A podcast about literature
hosted by KJZZ's Tom Maxedon.

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KJZZ host Tom Maxedon discusses Latinx poetry with Jackie Balderrama; a new play about two beloved film critics with BJ Garrett; and national security — real and fictional — with the Washington Post's David Ignatius.
May 28, 2024
On this episode of Word, we discuss a new romance book club in the Valley, how the 2022 shooting of a Valley man by a former Phoenix police officer inspired a collection of poems and a new collection of climate fiction short stories.
May 14, 2024
On this episode of “Word,” we talk religion and politics with NPR National Political Correspondent and co-host of NPR’s "Politics Podcast," Sarah McCammon. We also chat with the winner of the 2023 National Book Award for Poetry, Craig Santos Perez.
April 23, 2024
On this episode of KJZZ's Word podcast about literature, we celebrate National Poetry Month and the release of the debut crime novel from an Emmy Award-winning and long-time KJZZ reporter.
April 9, 2024
Portrait of woman and book cover
NPR Science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce has a new book called, “Transient and Strange: Notes on the Science of Life.” KJZZ's Tom Maxedon spoke with her about it.
March 9, 2024
Portrait of woman and book cover
On this episode of KJZZ's Word podcast about literature, we feature stories about a crime, a baseball historian with a century-old tale and science from an NPR correspondent. Plus, we have the winner of this year’s KJZZ Haiku Writing Contest.
Feb. 26, 2024
Slide of haiku
There were 270 entries to the 2024 KJZZ haiku writing contest, with Maricopa resident Cindy Koontz's poem "Sunny Arizona Vibes" taking the randomly selected winning spot. Read a few more of the entries here.
Feb. 26, 2024
Book cover and portrait of woman
To kick off Season 11, this episode of Word features author awards, an NPR host, poetry and the annual KJZZ Haiku Writing Contest.
Feb. 6, 2024
On this season-ending episode of Word, we highlight some of those who appeared during 2023. It's a "Fest Of Us" celebrating literature and the winners of KJZZ's "Tiny Library" drawing.
Dec. 26, 2023
On this episode we catch up with children’s authors who discuss the importance of empathy and interconnectedness as well as a former journalist who has a page-turning new historical novel about an American reporter who turned into a mouthpiece for Nazi propaganda during World War II.
Dec. 12, 2023
On this episode of KJZZ's Word podcast about literature, we feature the winner of the National Book Award for his collection of poetry. Plus, the holiday season means it’s time for NPR’s annual, “Books We Love" feature. Also, a children's author offers two new interactive titles.
Nov. 28, 2023
On this episode, we take a heady journey into the art of the possible and explore Indigenous literature with two Diné women writers.
Nov. 14, 2023
Steve Inskeep
NPR’s Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep recently released a book about Abraham Lincoln titled, “Differ We Must.” It’s a nuanced look at the former president’s political acumen and his disagreements with others about slavery.
Nov. 3, 2023
Portrait of Steve Inskeep and book cover for "Differ We Must"
It’s Halloween and on this episode, we explore Magic, Marvel and President Abraham Lincoln.
Oct. 31, 2023
On this episode, Word spotlights horror in numerous ways from banned books to a new novel about a murdered Indigenous woman, as well a murder satire of cozy mysteries. Guests include Carew Papritz, J.A. Jance and Chuck Palahniuk.
Oct. 17, 2023
Word podcast card showing host and three guests
On this episode of Word,”poets and storytellers have an opportunity to perform in the Valley, plus we feature young adult travel and romance set in Arizona, as well as a YA fantasy/romance rooted in dark magic.
Sept. 26, 2023
Costume featuring paint samples in shades of grey
KJZZ's Word podcast is hosting a literary-themed Halloween costume contest! Submit photos and and a description of your costume for a chance to win a KJZZ swag bag. The winner will be announced on the Nov. 14 episode of Word.
Sept. 26, 2023
raul castro
On this Season 10 opener, it’s all about anecdotes. We feature conversations about minor league baseball; the only Latino governor of Arizona, Raúl Héctor Castro, affectionately known as Raúlito; plus tales of the legendary troubadour Bob Dylan.
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Sept. 12, 2023
On this episode of Word, it’s the season-ender! We discuss reading events beyond the upcoming Juneteenth holiday that offer a deeper connection to why it’s celebrated. Plus, a literary convo from Kenya happened while on "vacation," and I returned to the Valley to discuss a debut novel from an ASU professor emerita.
June 13, 2023
On this episode, a Diné writer releases her first novel. Plus, we examine an international true-crime story by a Valley poet-turned sleuth. And, we extend a bow to Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a day at the Kentucky Derby.
May 30, 2023