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.

Ways to Connect

On this episode of The Big Something, author Brett McCracken discusses his book Hipster Chrisitianity, When Church and Cool Collide ; Daniel James Brown shares the incredible story of how a young team of working class American rowers beat the odds--and the Nazis--at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; Rock Climber Alex Honnold talks about his career climbing some of the most iconic rock walls in the world, with no rope; and we bring you an episode of the show HumaNature from Wyoming Public Radio about a search and rescue mission in the Rocky Mountains.

The Boys in the Boat celebrates the 1936 U.S. men's Olympic eight-oar rowing team and the nine working class boys who transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers from the American West, the boys took on and defeated successive echelons of privilege and power. Colorado College Professor Steven Hayward spoke with New York Times best-selling author Daniel James Brown about the book in advance of his "Journalist-in-Residence" on Wednesday, November 17, 2015.

PPLD Digital Photo Archive, image 001-5305

When you hear the name Ivywild these days, you likely think of the old school turned brewery and market just south of I-25 in Colorado Springs. But Ivywild, a whole neighborhood at the foot of the Broadmoor, was once a small suburb of Colorado Springs with a history as rich and colorful as any city in Colorado. Authors Molly Merry and Linda Johnson recently revived some of that history in a small book titled "Ivywild: A Treasure Filled Neighborhood History".

On this episode of The Big Something: filmmaker Nathan Ward discusses The Rider and the Wolf, his new documentary about the disappearance of Colorado Mountain Bike pioneer, Mike Rust; Representatives of the Colorado Springs Public Market talk about the past, present, and future of the Public Market project; Local author Molly Merry recounts colorful stories from Colorado Springs’ Ivywild Neighborhood; and we revisit an interview with Senga Nengudi in advance of her upcoming appearance at the Gallery of Contemporary Art.

In 2009, Hall-of-Fame mountain biker Mike Rust disappeared from his land in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado . Aside from some motorcycle tracks, his vest and the broken handle of one of his guns, there were no clues. And six years later, Rust’s body still hasn’t been found. In the new documentary The Rider and the Wolf, filmmaker Nathan Ward tells Rust’s story, which isn’t just a murder mystery, but also a neglected chapter in the history of mountain biking.

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you three stories from three current or former Colorado springs residents, completely unknown to one another. All three of these stories are  tied together by one man: Lorne Greene.

Tom Ross

Colorado Springs musician Tom Ross has dedicated much of his life to studying the music of different cultures around the globe and integrating those global influences into his own work as a composer. Ross was raised in Colorado Springs, where he trained with the legendary jazz guitarist Johnny Smith as a young man. He eventually made his way to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he earned a PhD in Ethnomusicology.


On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, sociologist and author Kathy Giuffre discusses her first novel, The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato; food writer and reporter Bryce Crawford talks dining in the Pikes Peak region; and local musician Tom Ross takes us on a tour of his global musical influences. 



Kathy Giuffre, Professor of Sociology at Colorado College, is the author of the newly published novel The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato, a coming of age love story that follows a tomboyish young woman named Josie on  philosophical romp through love and community in a bar called The Cave. 

On Episode 7 of The Big Something Radio Programme we hear from the soon-to-be newest member of the Colorado state Supreme Court, Richard Gabriel; we bring you an interview with Artist Rodney wood, about Artocade: Trinidad’s Art Car Parade; Eliot Gray Fisher of Austin Based ARCOS dance discusses The Warriors: A Love Story, a multimedia performance coming to colorado springs; And lastly, we check in with members of

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you the story of Ron Stallworth. In the 1970s, he became the first black detective ever to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. He's also the author of Black Klansman, a memoir about one of his most memorable investigations, which you'll hear about in this episode.

In this episode of The Big Something we talk to a Greg Lutze, a Manitou Springs native who co-founded a digital photography company that aspires to be the Kodak of the 21st century; Legendary poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder speaks with us about his long and storied career; Writer Mia Alvarado takes us on a field trip to Stoner's Laundry, a laundromat that’s been a gathering place for a small neighborhood at the edge of downtown Colorado Springs for decades; And fathers Jason Belcher and Greg Wickherst discuss their relationships with their daughters in a conversation recorded b

Born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830, Emily Dickinson and Helen Hunt Jackson attended the same primary school, and received similar educational instruction in Philosophy, History, Botany and Latin. Later in life, Jackson, residing in Colorado Springs, would begin a correspondence with Dickinson after being introduced to her work by Atlantic Monthly Editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson. In this correspondence, Jackson would implore the reclusive Dickinson to share her work. With the exception of getting one poem of Dickinson's published anonymously, Jackson was largely unsuccessful.

On any summer weekend, a visit to one of the Pikes Peak region's many open spaces proves just how popular and valuable Colorado Springs' natural recourses are. In last week's episode of The Big Something, Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, and "Hiking" Bob Falcone, President of the Friends of Cheyenne Canyon sat down with Noel Black to discuss trail work, future projects, and what makes Colorado Springs' access to the outdoors so special. 

On Episode #6 of The Big Something, Susan Davies and Bob Falcone and open space coalition discuss trails and open space in Colorado Springs; Poet Robin Izer tells us about the fateful correspondence between Emily Dickinson and Colorado Springs transplant Helen Hunt Jackson; GOCA Director Daisy McGowen talks front range art in honor of the 2nd biennial Bright Young Things Exhibit; And Deepa Daya tells her amazing story of gaining physical sight at the age of 30.


On the evening of June 17th, a young white man opened fire on a group of black churchgoers after bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, killing nine people.

In this segment from last week's episode of the Big Something, Noel Black brings you a profile of beloved Manitou artist Charles Rockey. He just released a book of fables and illuminations--Love Songs of Middle Time--that he’s been working on for the past 15 years. You can buy copies of the book at the Manitou Art Center, the Manitou Heritage Center, and Miramont Castle in Manitou.

On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, news director Andrea Chalfin speaks with the authors of a paper about the conflict between the military and ranchers in Piñon Canyon; Big Something intern Emelie Frojen looks into the beetle kill on Wolf Creek Pass; Former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace and former City Councilwoman Jan Martin look back on their careers in politics; And a portrait of Manitou artist Charles Rockey as he releases a book of fables and illuminations 15 years in the making.


The late Myron Wood was one of the most prolific  photographers of the Pikes Peak Region and Southwest during the 20th Century. Though he himself never achieved the degree of fame that his talents might merit, students of his such as Robert Adams gained renown in the New Landscape movement.

On this month’s episode of The Big Something we talk to a Greg Lutze, a Manitou Springs native who co-founded a digital photography company that aspires to be the Kodak of the 21st century; Legendary poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder speaks with us about his long and storied career; And writer Mia Alvarado takes us on a field trip to Stoner's Laundry, a laundromat that’s been a gathering place for a small neighborhood at the edge of downtown Colorado Springs for decades.


KRCC has been a part of life in the Pikes Peak region and southern Colorado/northern New Mexico for almost 65 years. From vinyl to digital, car stereos to smart phones, we've continued to meet the times head on while bringing you the diverse, quality programming and events that enrich your life.  While we always ask members their three favorite programs, we invite all listeners to take this comprehensive survey to help us make the critical programming and events decisions that will shape KRCC in the years to come. Thank you!

Noel Black

(Many poems in the slideshow NSFW or young eyes.)

In this episode of Wish We Were Here, we tell the story of Colorado Springs native Brian "Scoop" Nemeth, a man with high-functioning autism whose singular goal in life is to become "The Black Bill O'Reilly" — a national news and opinion anchor on the Fox News Network's prime-time broadcast.

On this month's episode of The Big Something Radio Programme:

Jonathan Worth

Activist, author, co-editor of the influential blog, contributor to The Guardian, The New York Times, and many other publications, Cory Doctorow is one of the essential voices of the twenty-first century. The author of numerous books, including Information Doesn't Want To Be Free, a book about earning a living in the Internet age, he’s also the author of the young adult novel Little Brother and its sequel, Homeland, both of which explore civil liberties and social activism in the age of the internet.

In 2002, retired FBI and CIA investigator Charlie Hess began writing letters Robert Charles Browne, a convicted murderer who claimed to have killed dozens of other people around the country. This episode of Wish We Were Here tells the story of their correspondence and the cold cases Hess would close with Browne's help.

Episode #5 of Wish We Were Here airs Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m.

You can subscribe to the podcast HERE.

50 years ago this year, two young artists from Lawrence Kansas, Gene and Jo-ann Bernofsky, joined forces with their friend Clark Rickert, a student at University of Colorado Boulder, and moved to Trinidad Colorado to start one of the most influential communes of the Hippie era, Drop City. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Drop City, arts and archaeology organizations across southern Colorado have planned exhibits and events exploring the history of the Commune.

Johnny Ryan

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, Producer Noel Black tells the story of a small community of kids who grew up in Colorado Springs with gay parents.

Jessica: The argument was, which is more harmful, a lesbian mother or a junkie father? I was subpoenaed to testify about my mom’s relationship.



After more than 200 episodes and nearly five years, Kathryn Eastburn has decided to retire The Middle Distance. It has been a pleasure to work with Kathryn, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors, whatever they may be. If you've enjoyed reading/hearing her column over the years, we hope you'll  join us in thanking her in the comment section below. 

The Middle Distance, 1.9.15: Migrations

Jan 8, 2015
Kathryn Eastburn

The plan was to fly, but at the last minute I decided to drive instead. I’d set aside a month to visit my mother on the Texas Gulf coast over Christmas and into the new year, and I reasoned it would be good to have my car for the month in Galveston, if the mechanic deemed it roadworthy for the 2,500-mile round trip.