Tony Kahn
Tony Kahn
Award-winning producer, writer, and storyteller on public radio and TV

STAGE & Print

With a few exceptions like “Blacklisted,” most of my radio and television pieces were rarely longer than a half hour. Writing for the printed page and the stage gave me the welcome room to explore a subject at greater length and with many more voices to carry the story along. As in the media, though, I’ve stayed a general practitioner, happy to learn and play with different forms.

Scroll down for some examples.

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Staged reading at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse of Tony Kahn’s “Hound and Fox,” from L to R Director Brendan Hughes, Brooke Adams, David PB Stephens, Will Lyman, Paul Guilfoyle, Abigail Rose Solomon




Years before I worked in radio and television, I earned a BA in Russian Literature from Harvard and an MA in Slavic Studies from Columbia University. To support myself and feed my hunger to be a writer, I did four books of translations from the Russian for two major publishing houses, Doubleday and Knopf.


Yevgeny Yevtushenko was Russia’s most charismatic young poet from the ‘60s to the fall of the USSR. An international star, his appearances filled stadiums from Russia to Madison Square Garden in New York. These are translations of some of his poems I did independently and in collaboration with distinguished American poets like John Updike, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Richard Wilbur, and James Dickey.


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This volume of Yevtushenko’s love poems was published a couple of years after “Stolen Apples.” At the time, Yevtushenko was in hot water with the Soviet authorities for criticizing their arrest of the Russian novelist and future Nobel prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn. When I visited Yevtushenko in Moscow to work on my translations we were followed everywhere and threatened by the KGB, which, considering the nature of the book, was ironic, to say the least.



A collection of tales of the lives of Russian Jews in rural Russia during and after World War II. Translating these sometimes ironic, often heart-breaking accounts of human suffering, written by Efrain Sevela in a kind of Yiddish-inflected Russian, was an unforgettable experience for me in learning to tell stories of my own.

5-6 minute audio preview, in Tony’s voice:
“When Will the War End”


For some, the existence of a deeply-rooted criminal class in the Soviet Union came as a big surprise. In this novel, Mikhail Dyomin, a Russian expatriate I met in the early ‘70s, wrote from personal experience of a widespread, traditional “underworld” of thieves and murderers that in some ways rivaled the power of the Communist Party.


My latest play


I had told the story of my family’s fifteen years under the Hollywood Blacklist and the Red Scare of the late ‘40s and ‘50s as a radio drama (“Blacklisted”) and as a TV special (“The Day the Cold War Came Home.”) Recently, armed with information from my father’s de-classified FBI files, I was able to add a final chapter to the story of his battle with FBI Chief, J. Edgar Hoover. It turned out these life-long political enemies kept potentially damaging secrets on each other. Given the dramatic tension between the two, I felt I should tell their story as a play. HOUND AND FOX was given its first public reading August 27, 2018, at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.


Click on the page arrows above to READ the play.


Documentary footage of the Hollywood Congressional Hearings, 1947

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Around 2010, except for appearing on SAYS YOU, I retired from working actively in the media. My wife, Harriet Reisen (herself a writer and producer) and I sold our house in Massachusetts and moved to a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan in 2013. 

Since then I’ve written HOUND AND FOX, a play, and a graphic novel, called “Walloped.”  (A wonderful graphic program called ComicLife helped me do the illustrations and conduct the conversation between the left and right sides of my brain.) “HOUND AND FOX has received a staged reading at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. “Walloped” is based on a true story of an adoptive family in crisis and not presently available for publication. Anyone interested in discussing the issues involved is welcome to inquire at

(For both “Walloped” and “Hound and Fox” I’m deeply indebted to Kit Laybourne, the best friend, and most gifted editor and sounding board a person could have.)


Graphic Tale

The Republic of Magic

Although I left it for the US nearly a lifetime ago, Mexico is the land of my heart. I spent much of my childhood there, learning its language, absorbing its music, connecting to it in every way I could.

Here’s a brief graphic account of my enduring relationship with that republic, which has enriched my life and that of my wife, Harriet Reisen, with amazing adventures and memories, deep family ties, and the most magical run of coincidences and chance encounters I have ever known.

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