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Marfa, TX






Jenny George

On this Edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with current Lannan Writer-in Residence, Jenny George. George is the author of The Dream of Reason, published by Copper Canyon Press, and also a winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as a recipient of fellowships from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she works in social justice philanthropy. Hosted by for KRTS


Live Stories of Risk, Love, and Heartbreak

On this episode, we're revisiting a few of our favorite live stories from 2018. Last year, we held workshops all around West Texas and hosted a few events in the Big Bend and the Permian Basin. We wanted to highlight some of the storytellers who participated. The first story was told this past April at our event “All or Nothing: Stories of Big Risks.” Chloe Gallagher lives in Marfa and is the DJ of the show “Wreck Shop” here at the station. She says when she’s not complaining about the heat...


Richard Maxwell’s Marfa Ads: “What Do You Believe?”

We’ve been re-broadcasting some of our favorite 2018 segments for the month of December. On this episode, you'll hear monologues from Big Bend residents answering the question: "What do you believe?" These monologues, or “advertisements,” are a production of New York-based playwright and director Richard Maxwell. He started "Ads" in 2010, and has produced different versions in communities around the world. Recently, he created a version of the play in Marfa as a Chinati artist-in-residence....

A Selection Of Stories From The 2018 Marfa Transom Traveling Workshop

In August, ten students from around the country came to the station to learn the craft of radio storytelling with the Transom Traveling Workshop. The class was taught by Rob Rosenthal, the lead teacher for the Transom Story Workshop and Matt Largey, the managing editor for Austin’s public radio station KUT. This episode showcases a few of the diverse profiles produced during this week. Stories in this episode were produced by Martin Brusewitz-Hernandez, Aaron Naparstek, and Rachel Templeton....


West Texas Wonders: Your Questions About The Marfa Lights, 4-way Stops, Abandoned Buildings, and Marfa Sewage… Answered!

On this episode, we’re showcasing some of our favorite stories from “West Texas Wonders” – a journalism initiative where you ask, and we answer. You'll hear answers to: "What's the real story behind the Marfa Lights?" "What are you supposed to do at a 4-way stop?" "What's up with the abandoned skyscrapers in downtown Midland?" "Is it true that the Marfa sewer system was built by German POWs?" You can submit a question or listen to all our the stories from the series here. Hosted by Diana...


Re-broadcast: Claire Dederer Asks “What Do We Do With The Art Of Monstrous Men?”

For the rest of December, we’ll be revisiting our favorite interviews and stories from the past year on West Texas Talk. In September, Rachel Monroe spoke to writer Claire Dederer when she was in town for a residency with the Lannan Foundation. Dederer is the author of two acclaimed memoirs –Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses and Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning. She's currently working on Monsters, her forthcoming book that investigates good art made by bad people. The book is...


Kimberlé Crenshaw Returns To Marfa

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise Pepple sits down with critical race theorist Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw. They unpack a term Crenshaw coined in 1989 as a framework for understanding how different forms of discrimination overlap to affect marginalized people -- intersectionality. Crenshaw is a law professor at UCLA and Columbia Law school, where she directs the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies. She's also a co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, an...


def.sound Brings Melanin and Sunlight to Marfa

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Diana Nguyen speaks to def.sound — a Los Angeles-based writer, producer, and musical artist. They discuss his music and influences. His forthcoming album "Colored" is expected to be released in 2019. You can listen to def.sound's music here. Hosted by Diana Nguyen for KRTS


The View from Rural Communities with The Texas Tribune

This is a conversation from The Texas Tribune's symposium on rural Texas. The panel took place earlier this week in College Station, where lawmakers, advocates, and local officials discussed the future of rural education, health care, natural resource preservation, infrastructure investment, and the state’s economic future. During this panel, Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith, Oldham County Judge Donnie Allred, Palmhurst Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez, and Marfa’s Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger discuss the...


Lance Scott Walker, Author of “Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop”

On this episode, Diana Nguyen speaks to writer Lance Scott Walker, author of Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop (University of Texas Press, 2018). They discuss the history and far-reaching influence of Houston’s rap scene. Hosted by Diana Nguyen for KRTS


A Breakdown of Regional Races in West Texas

On this episode of West Texas Talk, reporters Diana Nguyen, Carlos Morales and Sally Beauvais discuss local races taking place across West Texas. Elections include Marfa ISD’s special election, The bond in Alpine, the Tax Ratification Election in Ector County, races for Midland School Board District 5 and District 6, and Midland City Council. You'll hear a story reported by Marfa Public Radio's Carlos Morales and Texas Public Radio's Ryan Poppe about the diversity in people and perspectives...


More Excerpts from Richard Maxwell’s Marfa ‘Ads’

On a special version of West Texas Talk, we hear more excerpts from the Marfa version of 'Ads.' In 2010, playwright and director Richard Maxwell started Ads, a play that features pre-recorded monologues of strangers —not actors— expressing what they believe. Throughout this episode, we’ll listen to the monologues from the Marfa adaptation of Ads: You'll hear monologues from: Eliseo Martinez, Darby Hillman, Jim Martinez, Lineaus Lorette, John Sufficol, Mary Farley, Tyler Spurgin, Austin...


Excerpts from Richard Maxwell’s Marfa Performance of ‘Ads’

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from playwright and director Richard Maxwell. In 2010, he started “Ads”, a play that features pre-recorded monologues of strangers —not actors— expressing what they believe. Over the years, Maxwell has produced different versions of Ads to reflect the various communities he’s visited. Recently, he created a version of the play in Marfa. Throughout this episode, we’ll listen to the Marfa monologues from Ads. But first, you’ll hear from Maxwell himself. The...


Laila Lalami

On this edition of West Texas Talk, Rachel Monroe sits down with current Lannan fellow, Laila Lalami. Lalami, born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States, is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Secret Son, as well as a regular columnist and contributor for The Nation and Los Angeles Times. Lalami's most recent work, The Moor’s Account, won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, was on the...


Remembering The Late Boyd Elder

On this episode, we remember the late Boyd Elder and celebrate his contributions to the station. Elder was known for his artwork, but became a well-known personality on the air by giving weather reports from Valentine, his home. Marfa Public Radio’s most recent collaboration with Elder was a t-shirt design featuring one of his iconic cow skulls. This conversation is an archived Talk at Ten interview between former station general manager Tom Michael and Boyd Elder. It was recorded in 2010...


Mai Der Vang Describes Being A “Literary Orphan”

Ryan Paradiso speaks to Lannan resident Mai Der Vang about her collection of poetry, Afterland. The work explores the Hmong (an ethnic group in Southeast Asia) exodus from Laos after The Secret War. In this conversation, Paradiso and Vang discuss the writer's decision to break the rules of grammar, the influence a grassroots writing circle had on Vang's writing, and what it means to create a body of work from the perspective of a Hmong Person. “or me, it means so much to be able to have...


Personal Essays from UTPB’s Boom or Bust Project

For this episode, we're highlighting personal essays from UT PB's Boom or Bust project, which aims "to help promote understanding Permian Basin's energy and economic resources from a humanistic perspective." The essays from Andrea Harbin, Beckwith Thompson, Brittany Thomas, and H.D. Whatley reveal a glimpse into how economic growth and downturns affect residents in the Permian Basin. Hosted by Diana Nguyen for KRTS


Claire Dederer

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation between Rachel Monroe and current Lannan writer-in-residence, Claire Dederer. Dederer is the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs: Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning and Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, which was a New York Times bestseller. Currently, she is at work on Monsters, her forthcoming nonfiction book investigating good art made by bad people. The book is based on her viral 2017 essay for the Paris Review, “What...


Station Update: Localore, West Texas Wonders, and Our Ancient, Troublesome Transmitter

In this episode, General Manager Elise Pepple joins Diana Nguyen to update listeners on what's happenin' at the station. Here's what they cover: This year, the station received a grant to host storytelling workshops and events in West Texas. This is made possible through a grant from AIR's project Localore. Find dates and more information here. To sign up for a workshop, shoot an email to storytelling@marfapublicradio.org. West Texas Wonders is a journalism initiative the station launched...


Marfa’s “Money Man” On How To Make Financially Savvy Moves

This week's West Texas Talk is all about money. Our guest is investment adviser Tom Jacobs, who also goes by “The Money Man." Jacob writes a column for the Big Bend Sentinel, where he gives readers financial advice. On this episode, he’s here to answer questions about how to make financially savvy life decisions. "Keep your debt manageable, try to have as little as possible. If you do that you're ahead of the game," said Jacobs."Then you start looking at things like saving and investing,...