A Radio/Library Partnership Exploring Our Regional Literature
The award-winning StoryLines America aired its sixth and final series in New England. The series broadcast on participating National Public Radio stations throughout the country, but focused on New England libraries, including those in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
StoryLines was based on a series entitled "Big Sky Radio," which aired in Montana from 1993 to 1995 with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). StoryLines has been characterized as "a cross between 'Larry King Live' and college English class." The series' dynamic format combined author interviews and scholarly commentary with listener call-ins. Each program began with the consideration of a featured book, its historical background and literary significance, using it as a lens to examine the experience of living in each area. Interviews with various guests followed, and then the phone lines were opened to allow listeners to participate in the live, on-air dialog. The discussions were lively and provocative.
Three previous seasons of StoryLines broadcast in five regions--the Midwest in 2001, California and the Southeast in 1999, and the Northwest and Southwest in 1997. Each series had an audience of over 100,000 people. Guests have included tribal leaders, historians, literature experts, critics, editors and storytellers, along with many of the writers whose books were being discussed. Featured author and guest N. Scott Momaday (The Way to Rainy Mountain) said of the series, "I thoroughly enjoyed being a guest on 'StoryLines Southwest.' This radio series provides a very creative and thoughtful way to experience literature."
StoryLines was supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In 2002, StoryLines received the Midwest Association of Broadcasters Special Interest Programming "Best Award." For more information, please visit www.michmab.com