Noel Black

The Big Something, Producer

Noel Black is a Colorado Springs native. He has worked as a print journalist, blogger and radio producer everywhere from San Francisco and New York City, but has always considered the Pikes Peak region home.  Noel oversees a fleet of Colorado College interns overseeing the production of KRCC's The Big Something. He is also the author of many chapbooks and two full-length books of poems, including La Goon, (The New Heave-Ho Press, 2013), which you can read online for free HERE and Uselysses, (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), which you can read online for free HERE.

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Culture
5:51 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

The Middle Distance, 12.12.14: The Dark That We Must Blind

Credit Noel Black

It is nearly mid-December and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Lights twinkle on wreathes; shiny red bows crown doorways; cartoon reindeer and snowmen and Santas grin cheerfully from festive store windows.

The darkest day of the year approaches, the winter solstice, and candles in windows flicker against the black night.

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Wish We Were Here
2:16 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Wish We Were Here, Episode 3: The Beginning of the End of Homelessness?

Charlene, one of the residents of Fort Lyon.
Credit Noel Black

At an old prison in southeastern Colorado, an experimental new program is working to help chronically homeless people from around the state rebuild their lives. In episode 3 of Wish We Were Here, we tell the story of Fort Lyon, and ask whether it could be the beginning of the end of homelessness as we know it. 

Want more from Wish We Were Here? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes HERE, and automatically get all the latest episodes and extras as they come out.

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The Middle Distance
4:46 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

The Middle Distance 11.28.14: All The Light We Used to Have

“McAllister House Interior” by Norman Sams, 1965. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 101-4758.

Nearly every wall of my mother’s house is lined with tables, bookcases, or a chest with drawers. And every time I come for a stay, I go through all of those drawers, one at a time.

Before the sun is up, Mama picks up the morning newspaper from the front porch, then pads down the carpeted hallway and pulls my bedroom door closed so I can sleep a little longer and she can fix her breakfast in peace. She feeds the dog a fried egg and makes a half pot of weak coffee, then reads the Galveston Daily News from front to back, clipping a recipe or a coupon if there’s a good one.

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The Middle Distance
5:24 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

The Middle Distance 11.21.14: Word to the Birdman

There are plenty of good reasons to see the Alejandro Inarritu film Birdman, currently enjoying the kind of pre-Oscar buzz that, once you’ve seen the movie, will make you giggle.

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The Middle Distance
5:43 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

The Middle Distance 11.14.14: Migrants

“Vietnamese Girl” by Alvaro Cardona-Hine, Cardona-Hine Gallery, Truchas, New Mexico (www.cardonahinegallery.com)

I was reunited with a friend this week. From the time we last parted ways — the fall of 2007 — until now, she has lived in Denver and I have moved from Colorado to south Texas and back.

She exists as a painting, a portrait made some 30 years ago on the frozen plains outside St. Paul, Minnesota, by an artist born in Costa Rica, relocated to the midwest via Los Angeles. Her face betrays her Asian roots — Vietnamese, relocated to the United States after fleeing her homeland in a boat.

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The Middle Distance
5:52 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

The Middle Distance Celebrates 200 Episodes

This week's Middle Distance marks the 200th episode. Congratulations and thank you, Kathryn, for all you have done, and continue to do in the community! —Noel Black, Producer, and the KRCC Staff

I get irritated with writers who only write about writing. How can someone who doesn’t write essays or memoir or short stories or poems or novels, or even news stories have anything useful to say to someone who wants to tell a story?

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The Middle Distance
4:57 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Youth Documentaries to Premiere at FAC: An Interview with Tom Shepard

Tomorrow night at the Fine Arts Center, the Youth Documentary Academy will premiere films produced by their first class of local high school students. Podcaster Ryan Lowery sat down and spoke Colorado Springs native and Academy founder Tom Shepard, a documentary filmmaker who now resides in San Francisco, about the school and the films.

Click HERE for more information.

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Wish We Were Here
2:19 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

WWWH EXTRA: David Mason's "Ludlow," Part 1

In the second episode of Wish We Were Here, we featured abridged excerpts of David Mason's excellent verse-novel, Ludlow. In this series of Wish We Were Here Extras, we bring you the full, unabridged text of Ludlow, as read by David Mason himself. Listen to an interview with the author and part one of the five part series in the audio player above. 

Click HERE to listen to part two of Ludlow.  

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Wish We Were Here
1:26 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Wish We Were Here -- Episode 2: Ludlow and its Legacy

The Ruins of Ludlow

On April 20th, 1914, just north of Trinidad, Colorado, one of the bloodiest, most overlooked events in the history of the American labor movement set the stage for creation of the 8-hour workday, the weekend, and the right of workers to organize.

100 years later, we remember the Ludlow Massacre and its legacy. With the help of former Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason, and a host of historians, archeologists, economists, and musicians, we remember this pivotal moment in American history. 

Thank you to the following:

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The Middle Distance
5:15 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.24.14: More Than a Feeling

Credit by Marina Eckler

A tectonic shift occurs with aging. After walking and running and snoozing and gunning through six decades, out here in the middle distance I notice that I finally know how I feel when I’m feeling it.

Those of you self-aware beings who’ve been raising your consciousness since the ‘60s might chuckle at this insight. Where have you been all your life, you might ask, besides in your own skin?

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The Big Something
4:57 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Embracing the Dark: Radiolab's Jad Abumrad on the Creative Process

Radiolab Producer and MacArthur Genius Award Winner Jad Abumrad will give a live presentation at Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College campus this coming Monday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. KRCC’s Noel Black spoke with Abumrad about how he produces Radiolab and what to expect on Monday night.

For more information and tickets, click HERE.

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The Middle Distance
6:03 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.3.14: Goodnight Garden

Credit by Benjamin Vierling, bvierling.com

Goodnight garden.

Goodnight tomato vines, gnarly and black, pulled and piled to rot. Goodnight mutilated squash, shriveled eggplant and peppers and beans. It was great while it lasted.

Goodnight lonely beds, stripped and turned, tossed and raked. Quiet now, isn’t it, after all that nourishing? Just relax and let me feed you. I promise a feast of manure and leaves and compost. Your work is done. For now.

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The Big Something
1:33 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Creek Week to Raise Awareness of Regional Flood and Drainage Issues

The first annual Creek Week begins tomorrow with Colorado Springs Sustainability Conference. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Allison Plute, Fountain Creek Watershed Project Manager, and Larry Small, Executive Director of the Fountain Creek  Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District about the weeklong cleanup and its many related events.

Click HERE for a complete list of Creek Week events.

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The Middle Distance
4:24 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Middle Distance 9.20.14: A Grand Market?

When my son died in the summer of 2007, his brother was scheduled to head off to Budapest, Hungary that fall to study math. The idea of him, so far away and on his own in a foreign place so shortly after this family trauma, caused both of his parents enough anxiety that, even though we had been divorced for many years, we decided to make a family visit to Budapest that October.

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The Middle Distance
5:44 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

The Middle Distance 9.5.14: My People's Words

The most memorable exchange in the movie Sling Blade is between Karl, a mentally challenged man just released from the state mental hospital, and Frank, a young boy who’s his new friend.

Frank says: “I like the way you talk.”

“I like the way you talk,” says Karl.

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.29.14: Legacy

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.29.14: Legacy

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

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The Middle Distance
4:52 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.22.14: The Long, Slow Crawl of Baseball

When we were kids, the long, slow crawl of baseball colored our summer afternoons. Red clay dirt. Freshly drawn baselines of powdered white chalk. Little League Cardinals in red and white; Orioles in orange Pirates in green. Fingers stained by Pixi-Stix from the concession stand.

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The Middle Distance
8:05 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

The Middle Distance, 8.8.14: The Soundtrack of Their Lives

If aging is letting go of adulthood and entering a whole new phase of life, a visit from an adult child can bring that reality into focus. Last week my daughter and her husband visited, and I experienced another in a long series of identity tweaks out here in the middle distance. I hadn’t yet let go of the mothering role I served with my kids for nearly 40 years, organizing their days and meals together, deciding what we would eat and when. As I watched my daughter, her brother and their significant others arrange their days and their meals, I felt part of myself quietly floating away.

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The Middle Distance
4:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.1.14: Unlike Any Other

    

Why is this day unlike any other?  

I get up, as usual, brew one strong cup of coffee, grab a bucket and scissors and walk through the half-lighted dawn, down the alley to the garden where I cut flowers, pick herbs, weed a little and check the progress of the squash and tomatoes. Cool nights and wet days have slowed the development of their fruits. Their leaves and vines reach skyward for the sun they crave.

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The Big Something
5:02 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Springs Native and Marketplace Reporter's First Documentary

Colorado Springs native, and Marketplace Education Correspondent Amy Scott is in the process of finishing her first documentary called Oyler

The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with her about the story.

Click HERE to check out Scott's Marketplace multi-media pieces on Oyler.

Watch the trailer below:

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The Big Something
12:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

What Does Hegel Have to Do With The Motorcycle Helmet?

Alex Ilyasova, Organizer of the 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference

The 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference will take place beginning tomorrow, July 17 through Saturday. Conference organizer and UCCS Professor Alex Ilysova spoke with The Big Something’s Noel Black about the kinds of films and lectures the average motorcycle enthusiast can expect.

Click HERE for more information and to register.

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The Big Something
4:30 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Hear, Here! heads to Nationals: An Interview with Susan Peiffer and Mallory

Credit Greggory Dikes

Local poetry slam team from Hear, Here! will head to the national slam competition from August 5th. We spoke with curator Susan Peiffer and Mallary McHenry about slam poetry, the Colorado Springs style and their campaign to raise money to get to nationals.

Click HERE to buy a limited edition t-shirt that will contribute Hear, Here!'s travel and expenses.

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The Middle Distance
3:33 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.4.14: Brown Sugar

In the summer of 1972, my big adventure was a trip to Nashville for the Rolling Stones concert. I had just graduated high school in Memphis, and my best friend David had bought tickets as a combination birthday/graduation gift. We had waited with rapt anticipation, following the media storm that accompanied the Stones’ decadent romp across America.  Finally, June 29 had arrived.

 

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Wish We Were Here
6:52 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Wish We Were Here Debuts Saturday, July 5

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE!

KRCC, Radio Colorado College, an NPR member station, will broadcast the pilot episode of its new hour-long radio show and podcast, Wish We Were Here, on Saturday July 5 at 3 p.m.; and Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. on KRCC 91.5 FM and KRCC.org.

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36 Views of Pikes Peak
3:40 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Congratulations To These 36 Views Artists!

Congratulations to the following artists whose work was selected for the 36 Views of Pikes Peak Post Card Exhibition (and keep in mind that Hokusai actually produced 46 images). The opening and reception will be at the new PPLD  Library 21c on Friday, July 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. with plenty of time to make it to the curated exhibition at GOCA from 5 to 9 p.m. the same evening.

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The Big Something
3:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.27.14: Yard Sale

Once upon a June Saturday there was a yard sale, a very big neighborhood yard sale with over 100 households selling the things they didn’t want or need any more. For weeks families dug through their basements and garages and closets, pulling out furniture and lamps, coats and boots, garden hoses, bicycles, buckets and books for the sale. Then, when Saturday arrived, they got up early in the morning and set their things out, marked with price tags, in their front yards, awaiting the first buyers to arrive.

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The Middle Distance
8:34 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.20.14: The Way We Fall

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down! God, how we loved falling down when we were short and close to the ground. Remember the crash, the exaggerated poses of collapse, legs overhead, torso twisted crazily? Falling down the least gracefully, most dramatically, was the whole point.

Even when a fall was a surprise, when it caused minor injury, a scrape or a cut, the Band-aid was a badge of honor, the scabbed over abrasion a battle scar to be proud of.

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The Big Something
3:57 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

CS Conservatory Celebrates 20 Years

The Colorado Springs Conservatory is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in the Colorado Springs Community. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with executive director Linda Weise to talk about how far they’ve come.

Beginning tonight and running through the weekend, the Conservatory will present the musical Oklahoma at Colorado College’s Armstrong Theater. Click HERE for details and tickets.

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The MIddle Distance
9:13 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.13.14: Tea In My Neighbor's Garden

Credit Kathryn Eastburn

I wasn’t a tea party kind of girl, back before the term was appropriated by right-wing politicos. When we played house as kids in the early 1960s, I portrayed the husband, pecking the wife on the cheek and jetting off to work or adventure as I imagined men did. A beautifully set table with dainty cups and manners to match held little charm for this tomboy.

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