter, which has been called, "A beautiful book,...

Philip Levine

In this program, Philip Levine, a National Book Award winner in poetry for his book Ashes, reads from his Selected Poems. Lev...

John Ashbery

John Ashbery, one of America's most acclaimed poets, reads from his ...

Miller Williams

Miller Williams, the winner of the 1990 Poets' Prize, is a noted poet, editor, and translator. He published his first collection, Et Cetera, while getting his bachelor's degree in biology from Arkansas State University. He went ...

Angela Jackson

Chicago poet Angela Jackson reads from her collections Voodoo/Love Magic and Solo in the Boxcar Third Floor E in this program recorded as part of ...

Janet Burroway

Now the author of seven novels, and numerous collections of essays as well as literary text books, this 1985 program features the Florida writer, Janet Burroway, reading ...

Carolyn Kizer

A feminist poet before it was fashionable, Carolyn Kizer shares some of her longer poetry at the 1985 Associated Writing Program Conference in San Diego. This program includes Kizer reading from her Pulitzer Prize-winning ...

William Stafford

Winner of the National Book Award, William Stafford is the author of many books of poetry, including ...

Janet Burroway

Florida poet and fiction writer Janet Burroway reads from "Winn Dixie," printed in New Letters magazine (...

Gwendolyn Brooks

While at a live reading at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, shares some of her favorite poems, including "We Real Cool." Parts ...

Mbembe Memorial

This memorial program features the late Kansas City poet Mbembe (Milton Smith) reading "jazz poems" as well as Mbembe's brother speaking in tribute. Find a collection of his selected poems from BkMk Press...

William Packard

William Packard, a poet, playwright, novelist, and founding editor of New York Quarterly, has published numerous books, including The A...

Muriel Rukeyser

Known as a poet of social protest, Muriel Rukeyser's first collection of poetry, Theory of Flight, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Compet...

Kansas City Literary Events

Lauren Hunter & Erica Lewis

Saturday, August 26, 2017
Kansas City, Mo.

News

Tracy K. Smith has been named the next U.S. Poet Laureate!

Hear poetry from her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Life on Mars, on the New Letters on the Air half-hour show or a short excerpt on KCUR before she was in Kansas City last year. Find out more about our new ambassador for poetry from NPR.

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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.