The Last Word

Writers & Books staff member Chris Fanning interviews local readers, writers, and W&B Teaching Artists. 

Past Episodes

  • SummerWrite: Hogwarts Academy Episode! Aired: Thursday, July 25, 2019

    Every July, SummerWrite hosts "Hogwarts Academy", a week-long summer camp specifically focused on the magic material of the Harry Potter books. Join The Last Word host Chris Fanning and SummerWrite Coordinator Katherine Varga as they discuss the program and all the unforgettable moments that occur along the way.

  • Interview with Joel Lesses Aired: Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Joel Lesses’s passions include the intersection of poetry, spirituality, science, and psychology shared and disparate in the human experience.  Joel was nominated for Best Poet in 2013 and 2014 in Buffalo’s Artvoice and won the award in 2014. His poetry has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and anthologies; currently he facilities Ground and Sky Rochester Reading Series and taught for many years numerous workshops and classes in the Western New York region, his manuscript Odyssey of Autumn’s Breath is a work-in-progress.

  • "Smudge Stick" Preview: Interview with Almeta Whitis, Gary Dewitt Marshall, and Niema Neteri Atkins Aired: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    Almeta Whitis is a storyteller, actress, poet, writer and teaching artist who has taught elementary, middle and high school in NYS and Arizona. A former assistant professor of Theater at SUNY Brockport, in 1997, she received their “Distinguished Scholar Public Service Award”. In 1995, Phi Delta Kappa awarded her “Lay Educator of the Year” by unanimous decision. As Chair of ALLOFUS Art Workshop’s Dance Department, a MAG and UR outreach program, she expanded a Saturday class of eight children to a year-round program serving over 450 children and adults.

  • Chris Fanning Aired: Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Chris Fanning's Summer Playlist Part 1 Aired: Wednesday, June 26, 2019



    The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane
    The Rascals - I've Been Lonely Too Long
    The Box Tops - Cry Like A Baby
    Silver - Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang
    Foster The People - Sit Next To Me
    Claude Debussy - Clair de Lune, L 32
    Al Green - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
    The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset
    Janis Joplin - Kozmic Blues
    America - Ventura Highway
    Supergrass - Alright
    Nina Simone - I Shall Be Released
    Electric Light Orchestra - Hold On Tight To Your Dreams

  • Interview with Julie Donofrio Aired: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Julie Donofrio has been making people laugh for years, sometimes on purpose. She’s writes as a comedian and as a humor columnist for Rochester Woman Online (as Julie Dee). Julie has also worked as an improv actor, and has done stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy everywhere from New York City comedy clubs to the beverage tent at the Monroe County Fair.

  • Summer Workshops at Writers & Books Aired: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Writers & Books staff members Chris Fanning and Dan Herd discuss upcoming workshops and events happening this summer. 

  • Interview with Kim Morse Aired: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    Kim is a 2009 graduate from Nazareth College (Rochester, NY) in English literature, a 2014 graduate from the University of Rochester (also Rochester, NY) in linguistics, and a 2018 graduate of the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine). Previously, Kim worked as an editor with the Community College Research Center, a center dedicated to research on all aspects of education. When not hiking, Kim enjoys weightlifting, spending time with her cats, and thinking about hiking.

  • Interview with author David Seaburn Aired: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    David B. Seaburn is a novelist. His most recent work, Parrot Talk (2017), placed second in fiction for the TAZ Author’s Awards (2017) and was short-listed for the Somerset Award in General Fiction (2018). His novel, Charlie No Face (2011), was a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award in General Fiction (2011). He also writes a blog for Psychology Today magazine entitled, Going Out Not Knowing. Seaburn is an instructor at Writers and Books in Rochester, NY. He is a retired marriage and family therapist, psychologist and minister.

  • Interview with Stacy Freed Aired: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    Stacey Freed holds an MFA from George Mason University and is an award-winning writer for national trade and consumer print and online publications including USA Today and Better Homes & Gardens publications and AARP’s Livable Communities. She was the managing editor for B’nai B’rith’s magazine, and for ten years she was a senior editor for Hanley Wood’s Remodeling magazine. She has had her own freelance writing business since 2013.