New Letters
On The Air

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. ...

Daniel Woodrell

By the time director Ang Lee adapted the novel Woe to Live On into the 1998 movie ...

Leonard Pitts, Jr.

For Father’s Day, we revisit 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner, Leonard Pitts Jr., who has gained fame from his syndicated column that deals with social issues, race, and family life, that make up his book,...

John Ciardi: Save America's Treasures Selection

This month's Save America's Treasures Archive selection. There's no better poet to hear around Memorial Day than the late John Ciardi (1916-1986), a WWII gunner for the Army Air Force.  The author...

Alex George

After working for years as a corporate lawyer in England, Alex George moved to the states with his family in 2003, and later opened his own law practice in mid-Missouri. The author of four previous novels published in England, George made his Amer...

Ayad Akhtar

Born to Pakistani parents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ayad Akhtar grew up in a secular home, but like the protagonist of his 2012 debut novel,...

Yona Harvey and Terrance Hayes

Husband and wife poets, Terrance Hayes and Yona Harvey talk about their work and how they balance their creative lives and family. Hayes reads poems from his 2010 National Book Award-winning collection, ...

Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her collection Native Guard,...

Woven Voices: Gloria Vando & Anika Paris

Award winning Poet Gloria Vando—daughter of poet, playwright, and actress Anita Velez-Mitchell and mother to poet and musician Anika Paris—grew up both a part of and apart from the two worlds of New York and Puerto Rico. The trio publi...

Jamaica Kincaid

Known for her 1985 novel Annie John, and her early “Talk of the Town” pieces for the The New Yorker, Caribbean-American writer Jamaica ...

Adrienne Rich: Save America's Treasures Selection

This month's Save America's Treasures recording, chosen to kick off Women's History Month, features the late, great poet Adrienne Rich, who died in 2012. Known for her perfectly crafted, award winning poems, s...

Stephanie Powell Watts

North Carolina native and former Jehovah's Witness minister, Stephanie Powell Watts, reads from her first published book, We are Taking Only What We Need, a colle...

Etheridge Knight: Save America's Treasures Selection

The late Etheridge Knight began writing poetry in the 1960s, when he was imprisoned for armed robbery, where he discovered that “art is ultimately about freed...

Evan S. Connell, Jr.: Save America's Treasures Selection

In memory of acclaimed author Evan S. Connell, Jr., who passed away on January 10, 2013, we bring you this 1991 interview by former New Letters on the Air host, Rebekah Presson. The author of 19 works, Connell is best known for his charac...

Tony Barnstone

Tony Barnstone, son of poet, translator, and scholar Willis Barnstone and visual artist Elli Barnstone, was surrounded by great works of art, literature, and philosophy as a child, and like his sister, Aliki, followed in his father’s footste...

Jim Shepard

Acclaimed fiction writer Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and several short story collections, including ...

Robert Bly

Robert Bly, the preeminent poet, translator, and cultural commentator, reads from his 2011 poetry collection, Talking into the Ear of a Donkey,...

Kansas City Literary Events

Woody Skinner

Saturday, January 6, 2018
Wichita, Kan.

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Writers for Readers

Join us at Writers for Readers November 1st,  an evening celebrating the power of expression through creative writing and reading. 

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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.