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:

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.

Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014:
Emily Williams of the Texas Observer on Property Tax Lending

Emily Williams, Publisher of the Texas Observer, joins Lorn Matalon and Travis Bubenik to discuss the property tax lending industry in Texas.

The cover story of the magazine’s July issue digs into the history of what some have described as a predatory business that targets low-income homeowners. Property tax loans have been likened to the payday loan business, but legal enterprises.

While property tax lending is a time-tested, risk-free financial model for the lender, it often costs the borrower more than they once anticipated.

Monday, Jul 7, 2014:
Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Michelle Haggerty and Texas Master Naturalists

Paige Phelps had a chance to interview Texas Parks and Wildlife‘s Michelle Haggerty, state coordinator of the Texas Master Naturalist program. She was joined by Beth Nobles, president of the local Tierra Grande Master Naturalists, which has donated the equivalent of $1 million in volunteer service hours to the region as of the end of June.

Monday, Jul 7, 2014:
Preview of World Cup Semifinals From 12-Year-Old Soccer Nut

Monday we speak with Luca Haines. The former Marfa resident has been providing KRTS with sports commentary since he was 8 years old.

We’ve been hearing some good culture reporting from NPR from Brazil, but not so much detail in the daily  sports coverage. Well, this 12-year-old soccer nut goes deep into the game to preview the semifinal matches in the World Cup of soccer. On Tuesday, Brazil faces Germany. On Wednesday, it’s the Netherlands against Argentina. Michael Camacho joins the conversation, with Tom Michael.

Friday, Jul 4, 2014:
Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars Celebrate and Sing

photoThis 4th of July our host K. Yoland interviews Tessy Lou and persuades her to play live!

Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars are making their way down south, leaving Austin to perform at both the Gage Theatre in Marathon and Big Bend Brewery in Alpine this week.

The Montana native released her first album in May of 2012 and have been playing shows in and around the Austin area, the place she now calls home. Tessy Lou Williams’ first performance was at a Christmas party back home during her freshman year of college, where she surprised her family and friends with a powerful voice to match the songs she’d been secretly writing.

You can hear Tessy along with her dad, Kenny, on doghouse bass and friend Bryan Paugh on fiddle at the Gage Hotel in Marathon on July 4th at 7 PM and at the Big Bend Brewing Company in Alpine on July 5th at 1 PM.

Thursday, Jul 3, 2014:
Above All Else – The Keystone Pipeline Documentary

Talk at Ten host K. Yoland talks to director John Fiege and producer Chris Lucas about their new documentary Above All Else. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas  Above All Else follows David Daniel as he rallies neighbors and environmental activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The film screens at Marfa Film Festival July 4th at 10am.

John Fiege is a director, cinematographer and photographer whose films have played at the Cannes Film Festival, SXSW, Museum of Modern Art, and Hot Docs, among many others. Mississippi Chicken, his intimate portrait of immigrants working in the poultry industry, was nominated for a Gotham Award. He holds a B.A. from Carleton College, an M.S. in cultural geography and environmental history from The Pennsylvania State University, and an M.F.A. in film production from the University of Texas at Austin, where he has also worked as a lecturer.

Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014:
Michel Gondry Talks New Film

Michel Gondry, director of The Science of Sleep, The Green Hornet, and most notably, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind spoke with host K. Yoland about his newest film, Mood Indigo. It will be screening at Marfa Film Festival on Friday, July 4th at 5 PM.

Mood Indigo is about a wealthy, inventive bachelor’s quest to find a cure for his lover when a flower begins to grow in her lungs. Gondry talks about the imaginative production techniques and whimsical humor, as well as his particular take on the film which was adapted from the French novel L’ecume des jours.

** Given that it was an international call we will have a transcribed version up here shortly. **


For more information visit the Marfa Film Festival’s Website.

Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014:
Boyhood’s Sandra Adair and Mike Saenz on the technical challenges of editing a twelve year film shoot

Opening the Marfa Film Festival tonight, Richard Linklater’s newest film, Boyhood, encompasses media shot over a 12 year period. The film has been called a masterpiece but this interview with acclaimed editor Sandra Adair and her assistant, Mike Saenz, reveals the often bumpy technological road behind matching camera codecs and edit formats. Interview was recorded during this past SXSW film, interactive and music festival where Boyhood was premiered in Texas. Boyhood opens in theaters nationwide on July 18th.