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.

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 Nov. 27, 2016

Carole Firstman's father was an eccentric researcher who traveled extensively studying scorpions and spiders.  Her childhood was full of adventure, but she and her father became estranged when Carole was a teenager. Their attempts to reconcile their relationship in her late 20s led to the material that inspired her memoir, Origins of the Universe and What It all Means.  Carole joins us to tell us more about her relationship with her father and her book's road to publication.

https://carole-firstman.com/

Aired Nov 20, 2016

Host Daniel Chacón reflects on those days on which he feels ugly...and why he chose to embrace the ugly.  He employs that level of acceptance when he feels unworthy of interviewing some of the amazing writers we have had on our program.

Aired Nov 13, 2016

For her first collection of poetry "Look," Solmaz Sharif lifted words and phrases from the US Defense Department's "Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms."  In adopting words such as "Friendly Fire," or even the title of the book "Look," Solmaz poetically re-writes the dictionary in order to remove violence from the language.

Solmaz will also read the poem "Desired Appreciation" from the collection.

https://solmazsharif.com

Aired Nov. 13, 2016

Jesús Castillo's first book, Remains, is different than most poetry collections as it is actually a serial poem - a single poem separated by stanzas and sections.  No narrative streak runs through the poem, but a reader can enter any page or any stanza and be enveloped by imagery and landscape.

Aired Nov. 6, 2016

  

Carlos Espinoza is a former student of host Daniel Chacon, and an instructor at El Paso Community College.  Espinoza is also the editor of the new literary journal Barrio Panther, a collection of art, poetry, and images that fits in the palm of your hand.  Submissions are welcome by anyone with something to share at barriopanther@gmail.com.

Espinoza is also a poet, and for our Poem of the Week, he reads "Missing Juarez" from his collection "How to Lie to a Customs Agent."

http://www.barriopanther.com/

Aired Oct. 30, 2016

James Robert Murphy is a local musician and writer.  His 4th book is called "The Right to Kill," and it follows a group of characters living in a Texas where a "Right to Kill" law has been passed.  Citizens can petition the state to kill anyone they consider a nuisance, as long as the petitioner is the one carrying out the murder.

http://www.jamesrobertmurphy.com/

Aired Oct. 30, 2016

  Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University.  Her latest book is "Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and do Everything Better."  We'll hear about the personal journey that led to the creation of this book, and ways we can stimulate our hippocampus to keep our brains active to keep our imagination and creativity flowing.  

http://www.wendysuzuki.com/

Aired Oct 23, 2016

Ana Castillo's book "Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me" was originally to be called "My Mother's Mexico," but it morphed into a collection of personal essays and memoir essays collected from the last 2 decades.  The title of the book was inspired by a mariachi ballad "Paloma Negra," which Ana's mother used to sing around the house.  Ana later saw "Paloma Negra / Black Dove" to mean "black sheep," which is how she, and later her son, felt.   She joins us to share stories from her youth and about her experiences raising a son as a single mother.

http://www.anacastillo.com/

Aired Oct. 16, 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 October 9, 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 Oct 2, 2016

DANA GIOIA is the current Poet Laureate for the State of California. He joins us on this program to tell us how his mixed background (Italian & Mexican) inspired his works, and why he believes poetry must be accessible to all, not just academics and other poets. Gioia's latest collection is 99 POEMS: NEW & SELECTED. http://danagioia.com/

Aired Sept 25, 2016

La Bloga

  John Martinez is a poet, musician, and activist who holds down a day job as an administrator for a Los Angeles law firm.  After decades of writing poetry, Martinez produced his first collection, "A Tale of Submission."  He explains why it took so long to get the book published, and why the wait was worth it in order to put a life's worth of experience into words.

Aired Sept. 18, 2016

  Seema Reza is the author of the memoir "When the World Breaks Open," which traces her life through essays and poems.  She joins us on this program to tell us what she discovered about herself through these writings and what she hopes to share with her readers.  Host Tim Z. Hernandez considers "When the World Breaks Open" one of the best books of 2016.

http://seemareza.com/

Aired Sept. 11, 2016

  Joseph Somoza is a former English professor at Texas Western (now known as UTEP).  He joins us on this show to share his early memories of El Paso, his Spanish roots, his transition from pre-med to English, and his "backyard poetry" which is reflected in his new collection "As Far as I Know," published by Cinco Puntos Press.

Aired Sept 4, 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 Aug. 28, 2016

  

  *Rebroadcast from Oct 12, 2014*

  Daniel welcomes Richard Blanco, the poet who read at President Obama's second inauguration.  Blanco's latest work is a memoir, "The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood," and he talks about learning about himself while writing about his Cuban immigrant family, and how he had to separate himself from his "poet" self in order to write his memoir.  The discussion also focuses on the humor in the book, especially Blanco's musings on the culture clash over American vs Cuban food.  http://richard-blanco.com/

Aired Aug 21, 2016

  *Rebroadcast from Oct. 12, 2014*

Taking a page from Richard Blanco's memoir and his frequent reference to The Brady Bunch, host Daniel Chacón offers HIS thoughts on The Brady Bunch and how it was NOTHING like his life at home, and how it was presciently reflective of today's modern family. 

Aired Aug. 21, 2016

  

  *Rebroadcast from Oct. 12, 2014*

Today's Poem of the Week is "The Red Poppy" by Louise Glück, read by local poet, Nancy Lechuga.

Aired Aug. 21, 2016

  *Rebroadcast from Oct 5, 2014*

Host Daniel Chacón talks with Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of the poetry collection "Dandarians."  This collection grew out of "word betrayals," English words misunderstood in transmission from her Japanese mother that came to take on symbolic ramifications in her early years.  Daniel and Lee talk about the interesting words that they have come to love over the years, and explore how Lee's musical background plays into her poetry's musicality.  

For the Poem of the Week, Lee Ann Roripaugh reads the final poem in her collection, Dandarians - "The Violin Thief."

http://www.leeannroripaugh.com/

Aired Aug 14, 2016.

  *Rebroadcast from Oct 5, 2014*

Host Daniel Chacón explores the many interesting collective nouns in our language: murder of crows...glaring of cats...school of fish...and he even tries to make up some new ones, too!

Aired Aug. 14, 2016

  **Rebroadcast from July 13, 2014**

Host Daniel Chacon reflects on the genius of Dr. Seuss...including why Seuss reminded him of Edgar Allan Poe.

Aired August 7, 2016

  

  *Rebroadcast from July 13, 2014**

Daniel talks with Heather Hartley, author of the poetry collection "Knock Knock."  Heather is the Paris editor for Tin House magazine and curates Shakespeare & Company Bookshop's weekly reading series in Paris.  She was also a visiting online MFA professor at the University of Texas at El Paso.  Heather talks about how her move to Paris inspired "Knock Knock," and why much of poetry is either about or inspired by travel.  In this interview, she also explains why the works of Dr. Seuss were such a huge influence on her poetry, and why humor is so very important in writing poetry.  http://www.heatherhartleyink.com/

For today's Poem of the Week, Heather Hartley treats us to a poem from her forthcoming collection, Adult Swim.  

Aired Aug. 7, 2016

  

*Rebroadcast from June 1, 2014*

Host Daniel Chacón talks about rediscovering "duende"while reading guest Ed Hirsch's book "The Demon and the Angel."

Aired July 31, 2016

  *Rebroadcast from June 1, 2014*

Daniel talks with poet & critic, Edward Hirsch, about his latest book, A Poet's Glossary, which is not so much a book of definitions as it is an exploration of the history of the terms and how those terms interrelate to each other.  Hirsch explains why it took 15 years to compile the information for this book, and why he believes it can still be more expansive (it's already over 700 pages long).  We'll learn about the terms "Duende," "Flarf," and "Spam Poetry."  

This week's Poem of the Week is read by our guest, Edward Hirsch.  He reads "To Poetry."

Aired July 31, 2016

  *Rebroadcast from June 1, 2014*

For this week's Poetic License, Fresno poet Marisol Baca returns to share a couple of poems that reflect upon the world she lived in as a childhood dreamer.  We'll hear "Horno" and "The Discovery."

Aired July 31, 2016

*Rebroadcast from May 25, 2014*

  For this week's Poem of the Week, local poet Nancy Lechuga reads "Myrtle" by John Ashbery.

Aired July 24, 2016

  *Rebroadcast from May 25, 2014*

And in this week's Poetic License, writer Marisol Baca reflects on her grandmother's kitchen in Albuquerque, where she spent much of her youth.  The piece is called The Kitchen Table.

Aired July 24, 2016

  *Rebroadcast from May 25, 2014*

Host Daniel Chacón shares his experiences discovering cities.  Daniel often doesn't have an itinerary when he enters a new city - he enjoys absorbing a city's energy and discovering the city without a plan.  He shares his experiences walking in Mexico City and Paris. 

Aired July 24, 2016

 

  *Rebroadcast from May 25, 2014*  

Daniel talks with writer Michael Nava, whose latest novel, The City of Palaces, is set in pre-Revolutionary War Mexico during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz.  Nava is also a lawyer who is a staff attorney at the California Supreme Court, and he explains how he balances his time as an attorney and a working writer.  Nava also talks about his Henry Rios mystery series, which were centered around an openly-gay Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, published from 1986-2000.  http://michaelnavawriter.com/

Aired July 24, 2016

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