Founded in 1977, the New Letters on the Air archive contains episodes from authors like National Book Critic Circles Award-winning poet Laura Kassichke, 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner Tyehimba Jess, and 2015 National Medal of Arts Award recipient Sandra Cisneros.
The New Letters on the Air archives contains some of the few recordings that exist of minority writers Ethridge Knight and Mbembe Milton Smith who are no longer with us.
“The radio show helps us to keep record of things these writers have said that we can’t get anywhere else,” said Angela Elam, producer. “It’s not just a radio show. The shows build on each other.” Elam said she hopes teachers will access the shows and use them in classrooms as teaching tools.
New Letters on the Air has 891 streamable episodes on its website, and more than 1,200 episodes in the archives that have not yet been digitally processed. The entire archive is viewable on the website newletters.org/on-the-air and shows can be made available to stream on the New Letters’ website upon request. The New Letters on the Air podcast is available for streaming on Stitcher and Apple Podcast. To listen to the most recent shows tune in locally on Sunday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on 89.3 FM KCUR.