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

John Lanchester’s The Wall is a wild love story with a dystopian backdrop.

John Lanchester: The Wall

John Lanchester’s The Wall is a wild love story with a dystopian backdrop.

from Bookworm

In Nathan Englander’s   kaddish.com  , a secular Jewish son experiments with the task of shepherding his father’s soul safely to rest.

Nathan Englander: kaddish.com

In Nathan Englander’s  kaddish.com , a secular Jewish son experiments with the task of shepherding his father’s soul safely to rest.

from Bookworm

Chris Cander’s   The Weight of a Piano   explores characters with passionate attachments to things that have been lost.

Chris Cander: The Weight of a Piano

Chris Cander’s  The Weight of a Piano  explores characters with passionate attachments to things that have been lost.

from Bookworm

More from KCRW

Brain- numbing and head-splitting (literally the latter, since the cleaving of skulls is a recurrent motif).

from Film Reviews

Whether you subscribe to skinny bundles that include live TV, or more traditional streaming video on demand services, you may have noticed your monthly subscription prices going up…

from Screengrab

Since the Notre Dame fire, many large corporations and philanthropic French families have made hefty donations to the cathedral’s restoration.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Hunter Drohojowska-Philp muses on the many art festivals—not fairs— blossoming in the desert

from Art Talk

There’s really nothing else like late night call in shows on the radio – other humans, in real time, just chatting.

from Nocturne

Edward Goldman talks about the architectural glory of Los Angeles, with iconic buildings by Pritzker Prize winners within walking distance.

from Art Talk

Winter is finally coming. HBO had its premiere party for the final season of 'Game of Thrones,' the most popular show on TV.

from Hollywood Breakdown

It’s terrific fun, and none of the things that were threatening to turn DC Entertainment into the cinematic equivalent of a black hole.

from Film Reviews

The life of a poet is rich with meaning and beauty. But the financial life of a poet is decidedly less rich.

from The Organist