David Zheng

Joyce Maynard ’21 — an Eli Whitney student and famous writer — will host a new radio program on WYBC, in which she will interview notable guests and Yale students.

The radio show, which remains unnamed, hosted its first guest last Thursday. Maynard interviewed James Carville — a Democratic political consultant famous for leading Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign — for an hour. She spoke to him about the current political situation, his marriage to a Republican political consultant and the current issues facing university students, like student debt. While the Carville interview will air on Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Yale Radio’s website, the show will be further developed and released in a more final form during the spring semester.

“I came to Yale last fall, and I was overwhelmed by how many extraordinary speakers, thinkers, artists show up on this campus,” Maynard told the News. “The idea came to me to try to create a radio program in which I sit down with some of these guests from all disciplines and be able to share what they have to say to many people in the Yale community.”

Maynard originally matriculated to Yale in 1971. Previously, she published a cover piece in The New York Times Magazine entitled “An 18-Year-Old Looks Back on Life.” The essay earned the young writer praise — most notably from famous American author J.D. Salinger. The two then started exchanging correspondence that led to a 10-month-long affair, during which she dropped out of the University. In 2018, she returned to Yale as a sophomore in the Eli Whitney Students Program, which allows students who have had at least a five-year break in their education to come to Yale to earn a degree.

Maynard approached Yale Radio with the concept in early September, according to Malak Khan ’21, Yale Radio’s programming director. Khan has since taken on the role of producing and developing the show. The new program will be a departure from Yale Radio’s current lineup, which is “music-centric,” according to Khan. She is hoping to shift the station in a more “journalistic direction” by bringing on additional discussion-oriented programs.

The program has already capitalized on the number of well-known speakers who are drawn to campus for other reasons. Carville was initially invited to campus by the Yale Politics Initiative, a student organization that offers off-the-record seminars on political practice, according to Initiative Co-Director Paul Gross ’20.

The interview with Carville is particularly notable because he rarely speaks to the press, according to Maynard. She leapt on the opportunity to take advantage of Carville’s extensive experience and ask him about the current political situation.

“The voices of knowledge, that’s what we are congregated here to [listen to],” Maynard said. “I want to expand everyone’s access.”

Khan said that Maynard — who has decades of journalistic experience, most notably at Seventeen Magazine and the New York Times — has an “interesting voice.” Maynard characterized herself as “highly curious” and stated that she has a “good sense” of what other people will also be curious about.

Looking forward, Maynard and Khan are hoping to expand their team to include researchers, bookers and marketers. They currently plan for the show to air weekly in the spring semester.

Yale Radio launched WYBCx, their online stream, in 2008.

Serena Lin | serena.lin@yale.edu