National Writing Project

Rural Voices Radio II

"These programs take us back to America's roots, where language and place connect to ground listeners in the shared experience. I found them unforgettable." 

Bill Moyers, PBS Host/Producer

Rural Voices Radio II is the newest in a series of half-hour productions that features students and their teachers reading original poems, stories, and essays about the places we call home. The programs offer a rare glimpse of America's back roads and countryside through the eyes of children, some as young as first grade. Contributions come from teachers and students in Hawai'i, Louisiana, Maine, and Mississippi.

Produced by the National Writing Project and award-winning producer Deborah Begel (Fresh Air, Selected Shorts), and narrated by Kim Stafford, the programs communicate the power each of us has to speak to the heart through words and sound. Each spoken anthology takes us to the seldom seen, from the fiery depths of volcanic Pele to the excitement of a first deer hunt. Exploring all that is unique to country living, Rural Voices Radio deepens a sense of place for authors and listeners alike.

Rural Voices Radio II is NWP's second audio production celebrating excellence in America's rural schools. The first compilation earned a Special Merit award in 2001 from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Link here to learn more about the development of Rural Voices Radio from the Rural Voices, Country Schools Project, a three-year Annenberg Rural Challenge program that ran from 1996-1999 to strengthen "genuinely good, genuinely rural" education.

Praise for Rural Voices Radio

"These stories present a charming glimpse into the adventures, memories, and experiences of talented young writers. The fresh voices and carefully chosen music had this city gal imagining herself transplanted into rural communities from Hawai'i to the coast of Maine."
—Harriet Baskas, former General 
Manager of KBCS, Washington

"This is great radio, right from the heart, right from where people live. Your rural audience will appreciate hearing this. Your urban audience has never really lost their love for rural life. They will be enchanted."
—Richard Towne, KUNM General Manager,
New Mexico

"Rural Voices Radio has had a lasting impression on me as a teacher and writer. It made audible the power of student voices that will echo in my classroom for years."
—Phip Ross, Waverly High School, Waverly, Nebraska


Listen to a sampler of Rural Voices Radio Volume II below. You can also find the entire series through our podcast channel in iTunes.

 Hawai'i, "I Remember Hilo Rain: A Downpour of Voices from the Big Island"

"I am what I am.
A child of color blind people,
The blood of many races, belonging to none...
A son of immigrant and native flesh,
Whose names are the heavy ocean mists."
—Chad Ahia, Hawai'i

 Lousiana, "Everyday Epiphanies in Louisiana Life"

"Moss falls from tall gloomy trees. Cypress
knees reach up out of infested waters like
they are crying for help."
—Brittany Jones, Louisiana

 Maine, "First Light: Writings from the Maine Sunrise"

"...when we have the ability to go anywhere
and see anything, we will realize that the only
place we truly belong is the place where we
started and our search will end up bringing us
home, admiring the view out the front window."
—Brenden Cassidy, Maine

 Mississippi, "Out on the Porch: Tales from a Mississippi Swing"

"I am from Mississippi,
a quilt stitched with flowers, apple trees,
fence lines, creeks and bayous,
edged by the Mississippi River and the
Gulf of Mexico.
I am from love for the land and family,
from folks bound together by Southern
—Mary Kay Deen, Mississippi

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