KUCI Fund Drive

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Martin J. Smith, author of "Going to Trinidad," on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

For forty years, Trinidad, Colorado was known amongst locals, and those in the transgender community, as the “sex-change capital of the world.” An estimated 6,000 gender reassignment surgeries took place in this remote ranch town between 1969 and 2010. 

Veteran journalist and award-winning author Martin J. Smith joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest, Going to Trinidad: A Doctor, a Colorado Town, and Stories from an Unlikely Gender Crossroads. He discusses finding the subjects of the book, and their willingness to open the most private aspects of their lives to him. He talks about researching Trinidad and Dr. Stanley Biber, a larger-than-life figure who perfected the surgery after serving as a trauma medic during the Korean War. And he discusses writing about this most vulnerable and misunderstood population from an outsider’s perspective, the challenges he faced, and how he overcame them. Smith also talks about how his own mindset shifted as a result of this project. 

Throughout the conversation, there’s wonderful advice for aspiring journalists, nonfiction writers, and those committed to the art of storytelling.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: April 14, 2021)

Friday, April 02, 2021

Robert Kolker, author of Hidden Valley Road, on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Don and Mimi Galvin epitomized the mid-20th century American dream. After WWII, Don's work with the U.S. Air Force took the family to Colorado where the Galvins raised 12 children spanning the entire baby boom generation. But even as the perfect family was being assembled, it began to disintegrate. Six of the ten boys were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The family was plagued by sexual abuse, clergy abuse, a murder/suicide, and other stressors.

Robert Kolker joins Marrie Stone to talk about Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. He talks about finding the Galvins, and their decision to open their lives—and their painful story—up to him. He shares how he tackled the complicated science and research behind this misunderstood mental illness. He also discusses how he managed an overwhelming cast of characters—and the immense tragedies they endured—while delivering a compelling, impossible-to-resist narrative. He provides great advice to aspiring journalists about how to launch their careers, what to look for in a story, and much more. 

Download audio.  

Record date: March 3, 2021
Broadcast date: March 31, 2021