The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) literary public radio program, “New Letters on the Air,” has been picked up for broadcast by Peconic Public Broadcasting in Long Island, NY, and WETS in Johnson City, TN. Producer and host Angela Elam said that with the addition of KHPR Hawaii Public Radio in Honolulu and WMUK in Kalamazoo, MI, last year, the number of metropolitan areas carrying the series is over 30, including an international airing on Hamburger LokalRadio in Germany.
“We’re expanding the message that the University of Missouri-Kansas City is an important research institution and center for the arts,” said Robert Stewart, executive editor of “New Letters on the Air.”
The half-hour radio program began in 1977, featuring creative writers and poets reading and discussing the creative process. Former guests include Amiri Baraka, Grace Paley and Alan Ginsberg, as well U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and a National Book Foundation medal winner, E. L. Doctorow.
The longest continuously-running literary radio program in the country, New Letters on the Air also offers listeners a newly designed website www.newletters.org with more than 1,200 current and archived shows. A “Save America’s Treasures” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts provided digitization of the old analog audio by UMKC’s Marr Sound Archives.