For people who read, for people who write, for people who want to publish, or for people who are just curious…What do writers think? What do writers really do? Find out – listen to THE LAST WORD: Conversations with Writers every Wednesday at 4 pm with host, Abigail Adler
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Feb 13, 2019


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Pam Houston

PAM HOUSTON is best known as the author of the best-selling book of short stories,  COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS published in 1992. Since then, she has published five books, including her latest, DEEP CREEK: FINDING HOPE IN THE HIGH COUNTRY.

This new book, DEEP CREEK, has its beginning in that first book, COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS. Houston took the money she made from COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS and used it as a down payment on a 120 acre ranch in southern Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. That was 25 years ago. The tales in DEEP CREEK go far beyond the boundaries of her ranch- to tales of travel, big hearted towns people, her difficult childhood and the animals, trees, birds, mountains and creeks.  This is perhaps the most personal of her books- which are all personal.

Her stories have been selected for prestigious anthologies such as The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century and others.. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, AND the Evil Companions Literary Award.

Houston is the co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers which puts on writing conferences across the American West and in France.

She currently teaches in the MFA program at University of California, Davis and at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Feb 6, 2019


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Paul Ryer

When Paul Ryer was an eleven year old kid growing up in Pennsylvania, his parents decided to give up their life in the U.S. and buy a sail boat. With their parents, Ryer  and his sister sailed around the Carribean for nearly 4 years- and those turned out to be formative years.

Today, Paul Ryer is an anthropologist and author of numerous academic articles. His new book, BEYOND CUBAN WATERS:AFRICA, LA YUMA AND THE ISLAND'S GLOBAL IMAGINATION. is the result of many years spent living in and studying the culture of the Carribean.  During part of that time, he has been affiliated with the University of Havana. 

Ryer has a bachelors in anthropology from Amherst college and PhD in cultural anthropology from University of Chicago. He is currently Director of Scholar Programs at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. Known locally as SAR, the organization is the premier anthropological program in the country.  Among other things, Ryer is charged with  recruiting 6 scholars each year to write books on their field of expertise.



Jan 30, 2019


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Jason Berry

Jason Berry's has just come out with a new book, CITY OF A MILLION DREAMS: A History of New Orleans at Year 300. He is the author of 10 books and countless articles. He is also a playwright and film maker. Berry is best known for his pioneering investigative reporting into the crisis of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. His ground-breaking book LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION was published 10 years before the Boston Globe expose on the same subject.  Two more landmark books about the vatican followed.

Berry's articles and editorials have appeared in many publications including the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Irish Times, Southern Living and the Boston Globe.

Berry is also a recognized expert on the city of New Orleans and Jazz. This latest book, CITY OF A MILLION DREAMS tells the story of his home town through the lives of its most fascinating inhabitants.




Jan 9, 2019

Carol Potenza is the winner of the Tony Hillerman Award

Oct 10, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Mary Jo McConahay



World War II-- It was exactly that--- a world war.  And that included Latin America. Many of us are unaware of the high stakes war game that was being played out south of our border.

Mary Jo McConahay's new book, The Tango War; The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America During World War II brings that dramatic history to life.

As an award-winning journalist, McConahay's work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Ms., Salon, Los Angeles Times Magazine, and many more publications.

She began her journalism career late 70s freelancing in Mexico; then, she become a staff reporter for the Arab News, in Saudi Arabia.  She reported for the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, and London-based Middle EaST Economic Digest . She has covered wars in Central American and economics in the Middle East.

McConahay is also a documentary film maker.  Her films follow individuals who pursue social justice with their lives.

She is currently hard at work on her next book- about latin america during the cold war.  This next book picks up where The Tango War ends.

McConahay's other books include Maya Roads, One Woman's Journey Among the People of the Rain Forest , and Ricochet, Two Women War Reporters and a Friendship Under Fire.

Mary Jo McConahay joins us by phone from San Francisco.

Oct 3, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Dr. Peter Smith


Dr. PETER SMITH is  pioneer and leader in education. He is the author of 4 books on the subject including- Harnessing America's Wasted Talent: A New Ecology For Learning and Your Hidden Credentials: The Value of Personal Learning Outside College.

 His latest book, Free Range Learning In The Digital Age,The Emerging Revolution In College Career and Education, is just out.

Smith served as founding president of California State University, Monterey Bay,and the founding president of the Community College of Vermont

Smith earned a Masters and Doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor's degree in History from Princeton..

In an earlier incarnation, Smith represented his home state of Vermont in the US  House of Representatives. He also served as Lieutenant Governor of Vermont

He has been the assistant director general for education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well as a senior fellow at the American Council on Education and vice president for development at Norwich University.

In addition to that, Peter Smith is currently the President of the Board of KSFR Radio.

Sep 26, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Hampton Sides

HAMPTON SIDES is best-known for writing non-fiction adventure stories about times of war or epic expeditions of discovery and exploration. He is the author of the bestselling books- Ghost SoldiersBlood and Thunder  and, In the Kingdom of Ice.

His newest book- On Desperate Ground, comes out in October 2018. But if you are in Santa Fe, you are in luck because Hamtpon Sides will be at  at the Violet Crown Theater on later today, Wednesday September 26 6:30 for a book launch and party. He will be reading and signing his new book along with a slideshow. Several Korean War Veterans will be joining him.  The event is sponsored by Collected Works. He will also be reading at the Kimo theatre in Albuquerque on November 1st, 2018. That event is sponsored by Bookworks.

As a journalist, his work has been collected in numerous published anthologies.. He has been twice nominated for National Magazine Awards for feature writing. Hampton is editor-at-large for Outside and a frequent contributor to National Geographic and other magazines.

Hampton Sides graduated from Yale University with a BA in History.    Sides was a fellow at the Santa Fe Institute in 2015. He is also a partner of Atalaya Productions, an independent film company that develops non-fiction and historical stories for the screen.

Sep 19, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Ray John de Aragon

RAY JOHN DE ARAGON  is the author of 15 books including two children's books.  His best known books include New Mexico Book of the Undead, The hidden history of Spanish New Mexico, Haunted Santa Fe and Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy .

In college, he studied education and went on to earn advanced degrees in American studies with an emphasis on the history, customs and language of New Mexico, including folklore. He has held pivotal positions throughout the state in the NM Educational System. He has been a lecturer at all of the state's universities and colleges.In addition, he has presented programs at New Mexico museums and archives.

However, perhaps his deepest education in NM History came from his family. His childhood was populated with tales of ghosts,like La Llorona- as Well as witches and spirits and curanderas. Ray John de Aragon was born and grew up in Las Vegas NM. His great grandmother was a famous Curandera, a healer who uses herbs for spells and healing. Aragon has made it his life's work to write down and preserve that rich cultural history.

In addition to writing books, Aragon is a traditional santero/fine artist, and a performing artist who has appeared in several theatrical stage lead roles and one movie. He has served on the board of the New Mexico Art Council, and the New Mexico Arts Alliance



Sep 12, 2018



Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: James McEnteer


James McEnteer is a journalist who has been keeping a sharp, critical eye on U.S. politics and cultural life... particularly in Texas.

His journalism and opinion pieces appear in print and on line in-  ZMag,  CounterPunch, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Free Press,Foreign Policy in Focus, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics.  and many others.

McEnteer is the author of four books including Shooting the Truth: the Rise of American Political Documentaries and FIGHTING WORDS: INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS IN TEXAS. 

His most recent book, ACTING LIKE IT MATTERS, chronicles thirty years of the LAPD-  That stands for The Los Angeles Department of Poverty… The LAPD is a unique theatre company made up of largely homeless and formerly homeless men and women from Los Angeles' skid row.

His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous publications and online.

After earning a BA at Wesleyan, James McEnteer earned graduate degrees from the Universities of British Columbia and Texas at Austin. He had Fulbright grants in New Zealand and the Philippines and was a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has taught and lectured at various universities. He currently lives in Quito, Ecuador. 


Sep 10, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Malinda Maynor Lowery

Malinda Maynor Lowery is known for her original perspective in social and political history which she approaches from a non-traditional, indigenous point of view.  Lowery has a new book just out titled- THE LUMBEE INDIANS, An American Struggle. 

Lowery is an associate professor of history and Director of the Center for the study of the American South at the University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill.  She has a bachelors degree in history and literature from Harvard, a masters in documentary film production from Stanford as well as a PhD in History from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Lowery has produced and directed award-winning documentary films and videos. She co-produced and directed the full length documentary film- In the Light of Reverence about native struggles to protect sacred sites including efforts at Hopi. That film won awards at the Telleride Mountain Film Festival and the American Indian Film Festival.

Her articles have appeared in numerous academic journals.

On May 18, 2018, The New York Times published her  editorial  titled - "We are the original southerns". That piece is available online at:

Lowery is also the Author of Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South.

Aug 29, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Wiliam Powers


William Powers new book, Dispatches From The Sweet Life, is an exploration into living a life in harmony. For Powers and his family, means a life far from the American consumerist dream.

Powers has worked for more than 20 years in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, and North America. From 2002 to 2004 he managed a community project in the Bolivian Amazon that won a  prize for environmental innovation from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

His essays, commentaries and articles have appeared in the New York Times,The Washington Post,the Atlantic and Slate. He is the author of 4 books -including New Slow City and Twelve by Twelve.  Powers has worked at the World Bank and holds international relations degrees from Brown and Georgetown.

As a third-generation New Yorker, Powers is familiar with the lure of bright lights and big cities. That's why Powers spent two decades exploring the American culture of speed and its alternatives in some fifty countries around the world.  Powers is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an adjunct faculty member at New York University.

Aug 22, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Brantley Hargrove

Brantley Hargrove's new book out this year is The Man who Caught The Storm, The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samara. He has written for many publications including Wired, Popular Mechanics and Texas Monthly.

In the early 2000s, Brantley Hargrove described himself as  rudderless University of North Texas undergrad not knowing what he was going to do with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.He had been on the staff of the campus newspaper. And- He had some good clips.

Eventually Hargrove landed writing stints at newspapers in  Wyoming,  South Florida, and Tennessee. Then Hargrove made his way back to Texas in 2013 where he reported for the Dallas Observer.

While reporting for the Dallas Observer, Hargrove came face to face with THE  story of his young career… A story about Tornados and the people who spent their lives trying to be where no one else wanted to be…. right smack in the middle of the most ferocious, deadly storms on the face of the earth. The Man Who Caught The Storm puts you there too. 


Aug 3, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Katharine Gerbner

Katherine Gerbner's new book, CHRISTIAN SLAVERY Conversion and Race in the Protestant World is a masterfully thought out, meticulously researched, original take on the issue of white supremacy. Her research took her from Barbados to Germany to London to Pennsylvania.

Katherine Gerbner is an assistant professor of history at the University of Minnesota where she teaches courses on Atlantic History, History of Religions, Magic & Medicine, and The Early Modern Archive.

Gerbner has a bachelors degree from Columbia and a PhD from Harvard in History. During college, Gerbner interned at the radio show, Justice Talking which broadcasts from Philadelphia

After graduate school, Gerbner received a Fullbright Scholarship to teach and study in Germany for a year.  She is fluent in German and has studied Dutch and Dutch Creole.

She joins us by phone from The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Jul 25, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Fred Van Lente

Fred Van Lente just published his second novel- The Con Artist. The scene of the action is ComiCon San Diego, one of the massive conventions that attracts comic book aficionados, addicts and authors.

Van Lente is best known as a New York Times best-selling comics writer.  He creates the text for the hard-hitting, irreverent superhero series, Archer and Armstrong. He is also the author of non-fiction comics with weightier subjects like the series, Action Philosophers.

Fred Van Lente co-wrote the graphic novel, Cowboys and Aliens, which was made into a film staring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.

Van Lente's first book, Ten Dead Comedians, was a thinly veiled show business satire.

He joins us by phone from Brooklyn, new York.

Jul 18, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Bob Puglisi

BOB PUGLISI has just published his fourth book- Unassisted Living with the tagline-   Never cross a mob of angry seniors.

Before becoming an author, Puglisi's career took some dramatic turns from computer programmer and technical writer for major IT corporations to actor, screenwriter and author. He also worked as part time librarian at the Old Rock Library in Crested Butte, Colorado for 15 years. 

In 2000, he received a fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts for his screenplay BIG WHITE BONNEVILLE. He then produced it as a short film that made the rounds of the film festival circuit. He adapted that screenplay into a novel -MIDNIGHT AUTO SUPPLY in 2016.

His next book ALMOST A WISEGUY was written with and about a friend’s life in the Mafia. That project evolved into a podcast  and  an audio book.

He now lives in Santa Fe NM

Jul 11, 2018


Producer and host: Abigail Adler

Guest: David Keplinger

David Keplinger is Professor of Literature in the MFA Program at American University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of five collections of poetry- the latest one just out this year is  Another City (Milkweed, 2018). 

He is the recipient of many prestigious awards. His book, The Prayers of Others, won the Colorado Book Award. His first collection, The Rose Inside, was chosen by the poet Mary Oliver for the 1999 T.S. Eliot Prize. 

In 2011 he produced By and By, an album of eleven songs based on the poetry of his great-great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran.

His work has been included in numerous anthologies in the United States, as well as in China and Northern Ireland,

He has collaborated to translate works from Danish and German.

He has taught at universities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia- as well as in the summer creative writing institute at John Cabot University in Rome.

David Keplinger joins us by phone from Washington DC

Jun 27, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Joseph Badal


JOSEPH BADAL has  published 13 books- thrillers and mysteries. He is an Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author.

His latest book, out this Month is -OBSESSED. It's the 2nd in a series he calls the Curtis Chronicles. It picks up the story where his last book, THE MOTIVE, leaves off.

Before writing thrillers, Joseph Badal spent 40 years  in the world of finance, banking and mortgage lending. He has been president and CEO of several companies and he has served on corporate boards.

Before becoming a novelist, Badal wrote Business and Trade Journal articles and short stories

He was a member of the NM House of representatives - representing NE Albuquerque from 1978-1979.

Badal is a decorated army veteran who served in Vietnam…. and other exotic locations around the globe. He uses those experiences liberally in his thrillers.

He has won numerous awards, including The Tony Hillerman Prize for Best Fiction Book for Ultimate Betrayal. He has won Gold and Silver Medals from the Military Writers Society of America for his writing.

Badelle lives in NM and writes full-time.

Jun 20, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Kari Bovee

Kari Bovee is a newly published novelist. Her debut novel, Girl With A Gun- an Annie Oakley Mystery- is just out in paperback and Kindle.

After earning a bachelors degree in English Literature at the University of San Diego, Bovee landed a job as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company.  She started a family and continued to work  part-time as a freelance writer for magazines and newsletters.

Meanwhile, at night she wrote her  first two novels and acquired her first agent. Those two books never found a publisher at that time.

Fast forward to today- Bovee did not give up- she is now a published novelist and she is currently reworking her unpublished books into the first books of three separate series.  Her books focus on strong,  empowered women in history.

In addition to her passion for writing, Kari Bovee has a passion for horses. She is an avid horsewoman who trains her own horses and with them, has competed at the local, regional, and national levels. Bovee now lives in Corrales NM

Jun 14, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is a landscape historian, landscape preservationist and writer, who is also credited with saving New York City's Central Park… and that's the title of her newest book, - Saving Central Park, A History And A Memoir.

Beginning in 1980 Rogers rallied city leaders, politicians, financial backers, and citizens to resuscitate the majestic 843 acre park in the center of Manhattan. Rogers was appointed Central Park Administrator beginning 1979 and in 1980 she formed the Central Park Conservancy.  It was the first public- private park partnership in the united states and became the model for parks throughout the country.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is the president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in art history. She then went on to earn a masters in city planning from Yale.

Rogers is the author of ten books including Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History, Frederick Law Olmsted's New York and Learning Las Vegas: Portrait of a Northern New Mexican Place.

Rogers was born in San Antonio, Texas, and moved permanently to New York in 1964. Rogers spends part of the year in Santa Fe, NM.

There is a plaque honoring Elizabeth Barlow Rogers in Central Park on the path leading to Summit Rock.

Jun 6, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg is well-know writer and writing teacher and painter. Her latest book is Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home. When Natalie Goldberg's life took a devastating, unexpected turn- so, of course, did her writing. This book is about Goldberg's journey through the corridors of modern medicine, death, dying and ultimately…life.

Natalie Goldberg has published more than a dozen books including the best-seller about how to write -   Writing Down the Bones.

Goldberg has been a Zen practitioner, for more than thirty years. She wholeheartedly brings  the lessons of Zen Buddhism to her writing, her life and her teaching.

Goldberg is also a prolific painter. Her book Living Color: A Writer Paints Her World. She refers to painting as her second art form.  Goldberg travels the world teaching and painting. Natalie Goldberg lives in Northern NM.

May 30, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Tracy Fessenden

Billie Holiday… the iconic blues singer and unique blues interpreter. Much has been written about her life, her music, her addictions and her early death.  Now, a new book by Tracy Fessenden - just out - traces an unexpected influence of Catholicism on her music. The title: Religion Around Billie Holiday.  Tracy Fessenden is a professor of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, at Arizona State University. Fessenden earned a bachelors degree in English from Yale and then a PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia.  She began her teaching career at Millsaps College in Jackson Mississippi before going on to teach at Arizona State.

Tracy Fessenden has published numerous articles and essays in noted literary, religious and academic publications including  American Literary HistoryReligion & Politics, a special issue of Religion.  She published her  first book in 2007: Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature

May 23, 2018




Larry Tye is a bestselling author whose most recent book is a biography of Robert F. Kennedy, the former attorney general, U.S. senator, and presidential candidate. Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon explores RFK’s surprising involvement with Joe McCarthy and the communist-hunters of the 1950s.Tye goes on to trace Kennedy's journey to becoming a champion of racial equality and working people..
Tye is known to many as an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe-from the mid 1980s until 2001. Before that, he worked for The Courier Journal in Lousiville and the Anniston Star in Alabama.

He had the opportunity to cover the medicine beat for the Boston Globe and went on to run the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship. The fellowship trains a dozen medical journalists a year from newspapers,radio stations, and TV outlets nationwide.

Tye's books include The Father of Spin, Riding the Rails, Satchel and Superman.

Tye- graduated from Brown University and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He has taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts.

May 16, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Mary Morris

MARY MORRIS lives in Brooklyn… however her latest novel takes place in northern New Mexico. Gateway to the Moon weaves a story through time and space… from Spain in the 15th century to 20th century New Mexico and Miguel Torres - a young man itching to leave the tiny village of Entrada .

Mary Morris has published many novels and collections of short stories as well as memoir. She has held teaching positions at Princeton, University of California at Irvine and Sarah Lawrence where she has held a tenured position since 1997.

Morris is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the novels The Jazz Palace, A Mother's Love, and House Arrest. Morris's non-fiction work includes the travel memoir classic Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone.

During her writing career she has received many awards.

Mary Morris lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

May 9, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Craig Childs

Craig Childs walks in the footsteps of the earliest people who wandered onto this continent 20,000 years ago. He follows ancient migration routes with his whole body, mind and heart.

In this new book, ATLAS OF A LOST WORLD: TRAVELS IN ICE AGE AMERICA Childs, himself attempts- as near as possible t-o actually travel in the Ice Age.

Craig Childs has published more than a dozen books of adventure, wilderness, and science. He has won many prizes for his explorations and books.

He is contributing editor at Adventure Journal Quarterly, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, and Outside.

Childs has a B.A. in Journalism from CU Boulder with a minor in Women's Studies, and from Prescott College, an M.A. in Desert Studies. He is an occasional commentator for NPRs Morning Edition, he teaches writing at University of Alaska in Anchorage and at Southern New Hampshire University.

He lives off the grid in Western Colorado

May 3, 2018


Producer and Host: Abigail Adler

Guest: Cherie Burns

Cherie Burns picks her subjects out of pure passion.  Burns is the author of four books, in addition to many articles and interviews. Her latest book, Diving For Starfish, is the story of one of the most admired and coveted pieces of fine jewelry in modern history-- the Boivin Starfish. The book is a journey through the all-but-secret world of outrageously expensive fabulous jewelry makers, merchants and their customers.

Cherie Burns is an investigative journalist.  Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, People, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, and other publications.  Burns now lives in Taos, New Mexico and Nantucket.

Her books include Searching for Beauty—The Life of Millicent Rogers  - The Great Hurricane: 1938 and Step-Motherhood. 


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