New Letters
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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...

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....

Whitney Terrell

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

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...

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 ...

Kansas City Literary Events

Hollander, Petronella & Czerwiec

Friday, October 18, 2019
Kansas City, Mo.

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Kansas City Public Library Announces Kids and Teens eReading Rooms

The KCPL has digitized the concept of physical reading rooms by creating individual, specialized eReading Rooms of ebooks and audiobooks for children and teenagers.

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Individual Issues of New Letters Magazine

To order an individual issue of New Letters magazine, please call 816-235-1169.