Word: A podcast on the literary arts in Arizona and the region

welcome to Word, a podcast hosted by Tom Maxedon of KJZZ on literature in Arizona and the region.

S6 E5 | November 11, 2021

Explore the human condition in the past, present and future with a historical fiction writer, poet from Phoenix and video game enthusiast from Valley.

Tom vitale

S6 E4 | October 26, 2021

What do a Valley financial advisor / novelist, tireless advocate for the arts and full-fledged poet, and teacher / speech artist in Phoenix have in common?

Tom vitale

S6 E3 | 12 October 2021

On this “Word” offer, the desire to travel is our theme. We explore what Valley teacher and writer Marla-Tiye Vieira, southern New Mexico scholar, fiction writer and poet Ana Castillo, and longtime producer of Anthony’s TV shows Bourdain, Tom Vitale, have to contribute to our itinerary.

Myra Kumala

S6 E2 | September 21, 2021

What does a Tucson rancher with famous sister, NPR-acclaimed poet, and new Phoenix Poet Laureate have in common? Find out on “Word” S6: E2 hosted by Tom Maxedon of KJZZ. It’s a podcast on literature in Arizona and the region.

Clottee Hammons

S6 E1 | September 7, 2021

In this season 6 premiere episode of “Word,” we run the gamut from post-traumatic stress as a veteran and personal stories of migrating from blacks living in Arizona to a Phoenix-based romantic comedy that deals with the crisis. opioids.

Sara fujimura

S5 E8 | May 26, 2021

What are you reading this summer? We have some Arizona writers’ suggestions for adults and kids or for those who don’t want to turn into adults for a minute and feel their youth again. Hear their stories on this “Word” Season 5 finale.

Dr Darcie Little Badger

S5 E7 | May 11, 2021

What do indigenous futurism, fantasy literature for young adults and the climate have in common? Find out on “Word” – a KJZZ podcast on the literary arts in Arizona and the region hosted by Tom Maxedon.

Dr Tamika Sanders

S5 E6 | April 28, 2021

What do the Vietnamese diaspora, Beat / Wagner-inspired poetry, The Diné Reader and Black Lives Matter have in common? We explore these links in this double issue of Word as we close National Poetry Month with PPE: a Pandemic Poetry Extravaganza.

Rosemarie Dombrowski

S5 E5 | April 13, 2021

National Poetry Month continues and after a virtual trip to Tucson in the last episode, we return to “The Poet’s Valley” and explore some intriguing questions.

Jefferson Carter

S5 E4 | April 1, 2021

We’re back from spring break and just in time for National Poetry Month. In this episode, we’re heading to the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center in Tucson – well via Zoom anyway. Plus, we taste poetry and talk in verse with writers in Tucson.


S5 E3 | March 3, 2021

National Haiku Writing Month – NaHaiWriMo – is coming to an end. In this episode, we’ll talk briefly with the randomly selected winner of KJZZ’s third annual Haiku Writing Contest.

Haiku writing competition

S5 E2 | February 16, 2021

Na Hai Wri Mo – National Haiku Writing Month – continues, as does KJZZ’s third annual Haiku Writing Contest. This year’s theme: What’s new for you during the pandemic? You can submit up to one original haiku per week. In this episode, we will find the organizers of this year’s Arizona Matsuri, which is going virtual.

S5 E1 | February 1, 2021

Welcome to the opening of Season 5 of “Word” and the launch of KJZZ’s third annual Haiku Writing Contest. This year’s theme: What’s new for you during the pandemic?

Simon simon

S4 E7 | December 18, 2020

Welcome to the last episode of “Word” of this season. As we wind down 2020, we explore non-fiction, something we don’t often discuss as a literary art form.

Kevin Troy Darling

S4 E6 | December 8, 2020

What do a retired veteran, a museum archivist, and a technical writer have in common? They all completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge and wrote at least one 50,000 word novel in November.


S4 E5 | October 27, 2020

What a tourist writer in Albuquerque, New Mexico; a Glendale life coach; and a burlesque and creative artist from the Valley have in common? They all participate in National Novel Writing Month.

Morgan spatola

S4 E4 | October 27, 2020

It’s almost Halloween and almost National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). As we close October, we celebrate the holidays and those who come together to write 50,000 words in one month starting November 1st.

Rebecca roanhorse

S4 E3 | October 9, 2020

We welcome Annika Clark, chosen by Creative Youth of Arizona as the recipient of the Phoenix Youth Poet Award. Plus, we chat with retired poet and teacher Joey Connolly and Indian Pueblo writer and NYT bestselling author Rebecca Roanhorse, who has a fantastic new novel titled “Black Sun” this month.

Arizona Great Puppet Theater Repunzel

S4 E2 | September 29, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to present challenges for creatives. We’ll talk to a returning guest. In addition, we are turning our attention to a younger audience and readers, starting with the puppets.

David hemphill

S4 E1 | September 1, 2020

“Word” is an original podcast from KJZZ on the literary arts in Arizona and the region. We’re kicking off this season with the first of three returning guests, David Hemphill, executive director of the Black Theater Troupe in Phoenix.

Craig santos perez

S3 E10 | May 27, 2020

Before heading off on summer vacation, we wrap up ‘Word’ Season 3 by continuing our celebration of Asian and Pacific Island American Heritage Month with honest conversations about how these communities are coping. era of COVID-19.

Hari Alluri

S3 E9 | May 14, 2020

Is the planet experiencing an environmental reset in the COVID-19 era? That’s the question we start with in this penultimate episode of “Word” this season. In addition, we are celebrating Asian and Pacific Island American Heritage Month.

Poetic narcissus

S3 E8 | April 29, 2020

With this mega edition of “Word,” we’ve brought National Poetry Month to a close in Arizona and the Southwest.

Diana marie delgado

S3 E7 | April 20, 2020

As National Poetry Month continues, we’re heading to Tucson, virtually, to check in with our neighbors in southern Arizona.

Rosemarie Dombrowski

S3 E6 | April 7, 2020

Even as the coronavirus continues to shut down brick-and-mortar performance spaces, we’re putting a virtual spotlight on poetry this month.

Lady Caress

S3 E5 | March 27, 2020

As we crouch in the midst of a pandemic, creatives face tough times as well.

Sylvie dale

S3 E4 | March 13, 2020

We celebrate International Women’s History Month with influential Arizona writers and readers.

haiku stand

S3 E3 | February 28, 2020

KJZZ’s 2nd Annual Haiku Writing Competition ends as we complete NaHaiWriMo.

Kristi garboushian

S3 E2 | February 21, 2020

We continue National Haiku Writing Month by chatting with three poets with ties to Arizona and the Southwest.

Myriam Sagan
S3 E1 | February 7, 2020

KJZZ’s second annual Haiku Writing Contest kicks off this month as we celebrate NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing Month).

Krampus: The Judgment

S2 E8 | December 18, 2019

In this season two finale, we explore the spookier side of Christmas by examining the tradition of ghost storytelling during the holiday season, from the Grinch to the Krampus.

Therese Munroe

S2 E7 | December 6, 2019

In this National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) retrospective and seventh episode of Season 2, we return to the mic with some guests who have already joined us to discuss their hard work.

Laura MacKenzie

S2 E6 | November 26, 2019

In this sixth episode of season 2, we catch up with three writers and their stories in media res.

open book

S2 E5 | November 8, 2019

In this fifth episode of Season 2, we celebrate writers from across Arizona who participate in the annual NaNoWriMo.

open book

S2 E4 | 23 october 2019

In this fourth episode of season 2, we celebrate Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac, who passed 50 years ago this month.

open book

S2 E3 | October 9, 2019

In this third episode of season 2, “Everyone is a scene”. If so, what are theater directors doing to include more diversity?

open book

S2 E2 | September 25, 2019

In this second episode of season 2, we explore literature for children and young adults in Arizona.

open book

S2 E1 | September 10, 2019

In this first episode of S2, we push back the portrayal of young people from low-income families as portrayed in Nick Richey’s film, “Low Low”.

open book

S1 E9 | May 29, 2019

Play’s The Thing, StoryFest

Arizona StoryFest is back on June 1. Plus, Cynnita Agent, co-star of “Single Black Female” and David Hemphill, director.

open book

S1 E8 | April 30, 2019

National Poetry Month, Part 3

Poetry podcaster Imogen Arate. Christina Estes of KJZZ samples open mic poetry at a valley bookstore. In addition, the poet Anna Flores.

open book

S1 E7 | April 24, 2019

National Poetry Month, Part 2

Tom returns to the valley to speak with Sally Ball, associate professor of English at ASU, and student poet and activist Austin Davis.

stack of books

S1 E6 | April 18, 2019

National Poetry Month, Part 1

The word hits the road! Take a trip to the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, a haiku hike in Tucson – and more.

TC Tolbert

S1 E5 | March 1, 2019

TC Tolbert

Tucson Poet Laureate TC Tolbert and the Downtown Tucson Partnership have put haiku in the city’s public spaces.

Rosemarie Dombrowski

S1 E4 | February 22, 2019

Rosemarie Dombrowski

An interview with Rosemarie Dombrowski, Phoenix Poet Laureate and ASU Professor, on the spread of poetry in the streets and the power of haiku.

Jean Sachen

S1 E3 | Feb. 15, 2019

Arizona Matsuri Festival

A preview of the upcoming Arizona Matsuri Festival of Japan with John Sachen.

Thomas stanton

S1 E2 | February 8, 2019

Thomas stanton

An interview with Tomas Stanton of the Mesa Arts Center on the engagement of young people in the writing and interpretation of poetry.

Michael dylan welch

S1 E1 | February 1, 2019


An interview with Michael Dylan Welch, creator of National Haiku Writing Month and administrator of the website that hosts it.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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