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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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Alice Whittenburg, National Writers Union

Words and Work

Ryan Kelly - National Writers Union and Pima Area Labor Federation
Ted Prezelski interviews Ryan Kelly about actions for workers at both Amazon and Starbucks in Tucson. He also talks about love for Scabby the Rat.
May 11, 2022
Patrick Whitehurst - Journalist and Author of Murder & Mayhem in Tucson
Ted Prezelski interviews Patrick Whitehurst, an author that recently moved to Tucson. Whitehurst discusses the book Murder & Mayhem in Tucson along with his crime fiction.
April 05, 2022
Alejandro Chavez - Executive Director of DMU and grandson of Cesar Chavez
This is the week that many of us honor Cesar Chavez, so Ted Prezelski has a chat with the UFW leader's grandson Alejandro Chavez. They talk about the legacy of his grandfather, how he got into community organizing in Arizona and his current work in Washington.
March 28, 2022
Anakarina Rodriguez, Arizona Cesar Chavez Holiday Coalition and the National Domestic Workers Alliance
Ted Prezelski talks to Anakarina Rodriguez about the upcoming Cesar Chavez holiday in Tucson and the meaning of the holiday for her. She also discusses her work with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which seeks to extend labor protections to domestic workers.
March 24, 2022
Wes Oswald, Tucson Education Association
Ted Prezelski interviews Wes Oswald, a teacher at Manzo Elementary School. They discuss teaching during the pandemic and recent issues at the legislature.
March 24, 2022
Spyncer Wilson - UFCW Local 99 and Prep and Pastry Organizing Committee
Ted Prezelski interviews Spyncer Wilson, who is with a group of back-of-the-house workers at Prep and Pastry, a local chain of restaurants in Tucson.
March 24, 2022
Annie and Beth Holub, editors of The Frumious Bandersnatch
Ted Prezelski interviews Annie and Beth Holub about their new project, a Substack to reprint the writing of their father, Hugh. Hugh Holub started a satirical newspaper in the 1960's that eventually became a blog in the 1990's. The Substack can be found at
February 22, 2022
Karla Schumann, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Pride at Work
Ted Prezelski interviews Karla Schumann, Political Director for Teamsters Local 104 and the head of the Arizona chapter of Pride at Work, the AFL-CIO constituency group for members of the LBGTQ community. In the interview, Karla brought up the name Gary Kapanowski, a leader with the United Auto Workers. To find out more about him, check the following links:
February 18, 2022
Dan Stuart, Author of the Marlowe Billings novels
Ted Prezelski interviews Dan Stuart, musician and author of a series of novels about a character named Marlowe Billings, a fictionalized version of himself.
February 18, 2022
Jeffrey Holsen, American Federation of Musicians
Ted Prezelski interviews Jeffrey Holsen, a bass violinist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and member of the American Federation of Musicians.
February 18, 2022
Mari Herreras, NWU Member
Ted Prezelski interviews Mari Herreras, a journalist for several alternative weeklies and currently a staffer at the University of Arizona Press.
February 18, 2022
Rep. Pamela Powers-Hannley, NWU Member
Ted Prezelski interviews Pamela Powers-Hannley, an Arizona State Representative and member of the National Writers Union.
February 18, 2022
Home Health Care Workers and the Build Back Better Act
Audio from the rally for Home Health Care Workers put on by the Pima Area Labor Federation held in Tucson on December 16, 2021.
February 18, 2022
Rev. Owen Chandler, author of Bridge in Babylon
Ted Prezelski talks to Rev. (and Maj.) Owen Chandler, one-time pastor in Tucson now a US Army chaplain. He talks about his book Bridge in Babylon, which is about his time as a reserve army chaplain in Iraq.
December 18, 2021
Words and Work - Scott Lunt, author of Sun Blocked
Ted Prezelski interviews Tucson author Scott Lunt to talk about his book of RV adventures, Sun Blocked.
December 18, 2021
Hank Stephenson, co-founder of Arizona Agenda
Hank Stephenson, who has written for numerous publications in Arizona, talks about his new project, a Substack called Arizona Agenda. Hank's work can be found at
December 18, 2021
Steve Diamond, Member of NWU
Ted Prezelski interviews Steve Diamond, member of the National Writers Union, Tucson Chapter
November 14, 2021
Ryan Kelly, National Writers Union and Staffer at the Pima Area Labor Federation
Ted Prezelski interviews Ryan Kelly, an NWU member. Ryan also works as a staffer for the Pima Area Labor Federation and he talks about the state of organized labor nationally and in Southern Arizona.
October 23, 2021
Sarah Garecht Gassen, Arizona Daily Star
Ted Prezelski interviews Sarah Garecht Gassen, an outgoing editor at the Arizona Daily Star. She talks about how working at a daily paper has changed over the last 25 years and her future plans.
October 23, 2021
Ryan Kelapire, Sports Journalist
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
Alice Whittenburg, National Writers Union
Ted Prezelski interviews Alice Whittenburg about her writing and her involvement in the labor movement.
October 01, 2021
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
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
Greg McNamee, author, journalist and editor
Ted Prezelski talks to long time Tucson journalist and author Greg McNamee about his life and career.
September 04, 2021
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
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
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 04, 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
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
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 06, 2021
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 01, 2021
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
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
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
Andrea Ibáñez, Author of the Deadly series of mystery novels
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 01, 2021
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 06, 2021
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 03, 2021
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
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