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BMI Conversations: Julián Delgado Lopera

Julian Delgado Lopera
Photo: Courtesy Black Mountain Institute
Illustration: Ryan Vellinga

This is Black Mountain Institute Conversations, a series of interviews produced by Nevada Public Radio’s Desert Companion in collaboration with the Black Mountain Institute. Here, Desert Companion Editor Heidi Kyser talks with BMI’s Shearing Fellows about their passions, inspirations, community initiatives, and … of course … their writing.

This episode features Julián Delgado Lopera, a Spring 2024 Shearing Fellow. They’re the author of the novel Fiebre Tropical, published by the Feminist Press in 2020. It’s the story of Francisca, a 15-year-old Colombian immigrant to Miami. When Francisca’s mother gets involved in an evangelical church in their new hometown, the increasingly disillusioned Francisca meets the charismatic youth leader, Carmen. Their relationship takes Francisca on a coming-of-age journey marked by a legacy of female suffering.

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Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and KNPR's State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022. In 2024, CEO Favian Perez promoted Heidi to managing editor, charged with integrating the Desert Companion and State of Nevada newsroom operations.