Michael Silverblatt

Michael Silverblatt

Host, Bookworm

A man who converses on an equal plane with writers of fiction and poetry, often surprising them with his insights, Michael Silverblatt has made Bookworm the country's premier literary talk-show. Joyce Carol Oates once called him the "reader writers dream about."

Silverblatt's formidable knowledge comes from close reading and analysis of a writer's entire oeuvre. As host and guiding spirit of this weekly show, Silverblatt has reinvented the art of literary conversation, introducing listeners to new and emerging authors along with writers of renown.

He regularly hosts literary conversations for Lannan Foundation's "Readings and Conversations" series in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Following a 2011 conversation between Silverblatt and poet laureate, W.S. Merwin, Merwin left this note:

I must tell you I have been interviewed to something like excess, but an interview with you is unique. It is an original and you never ask any of the over and over questions that have been so often asked and answered. That makes these conversations with you an unfailing and singular pleasure.

A New York native, Silverblatt graduated from the State University of New York in Buffalo and later took advanced courses at Johns Hopkins. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970's, working in motion picture public relations and script development. He created Bookworm, for KCRW in 1989.

As a student, he came under the influence of such cutting-edge author-teachers as Donald Barthelme and John Barth; as a radio talk-show host, he learned to appreciate a much wider range of writing – making him, he hopes, "a person of ferocious compassion instead of ferocious intellect."

With more than two decades' worth of shows, Bookworm has become one of the best centers to hear the voices of contemporary writing, any time, anywhere, locally and globally via the Internet.

Michael Silverblatt on KCRW

Editor/poet Emily Skillings and poet/critic John Yau speak about an iconic poet of the 21st century, John Ashbery, and his posthumous book, “Parallel Movement of the Hands: Five…

Emily Skillings and John Yau: John Ashbery’s “Parallel Movement of the Hands: Five Unfinished Longer Works” (Re-air)

Editor/poet Emily Skillings and poet/critic John Yau speak about an iconic poet of the 21st century, John Ashbery, and his posthumous book, “Parallel Movement of the Hands: Five…

from Bookworm

Rita Dove’s new book of poetry, “Playlist for the Apocalypse,” goes in many different historical and personal directions.

Rita Dove: “Playlist for the Apocalypse” (Re-air)

Rita Dove’s new book of poetry, “Playlist for the Apocalypse,” goes in many different historical and personal directions.

from Bookworm

The debut novel of Robert Jones, Jr., “The Prophets,” is lyrical prose about the dimensionality and interiority of people.

Robert Jones, Jr.: “The Prophets” (Re-air)

The debut novel of Robert Jones, Jr., “The Prophets,” is lyrical prose about the dimensionality and interiority of people.

from Bookworm

More from KCRW

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Jacqueline Chow loves bugs. Her poetry speaks to the true beauty of nature.

from Poetry Submissions

In ‘El Pueblo,’ producer Mike Schilitt explores the surprising history of Olvera Street – an idealized fantasy of Mexico created in downtown Los Angeles that has supported generations…

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Kaia King-Hall’s drawing for Young Creators Project pictures a powerful nude figure lunging forward into a cityscape.

from Art Submissions

Southern Californians are taking their own approaches to the drought. One man waters his yard daily. Another has native plants and hardly ever waters.

from Greater LA

It took Samuel L. Jackson years to find a home for his passion project, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.”

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Before he co-created the FX comedy series “Reservation Dogs,” Sterlin Harjo directed three micro-budget films in his home state of Oklahoma.

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The Silver Lake restaurant staple, Casita del Campo, has been serving margaritas for 60 years. And the downstairs theater, The Cavern Club, hosts raucous drag shows.

from Greater LA

Rabbi Steve Leder’s insight on the Uvalde massacre and why we should reconsider our legacy when we die to include an ethical will.

from Life Examined