West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk broadcasts Thursday at 6 pm and rebroadcasts Friday at 9 am. The locally produced program made its debut when the station launched, and as a result, has become a repository of hundreds of local profiles.

The show is hosted by Diana Nguyen and rotating community members. The program is also produced by Diana Nguyen. The theme music was composed by Andy Stack.

In May 2019, West Texas Talk transitioned from a thirty-minute program into an hour-long show.

The first half of the program features discussions about regional issues and topics with residents and experts. Whether looking at immigration on the border, delving into West Texas history, or having conversations about the Big Bend’s changing towns we hope to explore the topics that matter most to residents of West Texas.

The second half of the show celebrates the creative spirit of Far West Texas and features conversations with writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists who both live here and pass through the region. Interviews with Lannan writing residents are featured in this half of the show.

We invite you to join in on the conversation by telling us who you think we should interview and the issues you would like to hear about by emailing diana@marfapublicradio.org.

Subscribe to the West Texas Talk podcast on iTunes.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Thursday, May 23, 2019:
Borderland Collective Collaborates With Blackwell School Alliance; Emily Esfahani Smith On Living a Meaningful Life

Elise Pepple talks to Borderland Collective’s Jason Reed and Mark Menjivar. The organization is a long-term art and education project that utilizes collaborations between artists, educators, youth, and community members to engage complex issues and build space for diverse perspectives, meaningful dialogue, and modes of creation and reflection.

Reed and Menjivar recently collaborated with the Blackwell School Alliance — an organization that preserves the history of the once-segregated school for Mexican American children in Marfa.

The public art project combines oral history and archival photos that can be seen on buildings around Marfa for the rest of the year.

You can find more about the project here, and hear stories at the Blackwell School Alliance SoundCloud. A Blackwell newspaper can be picked up at Marfa Public Radio. 

Later in the program, Pepple talks to writer Emily Esfahani Smith. She writes about culture, psychology, and relationships. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She’s the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters.

They discuss the four pillars of a meaningful life.

Thursday, May 16, 2019:
Remembering Wile Quintana & Natalie Diaz On Poetry, Love, and Language

On this episode, we wanted to celebrate former co-host of “Una Hora Con Primo,” Wile Quintana, who died earlier this month at 78. We’re featuring a conversation he had with former Marfa Public Radio intern Mia Warren in 2015. They talk about what it was like to grow up in Marfa in the forties and fifties, and how Quintana became an amateur historian. 

Continue reading

Thursday, May 9, 2019:
Filmmakers Joe Cashiola and David Fenster On “A Texas Myth,” Poet Kaveh Akbar

For the first half of the episode, Diana Nguyen talks to filmmakers Joe Cashiola and David Fenster about A Texas Myth. The documentary looks at the resistance that sprung up in 2016 at the Two Rivers camp against the Trans-Pecos Pipeline.

A Texas Myth will be screened at the Crowley Theater on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:30 pm.

Continue reading

Thursday, May 2, 2019:
Carolyn Pfeiffer and Eileen Myles

This is the first episode of the new hour-long format of West Texas Talk!

The first half hour will feature conversations with interesting West Texas Personalities and discussions about regional issues. The second half of the show will focus on arts and culture. That’s where you’ll hear from the Lannan writing residents, artists, and musicians passing through town.

The guests on this inaugural episode will both be featured this weekend during CineMarfa. First, you’ll hear film producer Carolyn Pfeiffer discuss her life and illustrious career. Later in the program, Eileen Myles talks about their work and the economics of being a poet.

On Sunday at 1 pm, Pfeiffer will talk about her work and Present Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard at the Crowley Theater.

On Sunday at 5:45 pm, there will be a screening of Myles’ film The Trip at the Crowley Theater. 

You can find the full schedule of CineMarfa events here

Thursday, Apr 25, 2019:
Turning The Pages Of Texas With Lonn Taylor

On this episode, Diana Nguyen talks to historian Lonn Taylor.

The Rambling Boy published Turning the Pages of Texas earlier this year through TCU Press — a collection of essays about some of his favorite Texas authors. They discuss the book, his life, and his forthcoming memoir.

You can find Taylor’s broadcasts on The Rambling Boy podcast on itunes, or here.

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019:
Poet Carolina Ebeid On Making and Unmaking

On this episode, Ryan Paradiso speaks to Lannan Resident Carolina Ebeid. Her first book, You Ask Me To Talk About The Interior, was named one of the ten best debut collections by Poets & Writers Magazine in 2016. Ebeid is a Poetry Editor at The Rumpus.

They talk about the ephemeral nature of poetry, silence, and the poetics of whispering.

Ebeid will read at 6 pm on Saturday, April 20 at the Crowley Theater.

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019:
2 Conversations: Terry Allen On Radio And Marriage, Dating In Marfa

This is a special membership drive episode that features two conversations.

For the first half of the show — a conversation General Manager Elise Pepple had with artist and musician Terry Allen at the end of 2018 when he was in Marfa to work on songs and perform. They talk about his work in radio and marriage. 

Later in the program, a conversation between Elise Pepple, writer Rachel Monroe and Gabriela Carballo about what it’s like to date in Marfa.

Gabriela Carballo works at Ballroom Marfa, hosts the Marfa Public Radio show “Borders, Beats, and Babes,” and is the founder of the Instagram account fishermen o tinder. She says she cries a lot, is a hopeless romantic with a skepticism problem, and is so lonely she’s developing relationships with her plants.

Rachel Monroe regularly interviews writers on West Texas Talk and has written about tindering in rural America. Her work has been featured in several publications like The New Yorker and The Atlantic. 

Thursday, Apr 4, 2019:
Artists Beatriz Cortez and Fernando Palma Rodríguez

On this episode, General Manager Elise Pepple interviews two artists currently installing work at Ballroom Marfa — Beatriz Cortez and Fernando Palma Rodríguez.

Cortez, who is based in Los Angeles, talks about how her installation responds to Marfa as a place where she sees both a history of segregation and a culture of preservation and art. “When I come to spaces like this, I feel celebrated as an artist, and I feel intimidated as an immigrant all at once,” she says.

Palma Rodríguez lives and works in the agricultural region of Milpa Alta outside Mexico City. He talks about the role storytelling plays in his robotic sculptures, as well as his drive to promote and preserve the Nahuatl language.

The opening reception for Ballroom Marfa’s Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine, featuring work by Cortez, Rodríguez, and artist Candice Lin will be held on Friday April 5th at 6pm.

Thursday, Mar 28, 2019:
Permian High School Students Share Their Stories On Growing Up In A Boom Bust Economy

On this episode, we share essays from four students at Permian High School in Odessa. The stories were written for the Boom or Bust project — an initiative of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin — and explore how the unstable economy affects the students’ lives and their relationship to money. The project aims to help promote understanding of the region’s energy and economic resources from a humanistic perspective.

Diana Nguyen also talks to teacher Katie Groneman about teaching in a boom-bust economy and why she thinks these stories are important.

Thanks to students Alejandro Tarango, Jaiden Ramsey, Zach Robinson, and Abby Gex for sharing.

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019:
A Glimpse Of The Big Bend Through Sonic IDs

On this episode, Elise Pepple interviews producer Diana Nguyen about Sonic IDs — a project that explores the experiences and perspectives of people in West Texas in thirty seconds.