West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk is your weekday interview program on Marfa Public Radio, at 6:30 PM.

West Texas Talk 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:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017:
Master Naturalist Faith Gay

Diana Nguyen talks to Faith Gay about the Tierra Grande Master Naturalist Program in the Big Bend. The certification encourages continuing education on the region’s flora and fauna and gives participants access to regions not generally open tot he public.

The Permian Basin is home to the Llano Estacado Chapter of the Master Naturalist Program.

Applications for the Tierra Grande Chapter are currently open until May 15. More information can be found here.

Friday, May 5, 2017:
Lannan Resident: Kimberle Crenshaw

This edition of West Texas Talk features a conversation between Rachel Monroe and current Lannan writer-in-residence, Kimberle Crenshaw.

Crenshaw is a professor of law at Columbia and UCLA and is one of the founders of Critical Race Theory and is the person who developed the theory of intersectionality, both of which have become prominent lenses through which to consider personhood and political life in our country.

Also a founder of the African American Policy Forum, a think tank that has existed for more than 20 years, Crenshaw will be speaking Sunday May, 7 at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, at 4:30 pm.



Thursday, May 4, 2017:
Presidio County Historical Commission

For this episode, Diana Nguyen talks to Mike Green and Jeanne Simpson, two commissioners on the Presidio County Historical Commission. Green and Simpson talk about the mission of the organization, the current projects, and the commission’s fundraiser for restoration, preservation, and historical markers.

Donors will receive raffle tickets for a Kelly Pruitt Giclee Print or a two-day guided aoudad hunt on Livingston Ranch. Tickets can be purchased at Squeeze Marfa, Arcon Inn, Wright Realty, Livingston’s Ranch Supply, The Prescription Shop in Marfa, or Porter’s grocery in Presidio.

To purchase by phone in Marfa: 432-729-4826
To purchase by phone in Presidio: 432-448-1958 or 432-295-0097
Email inquiries may be sent to marjo.skiles@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017:
Hydrologist Jack Sharp

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we hear from Jack Sharp, he’s a professor of hydrogeology at the University of Texas at Austin. Part of Sharp’s area of research includes how urbanization can affect water resources. In this conversation Sharp talks about his work, what some of the dangers to ground water are, and the need for more research. “If we don’t know what we have, how can we really manage it,” Sharp says. “How can we use it effectively?”

Sharp spoke at the West Texas Water Symposium.





Tuesday, May 2, 2017:
Marfa Live Arts Student One-Act Plays

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we are joined in the studio by participants of the Marfa Live Arts 6th Annual Playwriting Workshop. From April 17th through April 21nd nearly 100 plays were written during the workshop taught by Juarez/New York City playwright Georgina Escobar during Marfa High School English classes. One winning play and one honorable mention have been chosen from each grade. Winning plays will be presented to the public with adult and student actors from the community.

We sit down with Jarad Forristal who talks about his winning play The Unluckiest “Lucky” Man Alive and Sal Roman who talks about his play, Bonds. We also hear from honorable Mention playwrights Crystal Catano and Brandon Leos.

The winning plays will be performed at the Crowley Theater at 7:30 on Tuesday, May 2nd.



Friday, Apr 28, 2017:
Live Storytelling Event: “Crossing the Divide”

Here is the full program from our live storytelling event, “Crossing the Divide” that happened on April 18. Big thanks to Megan Wilde, Fabiola Muniz of KSRU campus radio, all of the storytellers, and the Sul Ross Departments of Fine Arts, Communication, Languages, and Literature for making this program possible.

For this event, students, staff, faculty, and Alpine community members told five-minute, real-life personal stories about confronting and crossing divides in front of a live audience. These are the storytellers:

1) Ian Peddie: Margaret Thatcher, an Olympic Medalist, and Harry Connick Junior’s Ex-Girlfriend

2) Victoria Rios: Coming Out in a Traditional Mexican Family

3) Filemon Zamora: A Farmworker Escapes the Guillotine

4) Ekta Escovar: Perspective from a Medical Rotation in Ethiopia

5) Bret Scott: A Shopping Expedition in Israel During the Arab Spring

6) Shawna Graves: Chasing a Dream and a Grandmother’s Ghost to Alpine

7) Marlys Hersey: Facing the Gaping Maw of My Dad’s Death

8) Whitney Coffman: Socialization and Tolerance

9) Shay Cano: Young and Naïve in Hawaii

10) Sherry Remzi: Education Overcomes Oppression

11) Theron Francis: Journey to the Edge of the Empty Quarter

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017:
Chinati Education Foundation’s High School Murals

On this episode of West Texas Talk Diana Nyugen and Zoe Kurland go to Marfa ISD and interview the students and teachers on their latest project: large scale murals depicting what the students see as “their Marfa.” We hear from Michael Roach, Mary Mois, Adele Powers and Aurelié Rocha about the lessons behind the pieces, the inspiration, and the process. We then hear artist statements from students Brandon, Steven, and José. They talk about what it was like to create these pieces and talk about what Marfa means to them.

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2017:
Alan Vana Tribute

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we celebrate one of our community members who passed away, Alan Vana. Alan was a professional bodybuilder, physical trainer, and the owner of Ironheart Bodybuilding and Fitness Gym in Marfa, which opened in 2009 in a building on the southeastern part of town, and later relocated to the old Masonic Lodge on the downtown corner of Highland and Texas streets.

For the first portion of this talk, We hear his obituary, written and read by Nick Terry and Carolyn Pfeiffer. Then, we hear a West Texas Talk with Alan originally broadcast in 2011, where he talks bodybuilding, West Texas, and family.

Inside the gym and out, Alan was well known in Marfa for his expertise as a trainer and his commitment to physical fitness, as well as his good humor, patience, and devout faith.

“I love this job,” he said. “And I love people. And that is what is so gratifying about this for me, because I want people to feel good about themselves, and gain self-confidence.”


Friday, Apr 21, 2017:
Cedar Sigo

On this edition of West Texas Talk, Natalie Melendez sits down with Lannan Poet in-residence Cedar Sigo.

Sigo studied writing and poetics on scholarship at The Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and has spent time learning from poetic greats such as Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Joanne Kyger, among other poets.

In this conversation Sigo speaks about his past works, upcoming works, influences, and the future of his poetry.

Thursday, Apr 20, 2017:
West Texas Water Symposium

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we hear from Trey Gerfers, the president of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance. They’re hosting a Water Symposium Saturday, April 22nd at the Granada Theatre in Alpine.  The symposium centers on water issues in the state and you will be able to learn about where where water comes from, and the laws and policies that govern its use.