West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk is your nightly interview program that broadcasts Tuesday through Friday at 6:30 PM.

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.

Before March 2015, the program was known as Talk At Ten and was broadcast live at 10 AM.

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.

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

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017:
Ghost Town Stories in Terlingua, TX



For Halloween, that station hosted “Ghost Town Stories” at the Starlight Theater – paranormal experiences from West Texans. A big thanks to Lisa and Bill Ivey for hosting us, in addition to Jeffro Greasewood and Sharron Gavin for organizing the event.

The storytellers you’ll hear on this program are Lisa Ivey, Carlton Leatherwood, Warner Limelighter, also known as Buckner Cooke, Romaldo Pena, and Sally Martin (reading a story from Sian Farris).  

Lisa Ivey is owns the Starlight with her husband, Bill Ivey, and has lived in Terlingua for several years. She was raised on the border.

Carlton Leatherwood has lived in Terlingua since 2006 and has written four books about it. His story centers around the legend of the Saratoga Road located in the Big Thicket of Southeast Texas. The road used to be a railroad line where people say they’ve seen a strange light, believed by some to be caused by a decapitated railroad worker.

Warner Limelighter, or Buckner Cooke, is a West Texas native who works at the Starlight. He briefly lived in Austin, but he’s glad to be back.

Romaldo Pena was born in Alpine and grew up in Big Bend National Park. He worked in oil fields but came back to the Big Bend as soon as he could. Today, he works for Big Bend National Park.

Sally Martin is is a lover of the Big Bend. She reads a story from Sian Farris. Farris describes herself as “a Big Bend resident gypsy goddess of the desert.”


Tuesday, Oct 31, 2017:
Co-Directors of the “Out in West Texas” Symposium Kerry Manzo and Maureena Benavides

In this conversation, Kerry Manzo and Maureena Benavides discuss the need for more support of transgender individuals in West Texas and the mission of the “Out in West Texas” symposium. Manzo is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. Her areas of interest include gender and sexuality studies within a global context, and queer studies more broadly. Maureena Benavides, M.A., LPC is the owner/operator of On the Couch Counseling in Midland,TX. As a licensed professional counselor, Maureena helps individuals, couples, and families with struggles in communication, intimacy and anxiety and depression and also specializes in helping gender non-conforming clients explore their gender identity.

The “Out in West Texas” symposium will take place on November 3rd and 4th at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Midland. The project aims “to train medical, legal, mental health, and educational providers of the West Texas region in working with transgender clients, as well as to provide training in transgender affirming practices.”

Manzo explains how many people, “[T]hink that transgender people live and work in non-traditional jobs and roles. That they’re not the oilfield worker, that they’re not the bank teller, that they’re not the teacher, and that’s inaccurate. Transgender people – they come from all walks of life, all classes, all backgrounds. They are everywhere in our communities.”

According to The Williams Institute out of UCLA:

Friday, Oct 27, 2017:
Lannan Resident Anne Waldman

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with poet, writer, performer, and political/cultural advocate Anne Waldman.

Waldman is the author of more than 40 collections of poetry and poetics, an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, and has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School – Her work as a cultural activist and her practice of Tibetan Buddhism are deeply connected to her poetry.

Waldman will be speaking at 6 PM Sunday, October  29th, at Marfa’s Crowley Theater.

Friday, Oct 27, 2017:
Dr. Andrew Sansom On Water in Texas

In this episode of West Texas Talk, we speak with Dr. Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Dr. Sansom explains Texas’ fragmented regulator system and how water conservation is inextricably linked to working with landowners.

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017:
Entomologist Dr. Chris Ritzi

On the eve of Halloween, we speak with entomologist Dr. Chris Ritzi about the diverse range of insect life in West Texas: from tarantula mating to scorpion hunting to vinegaroon spray, and more. He also fills us in on the ways that Hollywood has drawn inspiration from insect’s alien ways. Ritzi is the Chair of the Biology, Geology and Physical Sciences Department at Sul Ross State University. The university has an Insect/Anthropod Collection with about 80,000 specimens.


Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017:
Japanese Sound Artists Aki Onda & Akio Suzuki

Japanese sound artists Aki Onda and Akio Suzuki discuss their practice, influences, and backgrounds that led them to sound art. Onda explains, “Everybody has memory, so in a sense, the audience or listeners, they take my sound as they like. They try to link their memory to my sound, because it’s pretty much abstract.”

Marfa Live Arts will host Aki Onda and Akio Suzuki in Marfa on their North American tour fu-rai. On October 25 from 6 to 7:30 pm, The artists will hold and interactive workshop discussing principles of site-specific performance. Participants are invited to bring their own instruments and perform alongside the artists at the historic Marfa Stockyards.

“On Thursday, October 26th, Suzuki and Onda will perform at Saint George Hall utilizing unconventional and self-made instruments including analog cassette Walkmans and radios, found pieces of wood, nails, hammers, buckets, marbles, and glass jars, allowing the individual architecture and acoustics of the site to guide the flow and development of the performance.”

More information about Marfa Live Arts and both events can be found here.

“Ta Bi No Ha Zi Ma Ri” and “Do Ko Ka Ra” are tracks from the duo’s 2014 album Ma ta ta Bi. 

Friday, Oct 20, 2017:
Voices of the Border

On this episode of West Texas talk we revisit “Voices of the Border,” a series produced earlier this year. In this episode we’ll hear from the people whose lives have been impacted by the Texas-Mexico Border.

Continue reading

Thursday, Oct 19, 2017:
Best of UTPB’s “Boom or Bust” Personal Essays

On tonight’s program, we re-broadcasted our favorite personal essays from UTPB’s Boom or Bust project – stories to “help promote understanding of the Permian Basin’s energy and economic resources from a humanistic perspective.” Thanks to Dr. Rebecca Babcock and Dr. Jason Lagapa for spearheading this initiative. The stories you’ll hear are from Kristen Figgens, Alex Rathbun, Berry Simpson, Daniella Garcia, and Sheena Stieff.

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017:
We Are Public Radio!

For our Fall Membership Drive, we wanted to celebrate some of our renowned DJs who make our station great. Our station producers profiled seven of our beloved personalities — Roseland Klein, David Beebe, JP Schwartz, Primo Carrasco, David Branch, Michael Camacho, and Natalie Melendez. You get to learn a little bit more about the dedicated volunteers who keep listeners tuned in from around the world. Some have been with the station since it’s earliest days — nearly twelve years ago!

These stories were produced by Bayla Metzger, Jackson Wisdorf, Carlos Morales, Elizabeth Trovall, Caroline Halter, Sally Beauvais, and Diana Nguyen.

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017:
Live Storytelling Event: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” (Stories About Loving or Leaving West Texas)

These are personal stories from our live storytelling event that took place on October 11, 2017.  Many thanks to Kaki Aufdengarten-Scott, Chuy Calderon, Gil Lujan, Gabriela Garfio Carvhalo and Calletana Vargas for sharing their experiences with us!