New Letters
On The Air

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...

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat returns 15 years after her first interview on New Letters on the Air to talk about her literary successes, including The De...

Walter Bargen

Poet Walter Bargen, the author of over a dozen books, served as Missouri's first Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010. Throughout his laureateship, Bargen vigilantly spread poetry and his poetic philosophies across the state, while continuing to write ...

Amiri Baraka: Past American Voice

In this compilation of archive interviews from 1988 and 1996 along with part of a previously unaired 2004 recording, we look back at the life of Amiri Baraka, who died ...

Shin Yu Pai

Taiwanese-American poet Shin Yu Pai was born in Illinois, raised in California, schooled in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Washington State and has lived in Texas and Arkansas, in big cities and small towns, yet people still think of her as a foreig...

Clarion Collection

We celebrate our 2013 Clarion Award for Best Radio Talk/Interview Program from the Association for Women in Communications with audio excerpts from our award-winning interviews. Jamaica Kincaid reads from her novel ...

Mark Doty

Esteemed poet Mark Doty discusses his work, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, winner of the 2008 National Book Awards, and his 2013 book-...

Alice Friman

Known for her vivid metaphors and the unabashed sensuality of her writing, Alice Friman’s honors include the Ezra Pound Poetry Award for her third book, Zoo...

David Clewell

The former Poet Laureate of Missouri, David Clewell, has only ever wanted to be a poet--not a novelist, or an essayist, or any other kind of writer. However, he is a proponent of creating characters, fictionalizing people from his life-- the girl ...

Richard Ford

Listed as a 2012 Best Book of the Year in various newspapers and magazines, Canada depicts an unusual tale of transgressions set against the backdrop of North...

Naomi Benaron

Naomi Benaron, a trained scientist, marathon runner, and massage therapist, is also the author of two award-winning fiction books, ...

E.L. Doctorow

In November 2013, the National Book Foundation presents the noted novelist E.L. Doctorow with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Doctorow, author of...

Anne Waldman & The Beats

Prolific poet and winner of the 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship Award, Anne Waldman is younger than the Beat Generation, but she did know many of its prominent voices.  She talks about her life-long friendship with Allen Gin...

Linda Rodriguez

In this compilation program featuring archive audio from a 2009 interview as well as a 2013 update, Linda Rodriguez, the winner of the Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, talks about her poetry collection,...

Latino Writers Collective

Members of the Kansas City Latino Writers Collective discuss the importance of community to their creative work and their connection with ...

Thomas Fox Averill

It was decades ago when author Thomas Fox Averill heard the song "Tennessee Stud" by Jimmie Driftwood.  He enjoyed the lyrical story of courtship, love, and fugitive life so much, that he first used the song as a lullaby for his children, the...

B.H. Fairchild

We celebrate the working man by revisiting B.H. Fairchild's poetry collection, The Art of the Lathe.  This book gives insight into the life and work of Fairchild's fathe...

Gary Snyder

Winner of the 2012 Wallace Stevens Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Academy of American Poets and the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Gary Snyder discusses the changing worlds of poetics and the environment.  Although his Zen-insp...

Maxine Kumin

American master of form, Maxine Kumin, discusses her poetry and its topics as varied as bears in the wilderness to skinny-dipping with William Wordsworth. In this 2001 public reading for the M...

Peggy Shumaker

After recovering from a nearly fatal accident, all Peggy Shumaker wanted to do was read. The poet, and Alaska’s State Writer Laureate, 2010-2012, eventually began ...

James Richardson

The poet James Richardson has called himself an “accidental aphorist,” but his well-crafted works are no accident. He has received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. ...

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.