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The many joys and pleasures of attending our in-person Fiestas. With our October 2021 Fiesta we went hybrid resulting in attendance from 23 states and 7 countries.We will continue doing hybrid style in the future with the hope that our bilingual format will expand our audiences even further.
The many joys and pleasures of attending our in-person Fiestas. With our October 2021 Fiesta we went hybrid resulting in attendance from 23 states and 7 countries.We will continue doing hybrid style in the future with the hope that our bilingual format will expand our audiences even further.

Mission Statement: To celebrate the written and spoken word, bringing together those who create with those who appreciate, with special emphasis on fostering community involvement.

The Southwest Word Fiesta, originally known as the Southwest Festival of the Written Word, was created to celebrate authors who live and work in the Southwest. Festivals feature the heritage of writing and writers in the Southwest, showing how that deep history connects to the present. The festival reveals how the diverse literary genres and interests coalesce and relate. Writers who have produced outstanding work that deserves continued appreciation are honored. People of all ages who want to improve their writing or to make a career of putting words together are encouraged.

The Southwest Word Fiesta deliberately uses the word ‘celebrate’ in its mission statement because the power and freedom of ideas cast in words of subtle art always create, among other emotions, joy. Celebration is cause enough for a Southwest festival. Our Festival also creates a crossroad where people from Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico AND BEYOND meet and talk literature, publishing, and the myriad topics that engage writers and readers.

The Southwest Festival of the Written Word was founded in 2010 by members of the major cultural institutions in Silver City: the university, the public library, and the Western Institute of Lifelong Learning. The festival takes place every other year and attracts over 800 visitors. Our first festival was in 2013.

In the interim between festivals, we run ongoing projects such as writers’ workshops, a regular radio show (Use Your Words: Writers Speak), school visits, the Poet Laureate Program, Word Feast, book launches, and other readings. One highlight was our organization and sponsorship of the visit to Silver City in 2016 of the Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera. Participating authors have included several other internationally-known figures such as Mark MedoffAna Castillo, and Denise Chávez.

Full list of authors.

  • Next October 2023 SW Word Fiesta will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary

During these years we have had the support of so many wonderful volunteers
who have it possible to have these terrific fiestas.
We at SWWF want to salute our past hard working and dedicated past chair people who worked countless hours to organize these events:
 
Tom Hester
 
Jeannie Miller
 
Mary Hotvedt
 
Paul Hotvedt
 
JJ Amaworo Wilson
 
Of course we.have had so many past steering committee members who have made our success possible and we sincerely say “job well done.”