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Featured Writing

Discarded books

The Book Sale

by Maceo Montoya

A few years before I published my first novel, when I was still hesitant to even call myself a writer, the Woodland Public Library held a book sale. On the first day of the sale, all the books were neatly stacked in milkcrates and cardboard boxes spread throughout the community room and the interior courtyard. The books were two dollars for hardbound and a dollar for paperbacks and magazines. I left with a stack of books, all beautifully worn hardbound copies, some of which I had borrowed before and now couldn’t believe I owned, such as Vladimir Nabokov’s Tyrants Destroyed and Other Stories

The Best of Words on a Wire

Ana Castillo

Ana Castillo

Daniel Chacón speaks with celebrated poet, essayist, editor, activist, novelist, and translator Ana Castillo, about her most recent poetry book, My Book of the Dead (University of New Mexico, Press, 2021).

Joy Harjo photo

Joy Harjo

A special episode of Words on a Wire where host Daniel Chacon interviews US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is serving her second term as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States.

Tracy K. Smith photo

Tracy K. Smith

Daniel talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Tracy K. Smith.  She has written her first memoir, Ordinary Light, and she talks about why she waited many years to write about the death of her mother.  She also explains why the memoir allowed her to explore the subject of race and to reflect on how her parents lived and coped in the segregated South. 

Benjamin Alire Saenz photo

Benjamin Alire Saenz

Benjamin Alire Sáenz visits us in Studio B to discuss his recent work. Dr. Sáenz taught as a professor in UTEP’s Creative Writing department for over twenty-three years before retiring to dedicate his time entirely to writing and there was so much to discuss, Dr. Sáenz is being featured in a special two-part edition of Words on a Wire.

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch speaks with Words on a Wire about his latest book, A Poet’s Glossary, which is not so much a book of definitions as it is an exploration of the history of the terms and how those terms interrelate to each other.  Hirsch explains why it took 15 years to compile the information for this book, and why he believes it can still be more expansive (it’s already over 700 pages long).  We’ll learn about the terms “Duende,” “Flarf,” and “Spam Poetry.”  

Juan Felipe Herrera photo

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera previously served as the Poet Laureate of the United States. Before that he was Poet Laureate of California. And before that he was a Fresno poet who was inspiring the dreams and imaginations of thousands of children, their parents, and fellow poets. Herrera joins us again on WORDS ON A WIRE to talk about his Laureateship and how his life has changed (and how it hasn’t) since he was appointed Poet Laureate of the U.S. in 2015.