West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk is your nightly interview program that broadcasts Thursday at 6 pm, and rebroadcasts Friday at 9 am.

The program features interviews with community members discussing issues that affect our region, along with upcoming local programs and events. You’ll also hear from local and visiting, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and other interesting personalities.

The program made its debut when the station launched, and as a result, it’s become a repository of hundreds of local profiles. The program is hosted by a revolving list of community members. The theme music for West Texas Talk was composed by Andy Stack.

Do you have an idea for a West Texas Talk topic or guest suggestion? Email diana (at) marfapublicradio (dot) org. Below is a list of current interviews. See previous interviews here.

Listeners can sign up for our podcast feed on iTunes. Subscribe today.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Thursday, Nov 8, 2018:
Lance Scott Walker, Author of “Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop”

On this episode, Diana Nguyen speaks to writer Lance Scott Walker, author of Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop (University of Texas Press, 2018). They discuss the history and far-reaching influence of Houston’s rap scene.

Thursday, Nov 1, 2018:
A Breakdown of Regional Races in West Texas

On this episode of West Texas Talk, reporters Diana Nguyen, Carlos Morales and Sally Beauvais discuss local races taking place across West Texas. Elections include Marfa ISD’s special election, The bond in Alpine, the Tax Ratification Election in Ector County, races for Midland School Board District 5 and District 6, and Midland City Council.

You’ll hear a story reported by Marfa Public Radio’s Carlos Morales and Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe about the diversity in people and perspectives in Congressional District 23.  Additionally, Diana Nguyen reports on Texas Senate candidates perspectives on climate change and the environment. 

You can view a list of local elections in several West Texas counties here.

Friday, Oct 26, 2018:
More Excerpts from Richard Maxwell’s Marfa ‘Ads’

On a special version of West Texas Talk, we hear more excerpts from the Marfa version of ‘Ads.’ 

In 2010, playwright and director Richard Maxwell started Ads, a play that features pre-recorded monologues of strangers not actors— expressing what they believe.

Continue reading

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018:
Excerpts from Richard Maxwell’s Marfa Performance of ‘Ads’

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from playwright and director Richard Maxwell. In 2010, he started “Ads”, a play that features pre-recorded monologues of strangers not actors— expressing what they believe.

Over the years, Maxwell has produced different versions of Ads to reflect the various communities he’s visited. Recently, he created a version of the play in Marfa.

Continue reading

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018:
Laila Lalami

On this edition of West Texas Talk, Rachel Monroe sits down with current Lannan fellow, Laila Lalami.

Lalami, born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States, is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous PursuitsSecret Son, as well as a regular columnist and contributor for The Nation and Los Angeles Times.

Lalami’s most recent work, The Moor’s Account, won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, was on the Man Booker Prize longlist, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

 

 

 

Saturday, Oct 13, 2018:
Remembering The Late Boyd Elder

On this episode, we remember the late Boyd Elder and celebrate his contributions to the station. Elder was known for his artwork, but became a well-known personality on the air by giving weather reports from Valentine, his home. Marfa Public Radio’s most recent collaboration with Elder was a t-shirt design featuring one of his iconic cow skulls.

This conversation is an archived Talk at Ten interview between former station general manager Tom Michael and Boyd Elder. It was recorded in 2010 when Elder was the featured ArtWalk artist.

They discuss the well-known Big Bend resident’s roots in Valentine, and his career as an artist.

Elder was known for his work with skulls, which appeared on the Eagles album covers One of These Nights, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975), and The Very Best Of. (Jessica Lutz)

 

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018:
Mai Der Vang Describes Being A “Literary Orphan”

Ryan Paradiso speaks to Lannan resident Mai Der Vang about her collection of poetry, Afterland. The work explores the Hmong (an ethnic group in Southeast Asia) exodus from Laos after The Secret War.

In this conversation, Paradiso and Vang discuss the writer’s decision to break the rules of grammar, the influence a grassroots writing circle had on Vang’s writing, and what it means to create a body of work from the perspective of a Hmong Person.

“[F]or me, it means so much to be able to have written this book, and  be able to offer my own kind of truth about the experience of the war, and the experience of growing up Hmong, and the experience of not having a written language or a definitive literary history,” Vang says. 

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018:
Personal Essays from UTPB’s Boom or Bust Project

Downtown Midland (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

For this episode, we’re highlighting personal essays from UT PB’s Boom or Bust project, which aims “to help promote understanding Permian Basin’s energy and economic resources from a humanistic perspective.”

The essays from Andrea Harbin, Beckwith Thompson, Brittany Thomas, and H.D. Whatley reveal a glimpse into how economic growth and downturns affect residents in the Permian Basin. 

Friday, Sep 28, 2018:
Claire Dederer

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation between Rachel Monroe and current Lannan writer-in-residence, Claire Dederer.

Dederer is the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs: Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning and Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, which was a New York Times bestseller.

Currently, she is at work on Monsters, a nonfiction book investigating good art made by bad people, forthcoming from Knopf – The book is based on her viral 2017 essay for the Paris Review, “What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?”

Dederer is a long-time contributor to the New York Times, and her essays, criticism, and reviews have also appeared in the Paris ReviewThe AtlanticThe NationVogueSlateSalonNew YorkElle, and many other publications.

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018:
Station Update: Localore, West Texas Wonders, and Our Ancient, Troublesome Transmitter

In this episode, General Manager Elise Pepple joins Diana Nguyen to update listeners on what’s happenin’ at the station.

Here’s what they cover:

  • This year, the station received a grant to host storytelling workshops and events in West Texas. This is made possible through a grant from AIR’s project Localore. Find dates and more information here. To sign up for a workshop, shoot an email to storytelling@marfapublicradio.org.
  • West Texas Wonders is a journalism initiative the station launched this summer. Listeners submit questions, and we investigate. Check out this page to see the stories we’ve produced from this series, or to submit a question!
  • Elise Pepple explains what the deal with our broadcast in Marfa and Fort Davis is. (Hint: We’re using outdated technology.)
  • Membership Drive is just around the corner! Our fall drive will run from Monday, October 1 through Friday, October 5. We’ll cap off the week with a block party at the station during Chinati Weekend’s Made in Marfa that Friday.
  • Did you miss your favorite music show? Don’t fret! You can listen to any program from the past week here. To find shows from our entire archive beginning in April, head over to our mixcloud.