KTEP - El Paso, Texas

WORDS ON A WIRE: Ruben Martinez (extended)

  In a rebroadcast from Nov 18, 2012, Ben & Daniel talk with writer, educator, and musician Ruben Martinez, whose latest work, “Desert America: Boom & Bust in the New Old West,” explores the land & the people of the West, and the extremes of poverty & wealth found in many desert communities.  Martinez talks about how the book was born out of a desperate time in his life.  On the insistence of a trusted friend, he was drawn to Joshua Tree, California, where he discovered that the desert was not immune to the harsh realities he faced in the big city.  He also talks about the 2 other desert communities he explores in his book – the desert of Northern New Mexico, and the desert in the west Texas town of Marfa.  Martinez also shares a little U2 trivia about how the band named their legendary 1987 album “The Joshua Tree.” 

The extended portion of this interview features a conversation about the English poet D.H. Lawrence and the time he spent in New Mexico.  Martinez reflects on why outside writers who move to artistic desert communities such as Santa Fe & Marfa often bring their own prejudices with them, despite the fact that they may be more liberal-minded than most other visitors or residents. http://rubenmartinez.la

Aired July 28, 2013.