West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk — Marfa Public Radio’s flagship program — made its debut when the station launched and is now a repository of hundreds of local profiles.

The show is hosted by Diana Nguyen and other contributors. The program is also produced by Diana Nguyen. 

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. 

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 Apple Podcasts.

West Texas Talk broadcasts Thursday at 6 pm and rebroadcasts Friday at 9 am.

The show’s theme music was composed by Andy Stack.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014:
Chase Gassaway to Play at El Cosmico


Chase Gassaway is a Texas native who will be playing El Cosmico August 8th at 9 PM. He sat down with host Sara Melancon to talk about his current album and tour, as well as play a few songs.


Tuesday, Aug 5, 2014:
Greg McLeod Talks Short Film 365

Greg McLeod

Greg McLeod

English animator and illustrator Greg McLeod speaks with host K. Yoland about his short film, 365, that premiered at Marfa Film Festival at the beginning of July.

365 consists of one second of animation every day for the 365 days of the year 2013. No storyline, script or storyboard. The ideas come from things read, seen or experienced on the day, with a little artistic license for good measure.

To look at the Brother McLeod website please click here.


Monday, Aug 4, 2014:
Tom Jacobs Talks Appraisals

Host Tom Michael speaks with Tom Jacobs, author of What’s Behind the Numbers?: A Guide to Exposing Financial Chicanery and Avoiding Huge Losses in Your Portfolio.  Jacobs, who lives in Marfa, will be discussing the recent property appraisals.

Friday, Aug 1, 2014:
Lannan Foundation Poet Roger Reeves

Lannan Foundation poet Roger Reeves is our guest today, hosted by Cory Lovell. Reeves’s poems have appeared in journals such as PoetryPloughsharesAmerican Poetry ReviewBoston Review, and Tin House, among others. His poem “Kletic of Walt Whitman” was selected for the Best New Poets 2009 anthology. He was awarded a 2013 NEA Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships. He earned his Ph.D from the University of Texas-Austin and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His first book is King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).

Friday, Aug 1, 2014:
Chinati Placed on World Monuments Fund’s 2014 Watchlist

On Saturday August 2, the Chinati Foundation will hold a special sunrise viewing of Donald Judd’s “100 untitled works in mill aluminum” to celebrate being placed on the World Monuments Fund‘s 2014 watch list. This is followed by a panel discussion at 3pm at the Crowley Theater.

The Fund’s mission is to preserve the world’s architectural heritage of significant monuments, buildings, and sites. Currently celebrating their 50th anniversary of advocacy and preservation, they have completed 603 projects in 120 countries. Alongside Chinati Foundation, 2014 Watch sites include the church of Yemrehanna Kristos in Ethiopia, the historic cityscapes of Sawara and Kesennuma in Japan and various heritage sites in Syria.

We speak today to Chinati’s Executive Director Jenny Moore and the World Monuments Fund’s U.S Program Director, Frank Sanchis, about the importance of the Fund and why Chinati Foundation was chosen.

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014:
Artist Amanda Beech

Host K. Yoland speaks with the current Fieldwork Marfa artist in residence Dr Amanda Beech. The Artist and writer is based in Los Angeles and is the co-director of the Political Currency of Art Research Group and the Dean of Critical Studies at CalArts.  She will be screening video work on July 31st at Fieldwork Marfa, 7 – 9:30pm, 212 E San Antonio Street. The screening is followed by a Q& A with Matthew Poole,  a curator and writer, currently living in Los Angeles, California.

Beech has exhibited internationally and regularly speaks and publishes writing on contemporary art and the politics of the image. Recent solo shows include those at Lanchester Gallery Projects, UK, and HaGamle Prestagard, Norway, Spike Island, Bristol, Harlow, UK and DNA Gallery, Berlin, as well as a group exhibition at Tate Britain.

Poole has curated exhibitions of contemporary art in venues around the world, as well as conferences and symposia dedicated to exploring the political agency of contemporary art. Between 2002 and 2012 he was Programme Director of The Centre for Curatorial Studies within The School of Philosophy & Art History at The University of Essex in the UK. He is currently working on a book called “Anti-Humanist Curating”, and an edited volume titled “The Politics of Parametricism” (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Press, London 2015). He continues his curatorial practice via the online gallery www.kynastonmcshine.org.uk

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014:
Viva Big Bend Coverage

Host Tom Michael speaks with Stewart Ramser, organizer of Viva Big Bend, and Beth Bellante about this year’s Viva Big Bend festivities.

Five towns, 60 bands and over 75 shows– the annual music festival Viva Big Bend is back! Marfa Public Radio has all the information on the hot shows catch and where to catch them.

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014:
Photography Exhibition at The Lumberyard, Marfa

Emerging curator Francesca Altamura, artist Hannah Texie Bailey and community supporter Elaine Harmon, discuss their upcoming exhibition.  Seeing and Hearing Memories is a photography/multimedia exhibition that explores an emerging genre, vernacular photography.  Photographs, candids and posed alike, taken by amateurs, make their way on to the exhibition’s walls reminding us of the past and ourselves.  The show also has a community evolvement aspect in which Marfa residents, both long time and new arrivals, share their own pictures for the show. Seeing and Hearing Memories opens at  The Lumberyard, Sunday, July 27, on Dean Street in Marfa.  An artist reception will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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/