Jamaican-born poet Claudia Rankine's work "goes directly to the objective of literary writing--to write a book that is deeply interesting despite the expectations that received forms give us," according to interviewer and New Letters editor Robert Stewart.
Sean Hill, a native of Milledgeville, Georgia, is the author of the poetry collection Blood Ties & Brown Liquor. An homage to African-American life in the segregated South, the poems create a call and response across six generations of the fictional Silas Wright family.
Local comic book writer Jason Aaron had a breakthrough year in 2008. It started off with him landing an exclusive contract at Marvel Comics, writing stories for superheroes like Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Then Scalped - his original series about crime, poverty and activism on a Native American reservation - was nominated for an Eisner. That's the Oscar of the comic book world. Finally, he was named 2008's best comic book writer by the industry magazine Wizard.
A master of twentieth century American prose, John Updike died on January 27, 2009. This week on New Letters on the Air, we remember his life with a 1998 interview with former New Letters editor Jim McKinley. In this interview, Updike talks about his devotion to his legendary characters Henry Bech and Rabbit Angstrom, reflects on his humble origins in "the hinterlands of Pennsylvania," and examines his life as a man of faith.
Azar Nafisi, author of the beloved international bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, returns to Iran and her childhood in her new book, a deeply personal reflection and exploration of a young girl's pain over family secrets and a mother's lost life, a young woman's discovery of the power of sensuality in literature, and the price a family pays for freedom in a country beset by political upheaval.
Many warn that the next stage of globalization--the offshoring of research and development to China and India--threatens the foundations of Western prosperity. Amar Bhide disagrees.
By The Walt Bodine Show, Jan 29, 2009
Kansas City, MO – Acclaimed business and economics scholar,Columbia Business School Professor and author Amar Bhide provides a different take on the role of new technologies in sustaining financial security.
Listen in for his perspective on innovation in the global economy.
Editor of the 2009 collection, The African- American Experience: Black History and Culture Through Speeches, Letters, Editorials, Poems, Songs, and Stories, Kai Wright talks specifically about the great speeches in American history, including those of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr and Barack Obama.
Steve Kraske talks with Andrew F. Smith, author of Hamburger: A Global History. The book covers the early days in the nineteenth century of hamburgers sold from street vendor carts - through the first hamburger chain - to the globalization of a beef patty on a bun.
Do cell phones, iPods, and other automated devices make us smarter? Or could the opposite be true?
By The Walt Bodine Show, Jan 8, 2009
Kansas City, MO – As smarter technologies continue to be developed and used in our everyday lives, how do the ways we interact with one another change? Author Eugene Halton joined us for a conversation on the relationship between technology and American culture, the topic of his book The Great Brain Suck: And Other American Epiphanies.
Young adult writer M. T. Anderson, author of The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (listed by Amazon in their top 20 books of 2008), talks about his immersion into 18th century literature in preparation for writing this National Book Award-winning novel.
Author and illustrator David Macaulay has gained a reputation for his architectural investigations with books like Castle, Cathedral, Pyramid, and Mosque. In his latest book, he explores the architecture of the human body.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Laura Spencer spoke with the author about how he got his start.
The Book Doctors give their ideas and advice on finding a gift for the bibliophile on your list this holiday season. They also share what's on their reading lists, and discuss the latest literary news.
The essay "I Am Joe's Prostate," by Thomas E. Kennedy garnered New Letters the National Magazine Award in the category of the essay earlier in 2008. In this interview, Thomas E. Kennedy talks about some other essays in his 2008 collection, Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America.
Public radio commentator and author Sandra Tsing Loh talks with Steve Kraske about her new book Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!
By Up to Date, Dec 10, 2008
Kansas City, MO – Public radio commentator and author Sandra Tsing Loh talks with Steve Kraske about her new book Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!, her experiences in attempting to find a suitable school for her four-year old daughter and the major realization it brought her.
Vicki Myron discusses her best-selling book, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
By The Walt Bodine Show, Dec 3, 2008
Kansas City, MO – We discover how Dewey the cat survived being abandoned on one of the coldest days of the year, to inspire those around him with his affection, enthusiasm and antics. Find out how, throughout his nineteen years, Dewey became not just a local but an international celebrity.
Named one of the top five writers under 35 to watch by the National Book Foundation, Matthew Eck discusses his novel, The Farther Shore, touted by Salon as "the first great war novel of our generation."
By New Letters on the Air
Kansas City, MO – Eck enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1992 and served in Somalia and Haiti before returning to the U.S. to earn degrees in literature and creative writing.
Author Harold Holzer examines the four months between Lincoln's election and inauguration, when the president-elect made the most important decision of his coming presidency -- there would be no compromise on slavery or secession of the slaveholding states, even at the cost of civil war.