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KJZZ's Word

Arts & Culture Podcasts

"Word" is a KJZZ original podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region.

"Word" is a KJZZ original podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region.


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"Word" is a KJZZ original podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region.




Word S7:E6 — Ghostwriting proves lucrative and the summer reading season kicks off soon

What do a children's author with a new release, an action-adventure writer who pivoted during the pandemic to ghostwriting and a librarian have in common?


Word S7:E5 — Explore the fight to organize labor and National Poetry Month

What do a labor organizer who fought to unionize industrial laundry workers in the Valley, poets from the state, a teen writer who wrote a book about women poets and a legend of open mic have in common?


Word S7:E4 – People’s best friend and National Poetry Month spring into action

Word returns from spring break with new conversations about kid lit, Valley poets preparing to go geopolitical vs. Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine during National Poetry Month and the upcoming Tucson Poetry Festival.


Word S7:E3 — The mythical Phoenix flies acapella and KJZZ's haiku contest has a winner

What do a KJZZ reporter, the former Phoenix poet laureate, a Valley haiku poet with a new haiku trilogy and the winner of this year’s Haiku Writing Contest have in common?


Word S7:E2 — National Haiku Writing Month continues; the Tucson Festival of Books returns in person

What do a Scottsdale memoirist, a Tucson coffee shop/bookstore owner — who's also a haiku enthusiast as well as a crime writer — and a Tucson Festival of Books panelist have in common? They’re all part of this episode of KJZZ’s Word. It’s a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region hosted by Tom Maxedon.


Word S7:E1 — It’s National Haiku Writing Month and KJZZ’s annual Haiku Writing Contest

What do a debut novelist from Tucson, a Nigerian-American young adult and fantasy writer who just moved to the Valley as well as a teacher who is part of the Arizona Matsuri steering committee in Phoenix have in common? They comprise our Season 7 opener episode of "Word." It’s a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region.


Word S6:E7 — Seasons endings bring reflection and a look forward

What do a former hotshot from Arizona, a Valley poet with a new collection about addiction as well as a planetary scientist and creative writer from Tucson have in common? They comprise our season-ending episode of "Word." It’s a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region.


Word S6:E6 — Friends make the holidays memorable

What do a poetry library director from Tucson, a Lipan Apache Earth scientist/young adult novelist and a Tempe poet have in common? They are returning friends on this episode of Word. It's a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region.


Word S6:E4 – Something thrilling comes this way; honoring Black Poetry Day

What do a Valley financial advisor/novelist, tireless advocate of the arts and poet in her own right, and a teacher/spoken word artist in Phoenix have in common?


Word S6:E5 — Exploring the human condition is a past, present and future endeavor

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


Word S6:E3 — Wanderlust is our theme

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


Word S6:E2 — Breaking The Mold — Part 2

What do a Tucson rancher, a poet who's lauded by NPR and the new Phoenix youth poet laureate have in common? Find out on "Word" S6:E2 hosted by Tom Maxedon from KJZZ. It's a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region.


Word S6:E1 — Breaking The Mold

In this Season 6 opener of "Word," we run the gamut from dealing with post-traumatic stress as a veteran and personal migration stories by Black people living in Arizona to a romantic comedy based in Phoenix that deals with the opioid crisis.


Word S5:E8 — Indigenous Detective Literature And Young Adult Fiction

What are you reading this summer? We have some suggestions by Arizona writers for adults and youth or those who don’t want to adult for a minute and feel their youth again. Hear their stories on this Season 5 ender of “Word,” a KJZZ podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region, hosted by Tom Maxedon.


Word S5 E7: Indigenous Futurisms And Climate Fiction

What do indigenous futurism, young adult fantasy literature and climate have in common? Find out on "Word" — a KJZZ podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region hosted by Tom Maxedon.


Word S5:E6 – Nat'l Poetry Month Part 3 — PPE — Pandemic Poetry Extravaganza

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


Word S5:E5: National Poetry Month Part 2 — Valley Of The Poet

National Poetry Month continues and after a virtual trip to Tucson last episode, we come back to the “Valley of the Poet” and explore some intriguing questions.


Word S5:E4: National Poetry Month Part 1 — The Tucson Episode

Coming up on “Word," we’re back from spring break and just in time for National Poetry Month. On this episode, we head to the University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson — well via Zoom anyway. Plus, we sample some poetry and talk verse with Tucson writers.


Word S5:E3 — NaHaiWriMo Finale, Plus Desert Nights Rising Stars

National Haiku Writing Month — NaHaiWriMo — concludes. On this episode, we will talk briefly with the randomly selected winner of KJZZ’s third-annual Haiku Writing Contest.


Word S5 E2: National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) — Part 2

Na Hai Wri Mo — National Haiku Writing Month — continues, and so 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. On this episode, we’ll catch up with organizers of this year’s Arizona Matsuri which is going virtual.