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.

Host Tim Hernandez speaks with poet Jennifer Kwon Dobbs about her second collection of poems, Interrogation Room.

Host Daniel Chacon speaks with poet and translator, Arturo Mantecon about his recent work titled Poetry Comes Out Of My Mouth.

Daniel Chacon speaks with wandering writers Yuri Herrera, and Mariela Dreyfus.

Yuri Herrera is a fiction writer from Mexico who authored Signs Preceding the End of the World.  Mariela Dreyfus is a Peruvian poet, essayist, and translator who currently lives in New York City.

Words on a Wire host Tim Hernandez sits down with poet Christian Anton Gerard to discuss his latest poetry collection Holdfast.

Tim Hernandez talks with poet Willa Carroll about her latest work, "Nerve Chorus."

This week, Words on a Wire host Tim Hernandez visits with poet Heather Dobbins to talk about her new collection, River Mouth.

On this edition of Words on a Wire, Daniel Chacon speaks with poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico.  They talk about her success and what it is like to be a wandering poet.

The oldest child of an immigrant Mexican family, Vickie Vértiz was born and raised in Bell Gardens, a southeast Los Angeles city. This week, we spoke with her about her first full collection of poetry, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, which uses both humor and sincerity to capture moments in time with a sense of compassion for the hard choices we must make to survive. 

Stephanie Elizondo Griest is the author of the award-winning memoirs including Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana, and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines. This week, we spoke with her on her most recent book, All the Agents and Saints - Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands, in which Elizondo Griest weaves seven years of stories into a meditation on the existential impact of international borderlines by illuminating the spaces in between.

Diana López is the author of the adult novella, Sofia's Saints and numerous middle-grade novels, including Confetti Girl, Nothing Up My Sleeve, and Lucky Luna. This week, we visited with López to discuss her novel adaptation for the Disney/Pixar film, Coco!

Words on a Wire kicks off its 10th season by welcoming UTEP's newest professor, Nelson Cárdenas. Cárdenas has won national literary awards for his poems and essays in his native Cuba. Hosts Daniel Chacón and Tim Hernandez spoke with Cárdenas about his upbringing in Cuba, and his future plans for writing as he now resides in El Paso.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 14, 2018-

Jennifer Howd has been building a mindfulness practice for a few years before taking on the challenge of her first nine-day silent meditation retreat. In her debut memoir, Sit, Walk, Don't Talk: How I Survived A Silent Meditation Retreat, she chronicles the humorous adventures of the dueling inner voices that emerge in the silence: one intent on focusing on the seemingly negative aspects of her experiences, and the other on helping her see the positivity that can come from them. Host Daniel Chacón talks to Jennifer Howd about her retreat and the process of producing this memoir.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 21, 2018-

Host Tim Hernandez gets the opportunity to speak with one of his favorite contemporary writers today - Manuel Paul López. López's latest work, These Days of Candy, truly depicts his creative power and he is certainly a name to watch in the years to come. López has co-edited numerous books and has had his own work published in Bilingual Review, Denver Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Huizache, and Puerto del Sol, among others. His work has been supported by the San Diego Foundation's Creative Catalyst Fund and he currently lives in San Diego, CA and teaches at San Diego City College.

PBS

-ORIGINALLY AIRED DECEMBER 10, 2017-

Marcus Wicker is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, The Missouri Review's Miller Audio Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center. His second book, Silencer was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017 and is a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Marcus teaches in the MFA program at the University of Memphis, and he is the poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review and this week we speak with him about his most recent work.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED DECEMBER 24, 2017-

On this special edition of Words on a Wire, Daniel Chacón has the privilege of having multiple talented poets all together in our studio. He speaks with Cynthia Guardado, Lauren Espinoza, and María Teresa López Avedoy the winner and finalists of the Pellicer-Frost Binational Poetry Prize. Poets from the US and Mexico competed and the winners were invited to Juarez and El Paso for a reading and a ceremony to honor their accomplishment.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED NOVEMBER 26, 2017-

Layli Long Soldier is the recipient of the 2015 NACF National Artist Fellowship, a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a 2016 Whiting Award. Her poems have appeared in The American Poet, The American Reader, The Kenyon Review Online, and other publications and this week we speak with her about her book of poems, Whereas.

Di Vagar Magazine

-ORIGINALLY AIRED SEPTEMBER 3, 2017-

Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, novelist and short story writer, joins us in-studio as we discussed her book Todo Eso Es Yo. We also take the time 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.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED DECEMBER 3, 2017-

Gabriel Thompson is an independent journalist who has written for the New York Times, Harper's, New York, Slate, Mother Jones, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Nation. His articles about labor and immigration have won a number of prizes, including the Studs Terkel Media Award and the Sidney Award. He speaks with host Tim Hernandez about his latest work, Chasing the Harvest: Migrant Workers in California Agriculture.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED OCTOBER 22, 2017-

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.

The poetry world is in mourning over the recent loss of former U.S. Poet Laureate, Donald Hall. We had the privilege of having Mr. Hall on our program not once, not twice, but three times. This week, we listen back to our conversation from 2015 about Hall's collection of essays, Essays After Eighty.

Vivian Babuts Photography

-ORIGINALLY AIRED SEPTEMBER 17, 2017-

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.   

-ORIGINALLY AIRED OCTOBER 15, 2017- 

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.

-ORIGINALLY AIRED SEPTEMBER 24, 2017-

Over the summer, the Words on a Wire hosts likes to take a little break and dedicate the time to more reading and writing. This week, we begin our summer series where we listen back to our favorite conversations from our most recent season and to start us off is our conversation with Erika L. Sánchez!
Erika L. Sánchez is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist and we revisit our conversation about her book of poems Lessons on Expulsion.

Annie Lanzillotto is an American author, poet, songwriter, director, actor, and performance artist. Lanzillotto and host Tim Hernandez have a history together, as Lanzillotto was one of his mentors at Naropa University. This week, the two had the opportunity to reunite and discuss Lanzillotto's latest work, Hard Candy/Pitch, Roll Yaw.

Donal Hall is an American poet, writer, editor, literary critic, and is considered one of the major American poets of his generation. We've had the pleasure of having Mr. Hall on the program several times before, each ending on the assumption that would be his last book. However, Mr. Hall proves his passion for writing is strong and persistent, and this week, we had the opportunity to discuss his latest work, A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety

Author Isabel Quintero and illustrator Zeke Peña have come together to create Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, a poetic graphic biography about renowned Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and her adventures around the world. We had the opportunity of speaking with the two of them and discussed what into the making behind this wonderful book.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. This week, we had the honor of speaking with him about his latest collection of poetry, Cenzontle, which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. prize and will be published by BOA Editions in 2018. We discussed his writing process, his work as a founder of the Undocupoets campaign, and even how his poetry has transformed since becoming a father. 

Local businessman Don Shapiro and author/filmmaker Valentin Sandoval have joined forces to build a creative center for established and emerging artists of all mediums. This week, the two joined us in-studio to tell us about this collaborative project, as well as their book, that is helping shape the future of El Paso's creative artistic community.

Poets.org

Li-Young Lee was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. His father had been a personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China, and relocated the family to Indonesia, where he helped found Gamaliel University. In 1959, the Lee family fled the country to escape anti-Chinese sentiment and after a five-year trek, they settled in the United States in 1964. Li-Young Lee is the author of multiple critically acclaimed books of poetry, and this week, we spoke with him about his newest collection of poetry, The Undressing, which investigates the violence and dispossession increasingly prevalent around the world, as well as the horrors he grew up with as a child of refugees.

This week, Daniel Chacón sat down with a former student of his, Yasmin Ramirez. Yasmin now holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Texas at El Paso and is currently an Assistant Professor of English at El Paso Community College. Yasmin's work has been featured in various journals including Cream City Review to HUIZACHE. The two discussed Yasmin's work, as well as her newest endeavor taking her to Europe this summer. 

Pages