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.

Ben & Daniel talk with W.S. Di Piero, author of the poetry collection, Nitro Nights.  Di Piero discusses whether his poetry gets easier or harder over time, and whether it is driven by pain and conflict.  He also talks about how he became an accidental art critic.

For this week's Poem of the Week, W.S. Di Piero reads "The Invention of Photography" from "Nitro Nights."

Plus, Daniel talks about some of the high-profile recognition that Ben has received for his latest short-story collection, "Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club."

Aired March 17, 2013.

Ben & Daniel talk with Carlene Bauer, author of “Frances and Bernard,” a novel told in letters inspired by the lives of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell.  Bauer talks about the inspiration behind creating a relationship between these two characters, and why she rather enjoys writing about 19th century characters instead of contemporary ones.  She also reveals how the religious beliefs she grew up with found their way into the book.

For the Poem of the Week, Benjamin Alire Saenz reads “First Love” by Edwin Rolfe, from his 1952 collection “First Love and Other Poems.”

And in this week’s Poetic License, Ben offers his reflections on the state of Western education.

Aired March 3, 2013.

Ben & Daniel talk with writer Tara Betts, author of the new collection "Arc & Hue."  Betts talks about how her politics & passions find her way into her work.  She also talks about her early introduction to poetry and reading at open mics and poetry slams in Chicago.  Betts also talks about the people who influence her poetry.  http://tarabetts.net

Tara Betts reads this week's Poem of the Week: "What It's Like to be a Mixed Girl for Those of You Who Aren't," from her collection "Arc & Hue." 

In this week's Poetic License, El Paso poet & musician Gene Keller talks about the pain, both physical and emotional, he has endured and imposed, and how music & poetry are "The Best Happy Pills."  Keller is the author of the poetry collection "Tongue Tied on the Border."

And...Ben & Daniel are looking for the "Words on a Wire" listener who is the farthest from El Paso, geographically speaking.  Let them know where you are when you listen to our show!  Email bsaenz@utep.edu or danchacon@utep.edu.

Aired Feb. 24, 2013.

Ben & Daniel talk with writer Tara Betts, author of the new collection "Arc & Hue."  Betts talks about how her politics & passions find her way into her work.  She also talks about her early introduction to poetry and reading at open mics and poetry slams in Chicago.  Betts also talks about the people who influence her poetry.   In this online-only extended interview , Betts also talks about her musical & artistic influences, and how social media affects her poetry.  http://tarabetts.net

Tara Betts reads this week's Poem of the Week: "What It's Like to be a Mixed Girl for Those of You Who Aren't," from her collection "Arc & Hue." 

Aired Feb. 24, 2013.

Ben & Daniel talk with Matthew Dickman, author of the poetry collection "Mayakovsky's Revolver."  Dickman talks about how Frank O'Hara and a dream inspired the title to his newest collection.  He also explains how he got interested in poetry (a girl played a part in it), and how an old photo of beatnik poets persuaded him to pursue his interest.  Dickman also talks about starring with his twin brother (and fellow writer) Michael Dickman in the Steven Spielberg sci-fi drama, "Minority Report."

Matthew Dickman reads the Poem of the Week: "Gas Station" from "Mayakovsky's Revolver."

In this week's Poetic License, Sasha Pimentel-Chacon shares memories from her childhood and her homeland in the Philippines, and how she relates those memories to light & dark spaces in the poetic form.

Aired Feb. 17, 2013.

Ben & Daniel talk with Matthew Dickman, author of the poetry collection "Mayakovsky's Revolver."  Dickman talks about how Frank O'Hara and a dream inspired the title to his newest collection.  He also explains how he got interested in poetry (a girl played a part in it), and how an old photo of beatnik poets persuaded him to pursue his interest.  Dickman also talks about starring with his twin brother (and fellow writer) Michael Dickman in the Steven Spielberg sci-fi drama, "Minority Report."  In this online-exclusive expanded interview, Dickman also talks about his "day jobs," which include working as Poetry Editor of "Tin House Magazine," and freelance writing for a Portland advertising firm. 

Matthew Dickman reads the Poem of the Week: "Gas Station" from "Mayakovsky's Revolver."

Aired Feb. 17, 2013.

Ben & Daniel talk with Robin Scofield, author of the poetry collection, "Sunflower Cantos."  Scofield talks about the long road she encountered in getting her collection published, and about finding it a home with Mouthfeel Press.  Scofield also is February's artist in residence at the Tumblewords Project every Saturday from 12:45-2:45 p.m., at the Memorial Park Library.  http://robinscofield.com

Robin Scofield reads today's Poem of the Week - "Ballad" from "Sunflower Cantos."

In this week's Poetic License, Bobby Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press shares some exciting news about Benjamin Alire Saenz's latest young adult novel, "Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe."

Plus, Ben & Daniel discuss their classes this semester, and why Daniel's goatee makes him think he looks like his father.

Aired Feb. 10, 2013.

Ben & Daniel devote the entire program to an interview with poet David Shapiro.  Shapiro is also an art historian and musician, and much of the interview is interspersed with artistic and musical references.  He talks about meeting poet Frank O’Hara when he was only 15, and about publishing his first poetry at 13.  Shapiro’s latest collection, “New & Selected Poems (1965-2006),” features some of his earliest works.  Shapiro also talks about why the line between music & poetry is often blurred, and why lines of poetry can be compared to the brush strokes on a canvas. 

Shapiro also reads this week’s Poem of the Week – “Falling Upwards” – and plays the violin for us.

Aired Jan. 27, 2013.

Ben & Daniel devote the entire program to an interview with poet David Shapiro.  Shapiro is also an art historian and musician, and much of the interview is interspersed with artistic and musical references.  He talks about meeting poet Frank O’Hara when he was only 15, and about publishing his first poetry at 13.  Shapiro’s latest collection, “New & Selected Poems (1965-2006),” features some of his earliest works.  Shapiro also talks about why the line between music & poetry is often blurred, and why lines of poetry can be compared to the brush strokes on a canvas.  In this online exclusive extended interview with Shapiro, he also talks about Dutch artist Willem De Kooning as an inspiration, why all poetry is infused with truth, and more on the connections between art & poetry.

Shapiro also reads this week’s Poem of the Week – “Falling Upwards” – and plays the violin for us.  In this online exclusive interview, Shapiro closes the show with a performance of a Bartok piece.  Aired Jan. 27, 2013.

Daniel & Ben talk with author Gabe Gomez, whose latest poetry collection is entitled "The Seed Bank." 

Gomez talks about winning the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize for his first book, and how it coincided with his displacement from New Orleans after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.  Gomez also talks about the differences between his first collection and his latest, "The Seed Bank." www.gabegomez.com

For this week's Poem of the Week, Gabe Gomez reads "Clovis Culture" from his newest collection of poetry, "The Seed Bank."

Ben & Daniel also talk about the latest movies they've seen together.

Aired Jan. 6, 2013.

  

Daniel & Ben talk with author Gabe Gomez, whose latest poetry collection is entitled "The Seed Bank."  Gomez talks about winning the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize for his first book, and how it coincided with his displacement from New Orleans after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.  Gomez also talks about the differences between his first collection and his latest, "The Seed Bank." In this online-only extended interview, Gomez talks about the poetry he wrote that was inspired by Katrina, and how the poems liberated him from his previously-held beliefs about poetry. www.gabegomez.com

For this week's Poem of the Week, Gabe Gomez reads "Clovis Culture" from his newest collection of poetry, "The Seed Bank."

Aired Jan. 6, 2013.

Daniel interviews his co-host, Benjamin Alire Saenz, whose latest collection of stories is entitled "Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club."  Ben talks about how he came to write these stories, and why the Kentucky Club, a famous bar in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, plays a part in each story.  He also talks about some of the stories in the collection and why they often touch upon the subject of addiction.  Ben closes out the interview by reading an excerpt from one of the stories in the collection, "The Hurting Game."

For this week's Poem of the Week, Daniel reads "The Joy of Writing" by Wislawa Szymborska.

Aired Dec. 30, 2012.

Daniel interviews his co-host, Benjamin Alire Saenz, whose latest collection of stories is entitled "Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club."  Ben talks about how he came to write these stories, and why the Kentucky Club, a famous bar in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, plays a part in each story. 

In this exclusive online extended interview, Ben talks a little more about the Kentucky Club and Juarez, and how they were central to the border culture prior to the recent drug wars in Mexico.

He also talks about some of the stories in the collection and why they often touch upon the subject of addiction.  Ben closes out the interview by reading an excerpt from one of the stories in the collection, "The Hurting Game."

Aired Dec. 30, 2012.

Daniel & Ben present a special holiday program with their personal reflections on Christmases past. 

Ben remembers a Christmas when he was 6 years old and his family had slaughtered a hog for the holiday meal.   He recalls identifying more with the warmth emanating from the women in the kitchen than with the rowdiness of the men in the barn. 

Daniel recalls a Christmas Eve when he was 6 years old.  He saw the image of a horrifying man in his backyard while looking out his bedroom window.  Discovering who that man really was resulted in some inner reflections by Daniel the Boy and Daniel the Man.

Daniel & Ben will also read the poem “Journey of the Magi” by TS Eliot.  Aired Dec. 23, 2012.

Daniel & Ben are joined by Daniel's floppy-eared, salt-and-pepper companion, Kafka, for an interview with activist and author, Rita Mae Brown.  Brown is a poet, novelist, and co-author of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series of books with her feline companion, Sneaky Pie Brown.  Rita Mae Brown talks about the latest entry into that series, "Sneaky Pie Runs for President."  The conversation is as much about books as it is about animals.

The Poem of the Week is "Pointing to the Place of the Pain," from Karen Fiser's collection "Words Like Fate & Pain."  Read by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

In today's Poetic License, Daniel Chacon reflects on why his life is reflected in the dogs with whom he has shared his life, and about his current companion, Kafka.

Aired Dec. 9, 2012.

Daniel & Ben are joined by Daniel's floppy-eared, salt-and-pepper companion, Kafka, for an interview with activist and author, Rita Mae Brown.  Brown is a poet, novelist, and co-author of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series of books with her feline companion, Sneaky Pie Brown.  Rita Mae Brown talks about the latest entry into that series, "Sneaky Pie Runs for President."  The conversation is as much about books as it is about animals.  In this online extended interview, Brown also talks about why the latest Sneaky Pie book isn’t so much a response to the recent election as it is a condemnation of humans destroying the environment.  Aired Dec. 9, 2012.

Daniel & Ben talk with writer Daniel Grandbois and his wife, literary agent Irene Vilar.  Grandbois talks about working outside of any genre category, and why his work is inspired by both children's literature and scientific papers.  Grandbois and Vilar also talk about the "Unlucky Lucky" series of books, the latest of which is called "Unlucky Lucky Tales."

This week's Poem of the Week was written and read by Abigail Carl, "Walking in Colonia Rubio," which reflects upon her time living among a Mennonite community in Seminole, Texas.

And in this week's Poetic License, Benjamin Alire Saenz reflects on the choices we make, and how they are more limited than may imagine.

Aired Nov. 25, 2012.

Daniel & Ben talk with writer Daniel Grandbois and his wife, literary agent Irene Vilar.  Grandbois talks about working outside of any genre category, and why his work is inspired by both children's literature and scientific papers.  Grandbois and Vilar also talk about the "Unlucky Lucky" series of books, the latest of which is called "Unlucky Lucky Tales."  In this online-only extended interview, Vilar talks about her book series “The Americas” and how it ties in to Grandbois’ “Unlucky Lucky” books.  The husband & wife team also talk about whether they will ever collaborate on any future works.  Aired Nov. 25, 2012.

Daniel & Ben talk with poet Sharon Bryan, author of the collection “Sharp Stars.”  Bryan talks about why she tends to write in long, traversing sentences, and why she feels the importance of white space on the page is just as important as the words that fill it.

Bryan also reads this week’s Poem of the Week: “Body and Soul” from the collection “Sharp Stars.”

In this week’s Poetic License, Benjamin Saenz explains why he is feeling grateful.  Aired Nov. 4, 2012.

An online-exclusive extended interview with poet Sharon Bryan, author of the collection “Sharp Stars.”  Bryan talks about why she tends to write in long, traversing sentences, and why she feels the importance of white space on the page is just as important as the words that fill it.  She also talks about her beginnings as a writer, and how she copes as a writer from the West living on the East Coast.

Bryan also reads this week’s Poem of the Week: “Body and Soul” from the collection “Sharp Stars.

Aired Nov. 4, 2012.

  

Carmen Giménez Smith is a writer, poet, and professor of Creative Writing at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces NM. She talks about how her writing style is conducive to her busy life as a professional and a mother of two. She also talks about how she blends her careers as a writer and teacher, and why she sometimes has to teach what she personally doesn’t like because it presents a teachable moment. 

From Sept. 23, 2012, Daniel talks with former US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. The New York Times calls him "the most popular poet in America." Collins talks about his obsession with mortality, and about seeing his poetry come to life through animation. And in this online exclusive, Collins also talks about the projects he accomplished while serving as US Poet Laureate, and about being born in the same hospital where American poet William Carlos Williams practiced medicine. Poet Billy Collins contributes this week's Poem of the Week, reading "Revision" from his latest collection "Horoscopes for the Dead."

From Sept. 23, 2012, Daniel talks with former US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. The New York Times calls him "the most popular poet in America." Collins talks about his obsession with mortality, and about seeing his poetry come to life through animation. Poet Billy Collins contributes this week's Poem of the Week, reading "Revision" from his latest collection "Horoscopes for the Dead."

From Sept. 30, 2012, an expanded interview with Chinese-American poet, Arthur Sze, author of "The Redshifting Web," "The Ginkgo Light," and other books. Sze talks about arrival to Santa Fe, New Mexico, 40 years ago and how it continues to influence his work. He also discusses why the label of “Asian-American poet” hinders or helps his work. Sze also talks about the intentional relaxed-pace rhythm of his poetry, and how his work has changed over the years. Sze also discusses how quantum physics inspires his work, and his favorite poets.  Arthur Sze reads this week’s Poem of the Week – “Crisscross” from the collection “The Ginkgo Light.”

Daniel & Ben talk with Chinese-American poet, Arthur Sze, author of "The Redshifting Web," "The Ginkgo Light," and other books (aired Sept. 30, 2012). Sze talks about arrival to Santa Fe, New Mexico, 40 years ago and how it continues to influence his work. He also discusses why the label of “Asian-American poet” hinders or helps his work. Sze also talks about the intentional relaxed-pace rhythm of his poetry, and how his work has changed over the years. Arthur Sze reads this week’s Poem of the Week – “Crisscross” from the collection “The Ginkgo Light.”

From Oct. 14, 2012, an extended interview with Juan Felipe Herrera,California Poet Laureate. Herrera is the first Hispanic Poet Laureate in the state. He talks about how he’s using the exposure to create the biggest poem in the world built on the theme of Unity. He also talks about the “I Promise Joanna” Project, which invites teachers, students, and all victims of bullying to share their stories in memory of 11-year-old Joanna Ramos, who died while being victimized by bullies. Herrera also talks about his current project - a staged presentation of monologues & poems based on interviews with Cuca & Eva Aguirre, 1930’s radio stars from the El Paso-Juarez region. In this expanded conversation, he also talks about a recent "Lowrider Laureate Parade" he participated in with other California Laureates. He also explores his role as a keeper of metaphor. Juan Felipe Herrera contributes to this week’s Poem of the Week by reading a few lines from his new play about Cuca & Eva Aguirre.

Daniel talks with Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate (aired Oct 14, 2012). Herrera is the first Hispanic Poet Laureate in the state. He talks about how he’s using the exposure to create the biggest poem in the world built on the theme of Unity. He also talks about the “I Promise Joanna” Project, which invites teachers, students, and all victims of bullying to share their stories in memory of 11-year-old Joanna Ramos, who died while being victimized by bullies. Herrera also talks about his current project - a staged presentation of monologues & poems based on interviews with Cuca & Eva Aguirre, 1930’s radio stars from the El Paso-Juarez region. Juan Felipe Herrera contributes to this week’s Poem of the Week by reading a few lines from his new play about Cuca & Eva Aguirre. www.facebook.com/pages/Juan-Felipe-Herrera/103794522993002, www.juanfelipepoet.com This week’s Poetic License comes from Paul Pedroza, a native El Pasoan who moved to the Midwest to further his studies, but who came back to El Paso after realizing it was ok to miss the desert.

In this online-exclusive expanded interview from Oct. 21, 2012, Daniel talks with Denise Duhamel, author of the poetry collection "Ka-Ching!" Duhamel talks about the inspiration behind the collection, and how a horrific real-life tragedy involving her parents inspired one of her poems. She also discusses why she considers herself to be a political poet, and why that shouldn't be a mark of shame. Duhamel talks about the rage reflected in her poetry, whether it be against corporations, the plight of low-wage earners, or the objectification of women. Duhamel also contributes today's Poem of the Week: "Delta Flight 659: To Sean Penn," from the collection "Ka-Ching!"

Are you a writer interested in contributing a Poetic License segment to the program? Contact Daniel Chacon at danchacon@utep.edu, or Benjamin Saenz at bsaenz@utep.edu.

Daniel talks with Denise Duhamel, author of the poetry collection "Ka-Ching!" Duhamel talks about the inspiration behind the collection, and how a horrific real-life tragedy involving her parents inspired one of her poems. Duhamel also contributes today's Poem of the Week: "Delta Flight 659: To Sean Penn," from the collection "Ka-Ching!" In today's Poetic License, Daniel Chacon struggles with mixed emotions upon hearing about the recent death of his father.

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