Writers on a New England Stage | New Hampshire Public Radio

Writers on a New England Stage

Writers on a New England Stage is a partnership of The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio.  To view the schedule and purchase tickets, click here or call the box office at (603) 436-2400

Note: Some events require the purchase of a book voucher and are not available online; call or visit The Music Hall box office in Portsmouth to purchase tickets to these shows.

ABOUT WRITERS ON A NEW ENGLAND STAGE

Half lecture, half intimate conversation, Writers on a New England Stage brings world-class authors to New Hampshire to read from their latest works and talk about themselves, their creative process, and their stories.

This award-winning series, launched in 2005, has presented such celebrated authors as Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, USSC Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Judy Blume, Tom Brokaw, Jodi Picoult, and David McCullough; all on stage at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Each literary evening features an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with a New Hampshire Public Radio host. Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. Shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.

Follow the series on social media at #WNES.

Writers On A New England Stage: Paul Krugman

Mar 14, 2021

The Exchange presents a special broadcast of Writers on a New England Stage with economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

Writers On A New England Stage: Diane Rehm

Mar 3, 2021

The Exchange presents a special broadcast of Writers on a New England Stage with Diane Rehm.

Host Peter Biello speaks with the former NPR host about her new book, "When My Time Comes," which explores the moral and legal framework of medical aid in dying laws.

The interview was recorded during a virtual event on  Tuesday, Feb. 23. 

In this hour, Rehm discusses her personal interest in the subject. She watched her husband die a protracted death, and has since advocated for medical aid in dying laws. 

Writers On A New England Stage: Rebecca Carroll

Feb 15, 2021

The Exchange presents a special broadcast of Writers on a New England Stage with Rebecca Carroll. Carroll is an award-winning author, podcast host and Black culture critic.

Sydney Bilodeau; The Music Hall

NHPR and The Music Hall in Portsmouth present Writers on a New England Stage with international bestselling author and podcast host Malcolm Gladwell, who sat down with Peter Biello to discuss his new book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know.

Writers on a New England Stage: Tommy Orange

Jul 5, 2019
David J. Murray / Cleareyephoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall in Portsmouth present Writers on a New England Stage with author Tommy Orange.  He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about his debut novel,  There, There, in which Orange depicts the lives of a dozen different Native characters. Orange, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, grew up in Oakland California and spent time working there in a Native community before writing his novel.  

David J. Murray / Cleareyephoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall in Portsmouth present Writers on a New England Stage with author Jared Diamond. A noted scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Diamond discusses his latest work, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis. The book is an exploration of the role of selective change in history's most resilient countries. It blends psychology with history, economics and geography. 

This interview was recorded May 9, 2019 at The Music Hall.

Doris Kearns Goodwin and Lauren Chooljian
Sara Plourde

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Goodwin is the author of seven books, including her most recent Leadership in Turbulent Times, which examines the origins and qualities of leadership through the lens of four presidents. 

Goodwin spoke about her book with NHPR political reporter Lauren Chooljian. This conversation was recorded October, 12, 2018 at The Music Hall.  

Writers on a New England Stage: Lidia Bastianich

Jul 3, 2019
Sara Plourde, NHPR

NHPR and The Music Hall in Portsmouth present Writers on a New England Stage with author Lidia Bastianich. She spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about her latest book, My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food. 

In her memoir, Bastianich explores her relationship to Italian cuisine, describes her upbringing in communist Yugoslavia, her time as a refugee in Italy, and her experience living and working in New York City, where she discovered her passsion for food. 

Host of the cooking show, Lidia's Kitchen, Bastianich owns four restaurants in New York City and is co-founder of the Italian marketplace chain, Eataly.  

This interview was recorded March 12, 2019 at The Music Hall.

David Murray, ClearEyePhoto

NHPR and The Music Hall in Portsmouth present Writers on a New England Stage with author Steven Pinker. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about his latest book, Enlightenment Now: The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.

Pinker explores the positive theory that the world is actually getting better - with happier, healthier people living longer lives. Backed with extensive research and illustrated with informational graphs, Pinker outlines the promising forecast on the human condition. 

This interview recorded Jan. 30, 2019 at The Music Hall.

Patricia McLaughlin for NHPR

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Egan has written several novels and a collection of short stories. Jennifer Egan's novel A Visit From the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. 

Not only a writer of fiction, Egan is an accomplished journalist and has written frequently for the New York Times Magazine.

Writers on a New England Stage: Jojo Moyes

Feb 23, 2018
©David J. Murray / Cleareyephoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with romance author and screenwriter Jojo Moyes, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. 

Writers on a New England Stage: Dan Brown

Nov 22, 2017
Sara Plourde

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Dan Brown, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Dan Brown is the author of bestselling thrillers like The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno. 

Writers on a New England Stage: Atul Gawande

Sep 29, 2017
Sara Plourde

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Atul Gawande recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. He is a surgeon, public health researcher, and has written four New York Times bestsellers including most recently, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Writers on a New England Stage: Diane Rehm

May 12, 2017
David J. Murray/ ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Diane Rehm recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. The Peabody Award-winning public radio host of The Diane Rehm Show has written four books, including one with her husband, John Rehm, about the rewards and challenges of a long marriage.

Writers on a New England Stage: Anthony Doerr

Apr 21, 2017
Courtesy of the Music Hall

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Anthony Doerr, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See tells the stories of two teenagers swept up in the brutality of World War II. Much has been made of the fact that the book was a ten-year journey for Doerr, but during our conversation, it became clear that that novel was just one facet--and one result--of his free-range inquisitiveness and sense of wonder. Anthony Doerr stood to one corner of the stage with an excitable restlessness, beside a giant screen and a variety of slides, which he used to help tell the story of how his ten-year novel came to be.

Writers on a New England Stage: Krista Tippett

Mar 24, 2017
© David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Krista Tippett recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. She’s the New York Times best-selling author of Einstein's God and more recently Becoming Wise, and host of the public radio show and podcast On Being. Since the program launched in 2003, she's spoken to hundreds of activists, scientists, scholars, religious leaders and spiritual seekers. Becoming Wise draws from that store of accumulated knowledge to reveal creative, original thinking and approaches to living a whole-hearted, hopeful life. 

Writers on a New England Stage: Mario Batali

Nov 30, 2016
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Today, NHPR and the music hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Mario Batali recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Batali is a celebrity chef, entrepreneur, restaurateur, television star and passionate advocate for simple, regional food. He is author, or co-author, of 7 cookbooks on Italian food, wine and culture, one on Spanish specialties, and three of American recipes, including his most recent Big American Cookbook.

Writers on a New England Stage: Jodi Picoult

Oct 26, 2016
David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Jodi Picoult recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. 

Picoult is a phenomenally successful novelist, with more than 14 million books in print worldwide. Small Great Things is her most recent. Like previous books, it debuted at number one on best-sellers lists.

Picoult devotees will recognize the relatable, everyday characters thrashing through controversial ethical issues seemingly ripped from the headlines. But for her, Small Great Things was different. It’s about racism, white privilege and the inherited inequities of America’s past and present. She says it was one of the hardest books to write. The Washington Post called it her most important

Writers on a New England Stage: Justice Stephen Breyer

Oct 12, 2016
David J. Murray / Cleareyephoto.com

Today, NHPR and the Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Stephen Breyer, recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Breyer was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1994. He is now 78 and author of several books throughout his distinguished career. Some are academic, others displaying his unbridled enthusiasm for the democratic system and belief that it is the court’s job is to make government work for real people living today.

Writers on a New England Stage: Daniel Silva

Aug 1, 2016
David J. Murray / cleareyephoto.com

Daniel Silva was a journalist based in the Middle East before he published his first novel in 1996. That story, The Unlikely Spy hit the New York Times best-sellers list and introduced the world to Gabriel Allons -- a Mossad assassin turned art restorer. Now 16 novels into the series, Allons is known as "The Jewish James Bond" and has joined the pantheon of legendary fictional spies that includes George Smiley, Jack Ryan, and Jason Bourne.

Writers on a New England Stage: Judy Blume

Jul 25, 2016
David J. Murray / Cleareyephoto.com

Today on Word of Mouth, a conversation with Judy Blume, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth for Writers on a New England Stage, a partnership between NHPR, and The Music Hall. 

Judy Blume was one of the first authors to write frankly about the confusing, and often humiliating transition from childhood to adolescence. Her best known books were published in the 1970s. Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, Deenie, Blubber, and Forever offered young readers plain language and shame-free stories about periods, bullying, sexual urges and, even “doing it”. 

Writers On A New England Stage: Grace Helbig

Jun 16, 2016
Sara Plourde / NHPR

On today's show, it's Writers on a New England Stage with Grace Helbig, recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Helbig is everything you’d expect in an internet superstar: funny, extremely photogenic, self-deprecating, and little known to people over 30. 

Writers On A New England Stage: Alexander McCall Smith

Jun 15, 2016
Sara Plourde

Today on Word of Mouth it's Writers on a New England Stage with Alexander McCall Smith, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.  Best known as the author of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, McCall Smith made his living for many years as an esteemed lawyer, medical law professor, and international authority on medical ethics and bioethics. 

Writers On A New England Stage: Patti Smith

Jun 14, 2016
(C) Hear and There Photography, CC BY 4.0 / http://on.fb.me/1QGOtR4

On today's show, it's Writers on a New England Stage with Patti Smith, recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. A poet, musician, and photographer, Smith is often called “the godmother of punk”. She co-wrote the radio hit "Because the Night" with Bruce Springsteen, but soon afterward she stepped off stage to move to Detroit and raise her family. It was with the publication of Just Kids in 2010 that she transformed from downtown cult figure to National Book Award-winning writer. 

Writers on a New England Stage: Joe Hill

May 25, 2016
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Joe Hill is the author of several short story collections, the Locke & Key comic book series, and best-selling novels The Heart-Shaped Box, NOS4A2, and Horns. He joined Virginia Prescott for a conversation for Writers on a New England Stage in Portsmouth on May 16, 2016.

Writers On A New England Stage: Lesley Stahl

May 19, 2016
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

As a reporter and White House correspondent for CBS News, Lesley Stahl covered Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis and the Gulf War. Her investigative work for 60 minutes brought her from America's nuclear mission control centers to Guantanamo Bay. She's interviewed heads of state, traumatized soldiers, Iraqi rebels, teenage gospel stars, and deftly refereed pitched debates on Face the Nation.  With a shelf full of Emmys, Murrow Awards and a few memorable scoops behind her, Lesley Stahl says becoming a grandmother is her best assignment yet.  

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Recently, the author of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Alexander McCall Smith sat down with us in the Portsmouth Music Hall green room to talk about his writing process. The conversation is part of a series we call the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop.

What's harder to write -- the first sentence or the last?

I think the first sentence is harder and is immensely important, because in a lot of cases that’s the only sentence someone is going to read. And so you have to be very powerful in your first sentence.

10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Patti Smith

Nov 17, 2015
Sara Plourde / NHPR

Recently, the multi-talented poet/artist/rock legend Patti Smith joined us to discuss her latest memoir, M Train, for our program Writers on a New England Stage. Before the show, we sat down with Patti in the greenroom of the Music Hall to talk about her writing process. The conversation is part of a series we call the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop.

What's harder to write - the first sentence or the last?

Writers On A New England Stage: Stacy Schiff

Nov 9, 2015
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

On today's show it's Writers on a New England Stage with Stacy Schiff, recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of biographies of Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov, Benjamin Franklin, and Cleopatra, is known for discovering the real overlaid by popular mythologies. Her most recent book takes on the enduring fictions of one of the most confounding and hysterical events in American history: the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As David McCullough says, "history in the hands of Stacy Schiff is invariably full of life, light, shadow, surprise, clarity of insight... Few writers combine as she does superb scholarship and an exceptional gift for language with amazing reach and agility of mind. "

Schiff, a Pulitizer Prize-winning author and historian, joined us at The Music Hall in Portsmouth for our program Writers on a New England Stage, to talk about her newest book, The Witches: Salem, 1692.

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