Cover art for podcast The Modern West

The Modern West

41 EpisodesProduced by Wyoming Public MediaWebsite

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… read more

41 Episodes | 2019 - 2022

Season 1 Preview

August 21st, 2019


The Modern West is getting a reboot! New host, new theme music, and brand-new stories just for this podcast. Season 1 starts September 17. (more…)

Episode 1: Carpetbagger

September 17th, 2019


You ask around, and people can’t agree on a quintessential Wyoming writer. And if you can’t identify the literature of a place, you can’t define the place. Authors including CJ Box and Craig Johnson weigh in. (more…)

Episode 2: Both/Neither

September 24th, 2019


The U.S. government only allows Native Americans to register with one tribe. But what happens when two tribes share one reservation for over a century? Two women grapple with how that affected their identity growing up.

Episode 3: Adult-Onset Hunting

October 1st, 2019


The number of Americans hunting and fishing is declining, but women are bucking the trend. Host Melodie Edwards finds a sisterhood at an all-women …

Episode 4: The Midwife

October 9th, 2019


Most births are uncomplicated. So in rural areas where hospitals are shutting down, women want to give birth at home. Now, states across the country …

Episode 5: Belonging

October 23rd, 2019


Young people from Gen Z are moving to cities around the West. But in doing so, they’re also out-migrating from rural hometowns in places like Wyoming and New Mexico. Conversations between young people about why they …

Episode 6: The Next Yellowstone

November 6th, 2019


Imagine Congress agreeing to create national forests and wildlife refuges these days. Probably wouldn’t happen. So when a billionaire realized a …

Episode 7: Bringing The Buffalo Home

November 13th, 2019


It’s been over a century since the U.S. government exterminated bison from the Great Plains as a way to win the war against the Native American tribes there. But now reservations across the West are working to bring …

Episode 8: The Man From Lodge Grass

November 20th, 2019


Quincy Dabney loved growing up in Lodge Grass on the Crow Reservation in Montana. But then, just like him, it started falling apart. Now Quincy is working to save the hometown that saved him. (more…)

Episode 9: What You’re Missing About Coal Country

December 5th, 2019


Once upon a time, coal miners took pride in the hard work they did. But these days the coal industry is sluggish and miners are feeling left behind—even disrespected—by the world. What they want most now is to just …

Episode 10: The Widower

December 20th, 2019


Bob was devastated when his wife died of cancer. He’d been her main caregiver, and afterward, he realized that now he had to face his old age alone. …

Coming Soon To A Feed Near You...

June 3rd, 2020


A preview of our summer mini-season: three episodes that take you deep into the real West to meet people thinking hard about the future of this place. Predators, prairie, and pots of glitter.

The Rancher And The Wild

June 17th, 2020


Albert Sommers is a rancher who thought he'd seen it all. When he found a mysteriously dead calf, he started wondering: how wild should our wild …

A Walk Across The Prairie

July 1st, 2020


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 …

The Small-Town Drag Queen

July 22nd, 2020


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 …

Season 2: Ghost Town(ing) Trailer

September 9th, 2020


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 …

"You Can’t Eat The View": Ghost Town(ing) Part 1

September 16th, 2020


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 …

Bust Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 2

September 30th, 2020


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 …

A Stranger Comes To Town: Ghost Town(ing) Part 3

October 14th, 2020


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, …

Meet Your Neighbor: A Conversation About The Rural West And The 2020 Election

October 28th, 2020


Part 4 of our Ghost Town(ing) series is in the works, coming out next week. But while you’re waiting, here's a way that you can get your voice in on the conversation about the state of the rural West.

The Environmental Billionaire: Ghost Town(ing) Part 4

November 4th, 2020


2020 feels apocalyptic. It's not just the pandemic; there's also drought, mega-fires, melting glaciers. Meanwhile, the ultra-wealthy are stockpiling …

Gabby's Story: Ghost Town(ing) Part 5

November 18th, 2020


The rural West has been seeing a steeper and steeper decline into despair, especially among white men. But when a Vietnam vet's mental breakdown threatens the safety of Walden, the small town has a response that …

The Doctor In The Screen: Ghost Town(ing) Part 6

December 2nd, 2020


Living in a pandemic doesn't have many plus sides to it. But there is one bright side for rural America. Telehealth is finally getting to flex its …

The Garden On The Prairie: Ghost Town(ing) Part 7

December 16th, 2020


Many places in the American West are becoming food deserts, where it's hard to get healthy food. Sometimes that's because people can't afford it or …

Bonus: Stranger In A Strange Land

December 30th, 2020


We're on a short holiday break, so here's the first part of a podcast called Grouse, a show about the most controversial bird in the West and what it …

A Tale Of Two Towns: Ghost Town(ing) Part 8

January 13th, 2021


Some former Southern enslaved people and their descendants followed the American dream westward, where they created towns to homestead together. This …

Immigrations, Interrupted: Ghost Town(ing) Part 9

January 27th, 2021


Right now, the West is struggling to diversify its economy. But would our economy have already been diversified if a greater diversity of people had …

Mountains In The Rearview Mirror: Ghost Town(ing) Part 10

February 10th, 2021


The out-migration of rural youth is one of America’s great migrations--even the history books are calling it that. Younger generations leave because they have a need to feel connected to the great, big world out there. …

Small Town Democracy: Ghost Town(ing) Part 11

February 26th, 2021


Small town politics has a lot to teach us about how fragile democracy is right now. In Walden, we sit in on a beautification committee meeting and …

The Fine Art Of Coexisting: Ghost Town(ing) Part 12

March 12th, 2021


In the final chapter of Ghost Town(ing), host Melodie Edwards revisits her parents' decision about whether to move away from Walden. Her mom has been trying to lure her dad away with all sorts of stratagems. But there's …

My Modern West: From Surviving To Thriving

March 26th, 2021


From the nurse who moved back to Walden, to the foreign diplomat who grew up in Nebraska, from the ranch kid who's seen the wealthy moving in, to the Asian-American daughter remembering her father's migration to the …

Bonus: Reversing Ghost Town(ing)

April 21st, 2021


In the process of reporting on rural decline, we discovered an underground movement of people thinking hard about how to help small towns revitalize. We partnered with the Rural America Chamber of Commerce to host a …

Bonus: Carbon Valley Part 1

May 7th, 2021


We're hard at work on our next season but, while you're waiting, we wanted to share Carbon Valley, another podcast from Wyoming Public Media that …

Bonus: Reframing Rural

May 26th, 2021


If you loved our Ghost Town(ing) series, check out Reframing Rural. Host Megan Torgerson takes you to her Montana homeland and introduces us to all sorts of people we usually don’t hear from. Like in this episode, …

Shall Furnish Medicine Trailer

September 15th, 2021


Reservations have been some of the hardest-hit communities in the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, for Native Americans, this all feels awfully …

The Great Dying: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 1

September 29th, 2021


For Native Americans, the story of pandemics started the moment European colonizers stepped foot off their ships. Savannah Maher's tribe the Mashpee …

Enough Is Enough: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 2

October 13th, 2021


It's the late 1800s. With no government help in sight, Omaha citizen Dr. Susan LaFlesche is determined to bring health care to her tribe. Decades …

We're Still Here: Shall Furnish Medicine Part 3

November 10th, 2021


When COVID-19 arrives on reservation borders, tribes aren't sure if their newly minted health care programs can hold up …

Cowboy Up Trailer

December 15th, 2021


Everyone likes to say that there's no better place to grow up than in the Rocky Mountains. Building snow forts, riding your bike everywhere, learning how to find your way out of the woods when you're lost. But for kids …

Stranger On The Side Of The Road: Cowboy Up Part 1

January 5th, 2022


In 1892, Wyoming hosts its first execution and it's a teenage boy named Kansas Charley. His trial causes a big national debate: is Charley a hardened criminal or a neglected child? It's a question we still haven't …

Caught In The Current: Cowboy Up Part 2

January 19th, 2022


In Rock Springs, Wyoming, we follow the treacherous paths of two young women. Larissa endures one trauma after another and soon finds herself unable …

Loading ...

Listen to The Modern West


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens