New Letters
On The Air

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...

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...

Kansas City Literary Events

Bar-Nadav, Craigo & Manning

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Leawood, 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.