Welcome to Word, a podcast hosted by KJZZ's Tom Maxedon about literature in Arizona and the region.



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A mural of poet Amanda Gorman
What do a Valley novelist, tireless advocate of the arts and poet in her own right, and a teacher/spoken word artist in Phoenix have in common? They are our three guests who thread that needle through this tapestry we call Word. It’s a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region, created and hosted by KJZZ’s Tom Maxedon.
Oct. 26, 2021
On this first October offering of “Word,” wanderlust is our theme. We explore what Valley teacher and writer Marla-Tiye Vieira, southern New Mexico scholar, fiction writer and poet Ana Castillo, as well as longtime producer of Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows, Tom Vitale, have to contribute to our itinerary.
Oct. 12, 2021
What do a Tucson rancher, a poet who's lauded by NPR and the new Phoenix youth poet laureate have in common? Find out on "Word" S6:E2 hosted by Tom Maxedon from KJZZ. It's a podcast about literature in Arizona and the region.
Sept. 21, 2021
In this Season 6 opener of "Word," we run the gamut from dealing with post-traumatic stress as a veteran and personal migration stories by Black people living in Arizona to a romantic comedy based in Phoenix that deals with the opioid crisis.
Sept. 7, 2021
What are you reading this summer? We have some suggestions by Arizona writers for adults and youth or those who don’t want to adult for a minute and feel their youth again. Hear their stories on this Season 5 ender of “Word,” a KJZZ podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region, hosted by Tom Maxedon.
May 26, 2021
Darcie Little Badger
What do indigenous futurism, young adult fantasy literature and climate have in common? Find out on "Word" — a KJZZ podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region hosted by Tom Maxedon.
May 11, 2021
Dr. Tamika Sanders
What do the Vietnamese diaspora, Beat/Wagner-inspired poetry, The Diné Reader and Black Lives Matter have in common? We explore those connections in this double-issue of Word as we close out National Poetry Month with PPE: a Pandemic Poetry Extravaganza.
April 28, 2021
National Poetry Month continues and after a virtual trip to Tucson last episode, we come back to the “Valley of the Poet” and explore some intriguing questions.
April 13, 2021
Coming up on “Word," we’re back from spring break and just in time for National Poetry Month. On this episode, we head to the University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson — well via Zoom anyway. Plus, we sample some poetry and talk verse with Tucson writers.
April 1, 2021
Misako Yamazaki
KJZZ's third-annual Haiku Writing Contest was a success. Catch up with the winner and hear more about haiku from a Phoenix-based writer. Plus, listen to invigorating discussion with nationally renowned writers from this year's virtual Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference.
March 3, 2021
writing a haiku
Na Hai Wri Mo — National Haiku Writing Month — continues, and so does KJZZ’s third-annual Haiku Writing Contest. This year’s theme: What's new for you during the pandemic? On this episode, we’ll catch up with organizers of this year’s Arizona Matsuri which is going virtual.
Feb. 16, 2021
Welcome to the Season 5 opener of “Word” and the launch of KJZZ’s third-annual Haiku Writing Contest. This year’s theme: What's new for you during the pandemic?
Feb. 1, 2021
Welcome to the final episode of “Word” for this season. As we close out the 2020, we’re exploring nonfiction, something we don’t often discuss as a literary art form.
Dec. 18, 2020
What do a retired veteran, a museum archivist and a technical writer have in common? They all finished the challenge of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and wrote at least a 50,000-word novel during November.
Dec. 8, 2020
NaNoWriMo writers are past the halfway mark this November. In this episode of "Word," we’ll find out how some in the Southwest are coping and keep on truckin’ to the finish line: 50,000 words by the end of the month.
Nov. 17, 2020
It’s nearly Halloween and almost National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). As we close out October, we celebrate the holiday and those who are stepping up to write 50,000 words in a month beginning Nov. 1.
Oct. 27, 2020
Trump and Biden debate graphic
President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden held a final debate Thursday in Nashville, with Kristen Welker of NBC News moderating. After a haphazard first debate, and a canceled second one, this final debate followed a new set of rules. Get analysis and fact checks from NPR.
More Arizona Election News | Arizona Voter Guide
Oct. 22, 2020
Rebecca Roanhorse
On this episode, we welcome Annika Clark, chosen by Creative Youth of Arizona as the Phoenix Youth Poet Laureate. Plus, we talk to poet and retired teacher Joey Connolly and Pueblo Indian writer and NYT bestselling author Rebecca Roanhorse, who has a new fantasy novel called “Black Sun” out this month.
Oct. 9, 2020
On this episode, the coronavirus pandemic continues to present challenges for creatives. We’ll talk to a returning guest about it. Plus, we turn our attention to younger audiences and readers, beginning with puppets.
Sept. 29, 2020
"Word" is a KJZZ original podcast about the literary arts in Arizona and the region. We begin this season with the first of three returning guests, David Hemphill, executive director of Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix.
Sept. 1, 2020

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