National Writing Project

Rural Voices Radio I

"To say [Rural Voices Radio] is powerful radio is an understatement...it should be an inspiration to our listeners, and perhaps more important, a great inspiration to our staff...We MUST air this program!"

—Steve Robinson,
Manager of Nebraska Public Radio

That's what Steve Robinson, Manager of Nebraska Public Radio said when he heard the Nebraska Writing Project's Rural Voices Radio tape. The Nebraska program, "A Harvest Time, Writing our Places," is one of six radio programs that the Rural Voices, Country Schools (RVCS) network produced as part of the Annenberg Rural Challenge project. The spoken anthology also contains programs from Central Washington, Third Coast Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Southcentral Pennsylvania and the Northern Arizona Writing Projects.

Rural Voices Radio I: Writing About the Places We Call Home, released in June 2000, transports listeners to the unique and diverse landscapes of rural America through the original writings of students and their teachers in the six Rural Voices, Country Schools sites. Each site's program is distinctive—from Louisiana's bayous and crawfish to the arid hills of Moses Lake, Washington—the CD anthology offers a glimpse of the countryside and celebrates what's genuinely good in America's rural schools.

Building on the Rural Voices, Country Schools theme of bringing student voices and student writing to the public, NWP released the CD set to public radio stations across the country. The response to the programs overwhelmingly positive.

Praise for Rural Voices Radio Volume I

Bill Moyers, a host and producer for PBS, said the programs were unforgettable. "These programs take us back to America's roots, where language and place connect to ground listeners in the shared experience."

Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent for The Newshour With Jim Lehrer, was also inspired by the student writing, "...these writers only needed to have the poet in them activated in order to burst into flame."

Studs Terkel, WFMT-FM interviewer and best-selling author and playwright, concluded his words of praise saying, "over and above all else, they offer hope."

 

Listen

Listen to a ten-minute sampler of Rural Voices Radio Volume I online (Real Audio) or hear individual projects in their entirety.

 Arizona:
"Arizona: Singing Down the Sun," Northern Arizona Writing Project at Northern Arizona University

 Louisiana:
"Everyday Epiphanies: Listening to the Rhythms of Louisiana Life," Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project at Southeastern Louisiana University.

 Michigan:
"Digging in the Root Cellar: Uncovering the Stories of Southwestern Michigan," Third Coast Writing Project at Western Michigan University.

 Nebraska:
"Nebraska: A Harvest Time, Writing Our Places," Nebraska Writing Project at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

 Pennsylvania:
"Jewels from the Slag: Writings from Southcentral Pennsylvania," Southcentral Pennsylvania Writing Project at Indiana University.

 Washington:
"Out of the Sage: A River of Voices from Central Washington," Central Washington Writing Project at Central Washington University.

© 2014 National Writing Project