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:

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014:
Death Row and “The Last Forty Miles”

Talk at Ten host K. Yoland  is joined in the studio by Austin-based British journalist Alex Hannaford, producer and cinematographer Meg Mulloy and animators  Jeff Roth and Lucas Dimick to talk to about their animation “The Last Forty Miles,” a fictional, animated film based loosely on Hannaford’s interviews with Texas death row inmates. The animation screened at Marfa Film Festival along side experimental documentary Natural Life.

The Last 40 Miles follows an inmate on his final journey from Texas’s death row in Livingston, to the execution chamber in Huntsville. During the ride, his memories, the scenery flashing by and the unexpected compassion of the guard escorting him keep him company.

The animated and rotoscoped short film was conceived by journalist British-born journalist Alex Hannaford, who then teamed up with animators Jeff Roth and Lucas Dimick and producer/cinematographer Meg Mulloy. The group began working together early in 2012, forming Onalaska Films to produce the project.

The film features Austin actors Victor Steele, Gary Warner Kent and Al Dinneen, original score by British songwriter Ben Onono and guitar compositions by Julian Mandrake.

For more information on the film please visit the animation’s website : http://www.onalaskafilms.com/



Monday, Jul 21, 2014:
Documentary – Natural Life – Juvenile Incarceration


Filmmaker Tirtza Even talks with Talk at Ten host K. Yoland about her new documentary Natural Life. Shot entirely in split screen, this experimental documentary challenges inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals of different age, gender, economic background and race, who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth. The film screened at Marfa Film Festival this year alongside the short animation The Last 40 Miles.

Prisoners: Matthew Bentley, Barbara Hernandez, Kevin Boyd, Jennifer Pruitt, Efren Paredes

Tirtza Even has practiced video art and documentary film-making for fifteen years. She has produced linear and interactive video work representing the the social/political dynamics in specific locations including Palestine, Turkey, Spain, the U.S. and Germany. Her work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art NY, at the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, as well as in many other festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Israel, and Europe.

For more information on the film please go to their website: http://www.naturallifefilm.org/


Friday, Jul 18, 2014:
Opportunities and Obstacles – The Future of Solar in Texas

This morning we conclude our week-long look at how the solar industry is shaping up in Texas.

Companies from California to France have plans to build sizable, utility-scale solar farms in West Texas, and at least one border city has already invested in solar power to help re-vamp its electrical infrastructure and bring more reliable power to a remote region.

Despite the fact that Texas has some of the nation’s highest potential for solar power generation, the industry faces challenges. For one, the state doesn’t have a specific mandate for solar power generation, and its overall goals for meeting a renewable energy standard by 2025 were already met four years ago.

Today we speak with two people with a ground-level view of how the industry’s growth in Texas is playing out.

Presidio County Judge Paul Hunt has spoken and negotiated directly with some of the solar companies looking to build in West Texas.

Larry Perea heads up a small solar company based in El Paso, servicing Texas and New Mexico.

Thursday, Jul 17, 2014:
Opera comes to Marfa TX: Alex Waterman, Director of Vidas Perfectas, with Fairfax Dorn of Ballroom Marfa

Back from El Paso and Juarez, where the opera opened last weekend, Alex Waterman and Fairfax Dorn joins K. Yoland in the studio for a Talk at Ten.  The opera takes place in multiple locations across Marfa on Friday, July 18. Performances in Marfa are free. For more information, please call 432-729-3600.

Note: Each episode is 30 minutes with a 15-minute set change.

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014:
Science Studio

Dr. Keith Pannell & Dr. Russell Chianelli

On Talk at Ten today, we broadcast an episode of Science Studio.

Science Studio is an “online resource for in depth interviews with scientists on the cutting edge of innovation and technology. Here you will find various radio interviews conducted by your hosts Dr. Keith Pannell & Dr. Russell R. Chianelli. These insightful interviews will further enrich your understanding of science.”

For more Science Studio, visit their website.

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014:
George Grayson and Jason McGahan Discuss Ongoing Tensions Between El Paso and Juárez

Tuesday on Talk at Ten, we will speak with two people whose work is shedding light on the risk of alliances with organized crime inside Mexico.

Guests include George Grayson, from the College of William and Mary, the author of: The Executioner’s Men: Los Zetas, Rogue Soldiers, Criminal Entrepreneurs, and the Shadow State They Created and  Jason McGahan, author Daily Beast, “US Visas Helped Fuel The Juárez Drug Wars” join Lorne Matalon to discuss issues of border politics.

Continue reading

Monday, Jul 14, 2014:
Documentary – Honor the Treaties – Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Filmmaker Eric Becker (Sara Melancon/KRTS)

Filmmaker Eric Becker (Sara Melancon/KRTS)

Talk at Ten meets with documentary filmmaker Eric Becker to talk about his short documentary on Honor the Treaties shown at Marfa Film Festival this year. Honor the Treaties follows photographer Aaron Huey’s personal journey from photojournalist to advocate through his exploration of the social injustice and forgotten history of Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Eric Becker is an award winning Seattle-based director whose short and feature-length documentaries, focus on human rights, peace, and the environment.

*All clips used in the interview are copyright Eric Becker.

Friday, Jul 11, 2014:
Friday Interview; Lannan Writer/Translator-in-Residence Kareem Abu-Zeid

Lannon writer-in-residence Kareem James Abu Zeid

Lannon writer-in-residence Kareem James Abu-Zeid

Lannan resident Kareem Abu-Zeid joins Rachel Monroe, to talk about his work as a writer and a translator.  Half American and half Egyptian, Abu-Zeid has translated novels by the Lebanese writer Rabee Jaber and the Sudanese writer Tarek Eltayeb, as well as the poetry collections The Iraqi Nights by Dunya Mikhail and Nothing More to Lose by Najwan Darwish.  Abu-Zeid also translates from French and German, and has taught university courses in four different languages in Berkeley, Mannheim, and Heidelberg. He works as a freelance translator and editor, and is currently writing a history of psychedelic literature that is doubling as his PhD dissertation in comparative literature at the University of California Berkeley. His reading is Saturday July 12th at 6pm in the Bookstore Annex.

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014:
Musician Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy  phones us from Louisville Kentucky to discuss his music with host K. Yoland. He will be playing this weekend at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, Texas at 8pm, a concert organized by Ballroom Marfa.

We play 5 songs for the interview, opening with I don’t belong to anyone and through out the conversation: Time to be clear, Whipped and Must be blind. We end with I see a darkness. Enjoy!

Bonnie Prince Billy is represented by Drag City Records.

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014:
Book of Ruth’s director Pablo Veliz


Mexican filmmaker Pablo Veliz joins K. Yoland in the studio to talk about his new film Book of Ruth, which recently screened at Marfa Film Festival.

Book of Ruth follows a young woman (Ruth played by actor Casandra Canales) who loses her father, love, and her faith. Looking for a better life, she attempts to cross the border from Mexico to the United States but soon becomes lost in the desert. Walking a hundred miles, without food or water Book of Ruth takes the audience on a journey of challenging proportions.  

* Please note that this interview is a plot spoiler.


To find out when/where the film is screening or how to view it online, information will be provided via their twitter: @BookOfRuthFilm and website: www.BookOfRuthFilm.com. All other queries: info@cineveliz.com.

Credits include: Producer & Art Director: Carolyn King, Cinematographer: Alex Walker, Ruth: Casandra Canales, and Lupita: Mary Carmen Lopez.