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Words and Work

Words and Work

By Ted Prezelski
Writer and activist Ted Prezelski talks to authors and labor leaders. A presentation of the National Writers Union - Tucson Chapter and Downtown Radio.
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Words and Work - Ryan Kelapire
Ted Prezelski interviews Ryan Kelapire, outgoing editor of the Arizona Desert Swarm blog. He discusses writing about WIldcat sports and how he became a journalist.
October 10, 2021
Words and Work - Alice Whittenburg, National Writers Union
Ted Prezelski interviews Alice Whittenburg about her writing and her involvement in the labor movement.
October 1, 2021
Words and Work - Clayton Sinyai, Catholic Labor Network
Ted Prezelski speaks with Clayton Sinyai of the Catholic Labor Network, a group that describes its mission as  a place for Catholics who find inspiration in Catholic Social Teaching on labor and work and share a desire to support workers in their struggle for social justice.
September 14, 2021
Words and Work - Teferi Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO (ENCORE)
As part of Labor Day week, an encore of Ted Prezelski's interview with Teferi Gebre.
September 11, 2021
Words and Work - Greg McNamee, author, journalist and editor
Ted Prezelski talks to long time Tucson journalist and author Greg McNamee about his life and career.
September 4, 2021
Words and Work - Susan Whittaker, IATSE Local 405
Ted Prezelski interviews Susan Whittaker, Dispatch Officer, IATSE Local 405. Most of IATSE 405's members are responsible for stage and trade shows, something there has not been a lot of for the last 18 months. She talks about the challenges to her fellow workers and what the union has been doing to support them.
August 28, 2021
Words and Work - Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, Tucson Weekly
Ted Prezelski interviews Jim Nintzel, executive editor of the Tucson Weekly and several other local publications. Ted and Jim talk about his time at the Weekly and training young journalists.
August 17, 2021
Words and Work - Prep and Pastry Organizing Committee
Ted Prezelski interviews Spyncer Wilson and Jennifer Skinner of the Prep and Pastry Organizing Committee. They discuss issues in their work place and what it's been like to try to form a union.
August 12, 2021
Words and Work - David Dickerson, author
In this episode, Ted Prezelski interviews David Dickerson, a local author who has made appearances on This American Life. Dickerson talks about his career in writing, which has included time writing greeting cards and questions for Jeff Foxworthy's American Bible Challenge. The TED Talk that is referenced on the show can be found here:
August 4, 2021
Words and Work - Teferi Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
On this episode, Ted Prezelski interviews Teferi Gebre who talks about his experience as an immigrant who now helps lead the AFL-CIO. Also, he talks about his work on behalf of the PRO Act here in Arizona.
July 26, 2021
Words and Work - Joe Ferguson, NWU member
Ted Prezelski interviews NWU member Joe Ferguson, who wrote at the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Daily Sun and Arizona Daily Wildcat (he notes that he's made the trifecta of the "Arizona Daily" newspapers). In addition to his work in journalism, he is now working on housing issues, a subject he talks about at length in this interview.
July 21, 2021
Words and Work - Mike Anderson, International Workers of the World
In commemoration of this week's anniversary of the Bisbee Deportation, Ted Prezelski interviews Mike Anderson. Anderson is a historian in Bisbee as well as a member of the union whose strike ended in the deportation, the International Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies.
July 12, 2021
Words and Work - Tom Prezelski, NWU member and author of Californio Lancers
Ted Prezelski interviews his brother Tom about the book Californio Lancers. The book details the history of the Native California Cavalry, a mostly Latino unit of the Union Army in the Civil War.  Tom and Ted aren't just brothers in the union sense, but are in fact twins, so their voices are going to sound a lot alike.
July 6, 2021
Words and Work - Kristen Randall, NWU member, constable and editor and publisher of the Southern Arizona Connection
Ted Prezelski interviews Kristen Randall, a member of the National Writers Union. She edits and publishes Southern Arizona Connection, a monthly community publication that serves smaller communities south of Tucson. She talks about the importance of publications like Connection for places like Arivaca, Amado and Green Valley. She also talks about her role as constable in midtown Tucson, part of her job is serving evictions. She has transformed her role into a service provider for people on the verge of eviction and has become an advocate for affordable housing.
July 1, 2021
Words and Work - Henry Barajas, writer of La Voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo
Ted Prezelski interviews Henry Barajas, former reporter for the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly. Barajas's latest book is La Voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo, a graphic novel about Barajas's great grandfather, Ramón Jaurigue, who went from being an orphan to an important community organizer in Tucson. Barajas talks about his career in journalism and his process in writing a graphic novel.
June 22, 2021
Words and Work - Sarah Land, Author of So There's a Sibling
Ted Prezelski talks to Phoenix-based writer Sarah Land, author of So There's a Sibling. Sarah talks about writing a children's book and there's a little soccer too.
June 18, 2021
Words and Work - Paul Stapleton Smith, IATSE
In this episode, Ted Prezelski talks to Paul Stapleton-Smith of IATSE local 415 and former chair of the Pima Area Labor Federation. Topics range from what IATSE is to the importance of the labor movement in politics and the community.
June 11, 2021
Words and Work - Andrea Ibáñez, Author of the Deadly series
Ted Prezelski speaks with Andrea Ibáñez, a Tucson-based mystery author. Ibáñez is the author of the Deadly series, a group of novels centering on North Carolina police detective Steve Thibault. She also discusses a political novel that she wrote, Romance in the Desert Southwest, which is based on her time working in Arizona politics.
June 1, 2021
Words and Work - Tom Zoellner, author of the National Road
Ted Prezelski interviews Tom Zoellner, a former reporter for the Arizona Republic and author of several books, including his latest, the National Road. The National Road is about the realities of life and geography in various parts of the country. Tom also talks about the January 8th shooting and politics in Arizona.
May 28, 2021
Words and Work - Jim McLaughlin, President of UFCW Local 99
Ted Prezelski interviews Jim McLauglin, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99. UFCW Local 99 primarily organizes workers in the retail sector in Arizona as well as parts of New Mexico and Utah. Ted and Jim talk about the challenges faced by his members during COVID, as well as organizing efforts at Amazon and in the marijuana industry. NOTE: I was told that another episode was uploaded in place of this one. This is the correct episode.
May 25, 2021
Words and Work - Greg Evans, Member of NWU, author and translator
Ted Prezelski interviews Greg Evans, who splits his time between Tucson and Prague. His work has included being a science fiction author, translator and editor of both the Occupied Tucson Citizen ( and Cafe Irreal (
May 18, 2021
Words and Work - Mansur Johnson, NWU member and author of In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great and Murshid
Ted Prezelski interviews Mansur Johnson, a Tucson-based author who has written In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, a two volume travelogue of his following the route of Alexander the great, along with books about his time as an assistant to American Sufi teacher Samuel L. Lewis. Johnson also talks about his time working on sets during Tucson's 1990's movie boom.
May 11, 2021
Words and Work - Erik Asphaug, Author of When the Earth Had Two Moons
Ted Prezelski talks with planetary scientist Erik Asphaug, who wrote When the Earth Had Two Moons: Cannibal Planets, Icy Giants, Dirty Comets, Dreadful Orbits and the Origins of the Night Sky. The book is an exploration of both the history of our solar system and the history of planetary science. The discussion touches on science education as well as the place of astronomy in popular imagination.
April 27, 2021
Words and Work - Miranda Schubert and Amy Roberts of the United Campus Workers
Ted Prezelski interviews organizers of the United Campus Workers, an effort to unionize employees at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. The movement was launched in September of 2020 and is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America Local 7065.
April 20, 2021
Words and Work - Lydia Otero, Author of In the Shadows of the Freeway, Growing Up Brown and Queer
Ted Prezelski talks with Lydia Otero, former professor at the University of Arizona. She talks about her current book as well as topics covered in her 2010 book, La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City. Words and Work is a presentation of the Tucson Chapter of the National Writers Union and Downtown Radio.
April 13, 2021
Words and Work - Fred Yamashita, Executive Director of the Arizona AFL-CIO
Ted Prezelski chats with Fred Yamashita about HR 482, also known as the PRO Act. The PRO Act is regarded as the most important piece of pro-labor legislation in decades. Yamashita is a member of the UFCW and was once the director of the Pima Area Labor Federation in Tucson.
April 6, 2021
Words and Work Bonus Episode - More from A. J. Flick
Our interview with A. J. Flick went long, so a story about a certain country artist was cut for the on-air broadcast. Here is the full story from A. J.
April 3, 2021
Words and Work - A. J. Flick, National Writers Union member and author of Toxic Rage
On this episode, Ted Prezelski talks to A. J. Flick, member of the National Writers Union, Tucson Chapter. Flick was a long time reporter for the Tucson Citizen (RIP) who covered everything from music to the courts. She talks about Toxic Rage, her 2018 book about the murder of Dr. Brian Stidham as well as her other work in journalism.
March 30, 2021
Words and Work - David Hill, National Writers Union Vice President and Author of The Vapors
Ted Prezelski talks to NWU Vice President David Hill about his book, The Vapors, and also about the National Writers Union and the Freelance Solidarity Project.
March 26, 2021