Readers & Writers on the Air


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Lit by Mary KArrJoin the Readers & Writers Book Club

Our current discussion is around the memoir Lit, by author Mary Karr. We will talk with the author in late September

Literature Features:

Recent Books Recent regional books received at NCPR
Recommended by listeners and staff The 2010-01 Winter Reading List
Merriam-Webster Online
Find Out of Print Books

Aug 22, 2014 — Katy Simpson Smith's novel, set during the American Revolution, was inspired by her research on mothers in the South. "Death was sort of the specter that haunted every aspect of life," she says.
Aug 22, 2014 — Kelly McEvers talks to food writer Mark Kurlansky and his daughter Talia about their cookbook International Night, based on their tradition of cooking a meal every week from a different country.
Aug 22, 2014 — In this poem, "Kingfisher," Chris McCabe recalls a bird watching trip, and an attempt to see a rare bird — the vivid blue kingfisher — that he long dreamed of seeing.
Aug 22, 2014 — Census Bureau data show a wider gap between rich and poor. Kelly McEvers explores this with economist Enrico Moretti of the University of California-Berkeley, author of The New Geography of Jobs.
Aug 19, 2014 — The protagonist of Julie Schumacher's new Dear Committee Members is frustrated with the future of American arts and letters — and the feckless students who pester him for recommendation letters.
more author interviews from NPR

The program is supported by the donations of NCPR listeners and with the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts Literature Program and by the The Corning Foundation.

Corning gift
Canton Plant Manager Joseph W. Neubert presented North Country Public Radio Underwriting Director Sandy Demarest with a $6,000 check representing Corning Incorporated Foundation’s ongoing support of NCPR's local and national news coverage and its contemporary literature series Readers & Writers on the Air. Corning Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of NCPR's mission since 1982.

Finding Readers & Writers books

The books to be discussed are available at public libraries throughout northern New York and western Vermont or may be purchased at discount prices at the following participating bookstores. Please identify yourself as a listener to North Country Public Radio's literature series when you request the discount:

The St. Lawrence University Bookstore, Canton, NY
Borders, Plattsburgh
The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, NY
The Peace & Justice Store, Burlington, VT
The Potsdam Food Co-op,
Potsdam, NY
The University Bookstore,
Potsdam, NY
Fact & Fiction Bookshop,
Saranac Lake, NY
The College Store at SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY
Old Forge Hardware, Old Forge, NY
Hero's Welcome, North Hero, VT


Readers & Writers with hosts Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson airs on an irregular schedule.

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Recent program audio | R&W bookstores

About Readers & Writers

Ellen RoccoReaders & Writers, NCPR's conversation on contemporary literature, invites into the studio visiting authors, and invites listeners to call in to join the conversation.

The program is hosted by NCPR station manager Ellen Rocco, and Chris Robinson of Clarkson University. Members of the St. Lawrence University English Department faculty sometimes join Ellen on the program.

 Recent Readers & Writers programs
Gish Jen
Gish Jen

Readers & Writers: Gish Jen

Our guest is Gish Jen, whose 1997 novel Mona in the Promised Land catapulted her to the top tier of contemporary American fiction. More recent work has included the story collection Who's Irish? and the novel, Typical American. Her latest book, World and Town, was published in October. Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson host.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Winter Reading Call-in

Our annual holiday and winter reading list call-in. Hosted by Ellen Rocco, Chris Robinson and John Ernst, the show solicits listeners suggestions for great books--new and classic--for gift-giving or deep winter reading. If you'd like to share more suggestions, use the comment form below or, email

The list is complete. Well, for now. Here's wishing you enough wintry weather to justify reading as much as you want to without feeling guilty.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Dinty Moore, "Between Panic & Desire"

Our guest is Dinty Moore, whose 2009 memoir, Between Panic & Desire, was widely well-received and won the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize. Other books include The Accidental Buddhist and The Emperor's Virtual Clothes.

Moore will be reading from his work in Canton tonight at 8 pm as part of The St. Lawrence University Writers Series. The event takes place in the Sykes Common Room on the university campus.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Robert Finch, nature writer

A regular contributor to our sister station on Cape Cod and recipient of a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for his work with WCAI, Finch is also editor of The Cape Cod Naturalist and has published seven books of essays. Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson host.  Go to full article
Peter Campion
Peter Campion

Readers & Writers: Poet Peter Campion

Our guest Peter Campion has two collections of poetry, Other People and The Lions. Widely published in magazines and reviews, he is also the editor of the journal Literary Imagination, published by Oxford University Press. Chris Robinson hosts with an assist from Bob Cowser of St. Lawrence Univerity and NCPR's Dale Hobson. Campion will read Thusday evening at 8 pm in the Sykes Formal Lounge at St. Lawrence University in Canton.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Bob Cowser, editor of Why We're Here

Our guests are Bob Cowser, editor of Why We're Here: New York Essayists on Living Upstate, and contributing essayist Paul Graham. Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson host.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: George Saunders, author of The Braindead Megaphone

Opening the 2010-11 season of Readers & Writers, our guest is George Saunders, author of several collections of short fiction as well as his acclaimed The Braindead Megaphone, a collection of essays and observations about 21st century America. Witty and surprising, Saunders is the recipient of both a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Saunders will read from his work at a public appearance on Thursday, September 16 at 8 pm in Sykes Common Room on the SLU campus. He is part of the SLU Writers Series.  Go to full article

Readers and Writers Summer Reading Call-in

It's our annual Readers and Writers Summer Reading Call-in. Staff, guests and listeners hare the best beach reads and whatever else is on the summer reading bookshelf. Hosts Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson are joined by book maven John Ernst. A compiled reading list will be available in a few days.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Anna Quindlen, Every Last One

Hosts Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson talk with Anna Quindlen about her new book, Every Last One, a novel about a family that is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. Quindlen is the author of five previous novels, seven nonfiction collections, and her New York Times column, "Public and Private," was awarded the Pulitzer in 1992.  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Gerald Early, author of The Culture of Bruising

Our guest is Gerald Early, author of The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture. This collection won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. In addition to his renown as an essayist, Mr. Early has edited collections of fiction and non-fiction. The author will give a reading on Thursday, April 8 at 8 pm in Sykes Common Room on the St. Lawrence University campus in Canton. Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson host.  Go to full article

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