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Meet Ken Layne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ken Layne.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
It was eight years ago, living in Joshua Tree, that I decided to change my job. I had mostly been a national political journalist and was ready to concentrate on the desert wilderness, where I lived. The idea was for a radio show, a moody late-night radio show but because I knew a little bit more about print and design and editing, first I started DESERT ORACLE, a pocket-sized field guide published as a magazine.

Every kind of art or writing you do in life is going to come in handy at some point, so all the oddball things I’ve done in life—running a small radio station in the Balkans, covering the environment for newspapers, performing in bands, chasing UFOs—sort of came together in Desert Oracle.

Please tell us about your art.
Desert Oracle is now a pocket-sized magazine, a weekly radio show in Joshua Tree, a podcast of that radio show, and various performances (spooky Campfire Stories at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, live broadcasts of the radio program). I do whatever needs to be done: photography, layout and design, writing, editing, proofreading, audio production, radio hosting, promotion, distribution. The work is all about one subject: the mystery of the desert wilderness.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
If you’re going to work for yourself, you have to deal with banking and sales tax and distribution and you have to negotiate your own price for everything. But it’s satisfying.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can listen to the radio show on Friday nights in the Mojave, on KCDZ 107.7 FM (, and you can subscribe to the podcast using iTunes or Stitcher or Tune In, etc.

The field guide is sold at dozens of bookshops and galleries and boutiques across the Southwest. There’s a list on our website:

You can subscribe to the field guide, too. Four issues for $25. It’s great fun to do live events, especially the Campfire Stories. It’s like a campfire talk at a national park campground, but all the stories are especially weird. And true, too. All the stories are true.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Desert Oracle

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