West Texas Talk


West Texas Talk is a weekly roundup of interviews for West Texas Public Radio.

In this hour we spotlight interviews conducted on-the-air for KXWT in the Permian Basin and on our sister station KRTS in the Big Bend.  West Texas Talk also draws from conversations we curate from public radio producers across the state and across the country.

The program is broadcast on 91.3 FM weekdays at 6:30 p.m. and hosted by station manager Tom Michael. We welcome your comments and your suggestions for interview guests at info@kxwt.org


Recently on West Texas Talk:

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017:
Conservation Botanist Michael Eason

On tonight’s episode of West Texas Talk, we are joined in the studio by conservation botanist Michael Eason. After getting his degree in botany, Eason worked at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and then for the Millenium Seedbank project sponsored by Kew Gardens. He has recently completed a book about Herbaceous Plants and is now spearheading a seed collection effort in West Texas. He talks about the various plants he has encountered, the importance of seed collection, and the role of seedbanks if something crazy goes down. 


Eason will be speaking about in the Warnock Science Building at Sul Ross University on Thursday, March 23rd. 

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017:
Keith Maitland

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise sits down with Keith Maitland who directed Tower, a documentary that tells the stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, which happened at the University of Texas. Maitland discusses his use of animation, shooting scenes in his own backyard, and the catharsis the film provided for those who experienced the event.

Tower will be showing at the Crowley Theater at 6PM on Thursday March 23rd, followed by a Q+A with Keith Maitland & Sarah Wilson.

Friday, Mar 17, 2017:
Chulita Vinyl Club

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise is joined in the studio by special guests in town for Marfa Myths, Chulita Vinyl Club, an all-girl all-vinyl club playing their favorite records in our studio.

Thursday, Mar 16, 2017:
KRTS Youth Media Interviews Part 2

This is part 2 of a series of talks produced by students in the Youth Media Program at Marfa ISD. In past years, students have focused on more news-oriented features with multiple voices. This time around, we thought it would be good for the students to experience a one-on-one interview with just one subject.

First up is Christian interviewing Shawn Williams, a rancher and pipeline worker.

Second is Kendra interviewing Coach Alferez who teaches a folklórico class at Marfa ISD.

Third is Kat interviewing Mr. Thornsburg who teaches geometry at Marfa ISD. He was a marine and shares some of his stories about that experience.

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017:
KRTS Youth Media Interviews

This is one of a 2 part series of talks produced by students in the Youth Media Program at Marfa ISD. In past years, students have focused on more news-oriented features with multiple voices. This time around, we thought it would be good for the students to experience a one-on-one interview with just one subject.

First up is Lalli Brito interviewing her mother, Elizabeth Brito. Lalli talks to Elizabeth about what it was like to grow up and raise her younger sisters after her mother was deported.

Next up, Coy Livingston interviews a State Trooper, Dylan Henry, about his job. Full disclosure: Coy wants to be a state trooper when he gets older.

Finally we have Kaci Flores interviewing her brother, Timothy Flores, about leaving Marfa and becoming a college bull rider.



Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017:
Constance and Dain Perry- “Traces of the Trade”

Dain & Constance Perry

Diana Nguyen talks to Dain & Constance Perry who appear in the documentary “Traces of the Trade, ” a film released in 2008 from director Katrina Browne. The filmmaker explores her ancestry’s connection with the large slave trade network in the North. Throughout the film, she and her family learn more about their history and work through reckoning with their past.

Constance and Dain are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and work together to bring the film to new audiences around the nation. In this conversation, we discuss the importance of this film and understanding the history of the slave trade.

Friday, Mar 10, 2017:
Paul Drummond

This weekend is the Marfa Myths Music festival in Marfa and one of the biggest names on the extensive lineup includes Roy Erickson, a seminal figure in psychedelic music and member of the band that coined the term “Psychedelic Rock”  – The 13th Floor Elevators.

Joining us on this edition of West Texas Talk is Paul  Drummond, a biographer of the Elevators who recently released a book titled Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound.

He also participated in a conversation and exhibition with curator Johan Kugelberg during the festival.

Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017:
Gordon Lightfoot

For tonight’s episode, Elise Pepple and J.P. Schwartz sit down with the legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. He is famous for such hits as “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “‎If You Could Read My Mind,” and many more. Lightfoot discusses, punctuality, his friendship with Bob Dylan, going on tour, and confides in us the ultimate secret to working out.

Lightfoot will be performing at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland on March 8th at 8:00 pm.

Friday, Mar 3, 2017:
Lewis Hyde

Rachel Monroe sits down with poet, essayist, translator, cultural critic and Lannan resident Lewis Hyde.

Hyde takes a specific interest in imagination, creativity, and property, art-making at odds with commerce. He has authored The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth and Art and Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership on these topics, and today sits down to talk about his latest work on memory.

Thursday, Mar 2, 2017:
West Texas’ McDonald Observatory takes on the Universe’s biggest mystery – Dark Energy

Enthusiasm at the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis is running high with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope back on line with world-class instrumentation and a new mission – probing the universe for the composition and effects of Dark Energy. The project is called HETDEX, Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment. The astronomer in charge, Professor Gary Hill of UT Austin, describes the project and its exciting possibilities on West Texas Talk.