New Letters
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Cheryl Strayed

At just twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed made the impulsive decision to trek the 1100 mile Pacific Crest Trail, alone, and without any previous experience.  Wild: From Lost...

Understanding Others: Transformative Writers

This show features excerpts from six of our 2013 programs, highlighting the courage and strength of writers who use their gifts with the written word to understand and nurture their fellow man, including Bellwether Prize winner,...

Charles Baxter

Fiction writer and essayist Charles Baxter has never shied away from writing about the Midwest. In this interview in front of an audience at the Kansas City Public Library, he reveals some of his motivations for writing short stories and nove...

A Call to Words: Veterans & Why They Write

Vietnam veterans and poets, Bill Bauer and H.C. Palmer reflect on their service and discuss with host Angela Elam how writing has helped them to process the difficult memories. Recorded in front of an audience first at Park University's Meetin' Ho...

Daniel Woodrell

Award-winning author Daniel Woodrell, who penned two novels made into successful films, Woe to Live On (...

Fred Arroyo & Richard Blanco

Part of UMKC's celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month in 2012, this public reading features writers of Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage, Richard Blanco (shown) and Fred Arroyo. Richard Blanco shares his experience growing up torn between C...

American Sanctuaries

New Letters on the Air celebrates public libraries with this special anthology of poets, novelists, and memoirists, who talk about how they found inspiration and refuge in the libraries of their youth. Judith Ortiz Cofer, Junot Día...

Martín Espada

In the first half of Park University's 2013 Ethnic Voices Poetry Series presentation at the Kansas City Public Library, Martín Espada begins by taking us to Puerto Rico with a poem from his 2003 book,...

Janice N. Harrington

Though she came to writing late, having spent nearly two decades as a librarian and professional storyteller, Janice N. Harrington draws from myriad experiences to create her poetry and children's stories. Her first children's book, ...

Authors Readers Theatre

Richard Peck (A Year Down Yonder), Brian Selznick (...

Lois Lowry

Acclaimed Newbery Award-winning children's author Lois Lowry's book for young people, The Giver, is now a 2014 film. One of the ...

Nadine Gordimer Memorial

We remember the Nobel Prize-winning South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who passed away on July 13, 2014.  In this 1994 interview with former New Letters on the Air host, Rebekah Presson, Gordimer reads from her novel...

James Tolan & 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 compl...

Thomas Keneally

The acclaimed author of twenty-nine books, including the well-known Schindler's List (originally...

Debra Brenegan

In her debut novel, Shame the Devil, Debra Brenegan explores the fascinating true story of Sara Payson Willis, a novelist, journalist, and feminist wh...

Janet Burroway

Renowned poet, novelist, playwright, creative writing teacher and author of the text book Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft...

Hadara Bar-Nadav

Poet Hadara Bar-Nadav views art as a collaboration and a conversation, whether it be with readers, paintings, architecture, music, or sculpture. She refers to many works of art in her 2012 collection...

Rick Barot

Filipino-American poet Rick Barot wanted to be a lawyer, but after a writing class with Annie Dillard, when he first heard Jane Kenyon, he knew that he was destined to write poetry. Barot discusses the politics of identity, his disdain of narrativ...

Anchee Min

For best -selling memoirist and fiction writer Anchee Min, 2014 marks both the 20th anniversary of the publication of her memoir, Red Azalea and the...

Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso discusses his journey from the small border town of Ysleta to his education at Harvard and eventually Yale, where he now teaches. His collection ...

Tracy K. Smith

Poet Tracy K. Smith, winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Prize for her first collection The ...

Anne Enright

Winner of the first ever Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in 2012, Irish author Anne Enright talks about her often darkly humorous approach to writing about love, desire, death, and family. Recorded at the Kansas City Public Library...

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Acclaimed crime fiction writer and Emmy-winning investigative reporter, Hank Phillippi Ryan reads from her Mary Higgins Clark award-winning novel, The Othe...

Maxine Kumin: Past American Voice

We pay tribute to Maxine Kumin, who died on February 6, 2014 at the age of 88. A former Consultant in Poetry to Library of Congress (now known as the US Poet Laureate), Kumin is heralded for her poetry and her dedication to feminism. Associated wi...

Robert Day

Kansas native Robert Day has penned several books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel, The Last Cattle Drive, and ...

Sonia Sanchez

February 2014 marks the release of the book adaptation of the documentary, The Black Power Mixtape 1967 to 1975, which features commentary by Sonia Sanchez. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement and author of more t...

Kansas City Literary Events

Naomi Shihab Nye at the National Storytelling Conference

Wednesday, June 28, 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.