Open Books is hosted by Donna Seaman and co-produced by Craig Kois in Chicago.

Donna Seaman is an associate editor for Booklist, published in Chicago by the American Library Association. Seaman is also a frequent reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and other venues, and she created the fiction anthology, In Our Nature: Stories of Wildness. The recipient of several Illinois Arts Council grants as well as grants from The Leo S. Guthman Fund, Seaman has received The James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism, the Writer Magazine Writers Who Make a Difference Award, and two Pushcart Prize Special Mentions. Seaman’s author interviews are collected in Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books, in which, according to Creative Nonfiction, Seaman “skillfully harnesses wit and insight to attain revelatory details about celebrated writers, and has charted an entire map of literary adventures.” Writers on the Air was hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “trove of insights into the creative processes and cultural observations” of diverse writers.

A note from Donna:

Literature and radio go so well together, I am elated to have the opportunity to bring books and writers to listeners on an in-depth author interview program, thanks to my radio guru Craig Kois. Spoken word and documentary radio are Kois’ calling, and as station manager for WLUW, he pioneered community radio programming. Kois is now an independent producer specializing in independent community and arts programming.

I’ve been so very fortunate in my guests –– spirited, giving, and eloquent writers from Chicago and across the country –– and in the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. We’ve always wanted to bring these lively and revealing conversations to more readers than our radio signal reaches. Now, with the generous and visionary support of The Leo S. Guthman Fund of Chicago, we are able to provide free downloadable Open Books audio files at Thanks to the Guthman Fund and Hillary Carlip –– our wonderful web designer, who is also, what else? yes, a writer (––Open Books Radio is home to a substantial archive of author interviews, a collection that will continue to grow as we add new shows each month. Visit our Interviews page for a list of the writers appearing on Open Books. Check out my blog, Under Cover, where I’ll be writing about books, writers, and whatever else comes to mind. And we will be offering selected transcripts for those of you who want to read interviews.

Books compete with the machine media -- television, movies, video games, the Internet -- for our time and attention, yet they hold their own because books are intimate, nourishing, and resonant. Reading books stimulates the imagination, renews our love for the subtleties of language, forges bonds between past and present, links us to diverse peoples and all of living creation, and illuminates with singular clarity one of the universe’s greatest mysteries, how other people’s minds work. Off-the-grid objects of great sensuous, emotional, and intellectual pleasure, books mesh story and ideas. To read is to lose and find one’s self and the world. Reading is a form of listening, and literature is a grand and transcendent conversation. Our hope is that by opening books, hearts, and minds, you will help keep this rich and essential tradition alive and thriving.

©2007 Open Books Radio