Exploring the evolving identity of the American West.
Produced by Wyoming Public Media and PRX, The Modern West takes you on a sound-rich journey into some of America's most iconic landscapes. Guided by host Melodie Edwards' personal connection to the region, it's an unflinching look at the American West--its problematic history, its modern-day struggles and resilience, and how its present and future are being shaped.
A Stranger Comes To Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 3
The West has long been a haven for the ultra-wealthy. Sometimes, they move into small towns with the aim of revitalizing them. But in Walden, Colorado, one wealthy businessman’s plans went awry, with dire consequences for the community.
Bust Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 2
Why are we so fascinated by old ghost towns? And what can they teach us? We go looking for the ghosts of an old silver mining community called Teller City to see if they have any lessons for how the nearby town of Walden, Colorado can keep from falling into the same cycles of boom and bust.
"You Can’t Eat The View": Ghost Town(ing) Part 1
Years ago, small towns like Walden, Colorado were vibrant. Street dances, a health food store, a movie theatre, the works. At least, that's how host Melodie Edwards remembers it from her childhood. Now it's shrinking, part of the "ghost towning" of the American West. But can communities like Walden find a way to survive? Or will Melodie's parents be forced to move away, like so many others?
Season 2: Ghost Town(ing) Trailer
They say those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So what can Old West ghost towns teach us about today's shrinking rural towns? Starting September 16, we'll take you to the windswept prairie where towns once stood and to new ghost towns in the making. We're exploring rural decline and resilience, and asking, why does it matter if America's small towns disappear?
The Small-Town Drag Queen
It wasn’t easy growing up queer in small-town Wyoming. And when Taylar went to college in Laramie, an assault left her in pieces…until she found community with Giselle and the Dragonettes. Follow them as they head to the big city for a David Bowie drag competition.
A Walk Across The Prairie
When Emily Chen-Newton moved to Nebraska, she was worried she’d miss her Kentucky mountains. But then she walked a long section of the new Great Plains Trail and realized her new home was a more magical place than she gave it credit for. And not so flat either.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Enjoying Season 2
WPR tends to focus on Laramie and Yellowstone with a bit on Coal Country. I am really enjoying this series (season 2) as it’s telling a deeper story that speaks to so many rural towns throughout the west. So far it has been in-depth and thought provoking. It is a very interesting topic. Glad you are doing it!
When I see a new episode has been released I get really excited as I know I am going to have a great day driving to work and listening to this program. Very in-depth, and personal too. This is true journalism at its best!!!
Thoughtful, well-produced stories of the small-town West. The Modern West is a true gem that you will be happy you subscribed to.