KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Words On A Wire

Sundays at 12 noon

Words on a Wire is a show about fiction, poetry, the writing community, the publishing world and whatever other issues concern literary writers and readers of books. Hosted by two active writers, each show will include an interview with an established or emerging writer who has a new book, from famous award-winning veterans to hot young writers with books to watch out for.

On “Poem of the Week” we will read a poem from a collection we love or talk about a new book we have just discovered, or sometimes re-discovered. We also have a segment called “Poetic License” which is our way of giving writers their say. We hand over to writers we admire a few minutes to talk about whatever they want.

Former Words on a Wire co-host Benjamin Alire Sáenz revisits us in Studio B to discuss his recent work. Dr. Sáenz taught as a professor in UTEP's Creative Writing department for over twenty-three years before retiring to dedicate his time entirely to writing and there was so much to discuss, Dr. Sáenz is being featured in a special two-part edition of Words on a Wire.  

Part 2 of 2

Former Words on a Wire co-host Benjamin Alire Sáenz revisits us in Studio B to discuss his recent work. Dr. Sáenz taught as a professor in UTEP's Creative Writing department for over twenty-three years before retiring to dedicate his time entirely to writing and there was so much to discuss, Dr. Sáenz is being featured in a special two-part edition of Words on a Wire. 
Part 1 of 2

Lex Williford holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and is a professor in the Bilingual Creative Writing Program at UTEP. He joins us in-studio as we talk about his book Superman On the Roof, which won the 10th Annual Rose Metal Press Short Short Chapbook Contest. 

Host Daniel Chacón and guest co-host Roberto Santos speak with writer and El Paso native Christine Granados on her newest book, Fight Like a Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children. Granados portrays life in the parched landscape of El Paso as the setting for this book of stories about people navigating their way through dysfunctional lives with the help of friends and family.

Author José Antonio Rodríguez is well known for his extensive work in poetry. However, on this edition of Words on a Wire, we venture away from the poetry and delve into his newest (and first) memoir titled House Built on Ashes.

Host Tim Hernandez features a conversation with award-winning author, editor, and co-host Daniel Chacón! They discuss a new collection book of poetry by Andres Montoya, now published posthumously decades after Montoya's passing at the young age of thirty. 

steven-church.com

Host Tim Hernandez speaks non-fiction author and always riveting conversationalist, Steven Church. Church's exciting and compelling new book One with the Tiger speaks about violent encounters between man and beast, and what we might learn from these instances about ourselves.

Erika L. Sánchez- poet, fiction writer, and essayist- joins us in a discussion about her new book of poems Lessons on Expulsion. Despite our host being Facebook friends with Sánchez for several years, the two finally get a chance to speak with one another and go from online friends to actual friends!

Host Tim Hernandez speaks with multi-talented artist and writer, Quintan Ana Wikswo, about her interesting hybrid book that highlights her investigative work – The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far. Wikswo uses old typewriters and government cameras to capture the essence of obscure places where crimes against humanity have taken place.   

Daniel Chacón, along with guest host Richie Marrufo, dedicates this special edition of Words on a Wire to honor one of their favorite poet/singers from El Paso, who recently passed away, Azucena Domínguez. They are accompanied by multiple guests as they all share a piece of appreciation for her beautiful work over the years.

Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, novelist and short story writer, joins host Daniel Chacón in-studio for an enlightening conversation on her newest book, Todo Eso Es Yo. We also take this time as an opportunity to formally welcome Aguilar Zéleny back to the University of Texas at El Paso as she returns as a new professor in our Creative Writing Department!

***Original Broadcast Date March 27, 2016***

Connie Voisine is an Associate Professor of English at New Mexico State University, and she's been talking to us while on sabbatical in Belfast, Ireland. Connie's latest collection of poetry is "Calle Florista," and she calls it her "desert book." For our Poem of the Week, Connie reads "Calle Florista" from the collection of the same name. Also, your host Daniel Chacón shares some of the worst literary knock-knock jokes he's found online!

http://www.connievoisine.com/

***Original Broadcast Date April 24, 2016***

Ada Limón is the author of the poetry collection "Bright Dead Things," which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  She calls this her most personal, honest, and truthful collection.  Limón explains why it's her most accessible poetry - it isn't poetry written for fellow poets, it's poetry for everyone.

***Originally Aired October 9, 2016***

Luis Alberto Urrea is a Mexican-American poet and novelist...though he may not look like one.  He joins us on this program to tell us how his mixed upbringing and unhappy family situation isolated him as a young person, and how the isolation spurred his love of writing.  As an adult, he suffered some life-altering events that led him to hit rock bottom. He began writing "Wandering Time" after he felt he was close to death.  It was published in 1999.

http://www.luisurrea.com/

Aired August 13, 2017

***Original Broadcast December 4, 2016***

Jose B. Gonzalez is the author of the new collection "Toys Made of Rock."  He joins us to talk about growing up in Connecticut as an immigrant from El Salvador, how stealing an anthology of Shakespeare's works was a transformative experience in his youth, and about the stereotyping he faced in his academic career.  

***Originally Aired August 28, 2016***

Ross Gay is a American poet and author of 3 books.   His latest collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, was the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, was  a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.  Ross joins us on this program to talk about why Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is all about elegy with healthy doses of joy.

Ross will also read to us "To My Friend's Big Sister" from his collection Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude.

http://www.rossgay.net/

Aired July 30,2017

***Originally Aired November 27, 2016***

Emmy Pérez is a California-born writer with roots in El Paso.  Her life and career have led her to follow the course of the Rio Grande...from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley.  Her latest collection, "With the River on Our Face," contains sprawling beautiful poems inspired by the Rio Grande,the surrounding environment, immigration, and borders.  She joins us on this program to tell us more about the collection and read a few poems.

http://www.emmyperez.com/

Aired July 2, 2017

***Original Broadcast Date: July 6, 2014***

In a rebroadcast from July 6, 2014, Daniel & guest co-host Nancy Lechuga talk with Mary Szybist, author of Incarnadine, the winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.  Mary describes Incarnadine as a "religious book for nonbelievers."  She explains why the Annunciation plays such a dominant role in her book, and why "visual poetry" (imagine a poem about an apple written in the shape of an apple), though often seen as gimmicky, was a risk she chose to take for a few of the poems in Incarnadine.  http://maryszybist.net/

Today's Poem of the Week is "Night Shifts at the Group Home" read by Mary Szybist.  It comes from her award-winning collection, Incarnadine.

For today's Poetic License, Nancy Lechuga reads a love letter to humanity.

Aired July 23, 2017

***Originally Broadcast on May 22, 2016***

Kate Schatz is a writer, educator, and feminist, and she joins us on this program to tell us about "Rad American Women A-Z," an alphabet book for children and for everyone.  Women of color and lesser-known revolutionary scientists, musicians, and activists are highlighted in the book, including Rachel Carson, Odetta, and Angela Davis.   http://radamericanwomen.com/

Aired July 16, 2017

***Originally Broadcasted on October 2, 2016***

Martín Espada is a poet and teaches poetry at the University of Massachusetts  Amherst.  His latest collection of poems is "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed," and he reads a number of poems from the collection on the program.  He also talks about his documentary photographer father's influence on his life and work, and about the historical events that make their way into his poems.

http://www.martinespada.net/

Aired July 9, 2017

  

  ***Orginal Broadcast Date: Janurary 18, 2015***

 Daniel & Tim talk with poet Soul Vang, whose latest collection "To Live Here" is a collection of poems that unfolds as a memoir.  The book tells of the Hmong experience in the US, and of Soul's experiences as a Hmong writer in Fresno CA and a US Army veteran.  Soul is also a founder of the Hmong American Writers Circle http://hmongwriters.org/

For this week's Poem of the Week, Soul Vang reads "Chino" from his collection, "To Live Here."

Daniel Chacon

*** Originally Aired March 22, 2015***

Daniel talks with Philip Connors, whose latest memoir, "All The Wrong Places: A Life Lost and Found," tackles the aftermath of the 1996 suicide of Philip's brother.  As is evident by the notebooks in the picture, Philip wrote his way through the experience.  He explains how, as a suicide survivor, he felt like an "other," and actively sought to put himself in situations in which he was an outsider...all the wrong places, so to speak.  He finally found the right place in the Gila Wilderness, where he is a fire lookout.  http://www.philipconnors.com/

Rebroadcast June 18, 2017

***Originally  Aired June 12, 2016***

 Ire'ne Lara Silva is the author of the poetry collection "Blood Sugar Canto," which uses words to help face the fears about diabetes and to offer hope and healing to fellow sufferers.  Silva insists that our bodies are not just physical machines, but they must be holistically healed in order to thrive.  

***Originally Aired Jan. 3, 2016***

For more than two decades author T.J. ENGLISH has chronicled the American underworld. His latest book is 'Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him,' which covers this notorious Boston mobster's trial while also uncovering the government corruption that was partly responsible for Bulger's crimes.  He joins us to tell us why corruption and organized crime go hand-in-hand, and why the Irish mob can draw parallels to the narco wars in Mexico.

http://www.tj-english.com/

Aired June 4, 2017

Host Daniel Chacon speaks to poet/author Ire'ne Lara Silva and poet Dan Vera about their editor roles for Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzalduan Borderlands

Mai Der Vang is the  author of Afterland which received the Walt Whitman Award winner from the Academy of American Poets. 

Thomas H. Schmid is the Director of Literature. Graduate Advisor in Literature, and Professor of Literature at the Univeristy of Texas at El Paso. He recently released his novel Fools of Time. His novel tells the tale of a British Romantic scholar who just so happens to be a vampire who fed on Lord Byron. 

Jeff Sirkin is a poet who writes on the intersection of music "with postmodern literature and the historic avant-garde". He discusses how his hometown and music inspired his debut poetry collection, Travelers Aid Society.  

"All They Will Call You" is not just an infamous line in Woody Guthrie"s song "Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)", it is also the name of Tim Z. Hernandez's new narrative.

Korean American poet, writer, and educator Sun Yung Shin is an award winning poet. She's written many works including her newest book "Unbearable Splendor". Described as "poetry as essay", Sun Yung Shin uses her experiences  as an immigrant child as inspiration for her work. 

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