NM Humanities Council Supports Scholars for 2017 Festival
The Southwest Festival of the Written Word has received a generous grant award from the New Mexico Humanities Council. The award is in support of ten of the more than thirty writers who live and work in the southwest and who will be presenters at the 2017 Festival, which takes place Friday-Sunday, September 29-October 1, in historic downtown Silver City, New Mexico. All Festival events are open to the public free of charge.
The ten writers are Jesús J. Barquet, Andrea Cote-Botero, Stella Pope Duarte, John Fayhee, Dick Gerdes, Ron Hamm, Tim Z. Hernandez, Roger Metcalfe, Sharman Apt Russell, and Laura Tohe.
Each of these individuals has been named a “New Mexico Humanities Scholar” by the New Mexico Humanities Council and will participate in sessions focusing on “Southwest Stories—The Word in the World.”
In keeping with the 2017 Festival theme –Word Travels Fast– the Scholars will discuss their artistic journeys and the ways in which these have helped to shape how they express their ideas through words and send them out into the world. Their Festival sessions will create cultural mixes that reflect the multiple realities of the southwest, both in terms of the background of the writers and their work which includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Click here to view the Festival schedule. The Festival sessions that feature the New Mexico Humanities Council Scholars are as follows:
Evolution of the Poet and the Poem
Cuban-born poet Jesús J. Barquet, now a Professor Emeritus at NMSU, will read from his latest collection, Venturous Journeys. Elise Stuart, Silver City’s second Poet Laureate, will join him for a discussion on the development of poets and their poems. Barquet, who is the founder of a poetry imprint, La Mirada, will also participate in a panel about the challenges and opportunities of setting up small publishing houses.
Capturing the Past
Biographer Ron Hamm, author of Ross Calvin, Interpreter of the Southwest, will discuss biographical/historical research and the art of choosing what to include and what to omit in the final manuscript. He will be in conversation with Dr. Steven Fox, himself a published biographer and historian and one of the 2013 Festival’s New Mexico Humanities Scholars.
Writing Across Languages
Two renowned translators and scholars, Roger Metcalfe and Dr. Dick Gerdes, will converse on the art of translating other authors’ work into English, and discuss their personal journeys into this field. Gerdes, an award-winning translator of several Latin American novels, will also be part of the Three Wise Men panel with Mark Medoff and Paul Andrew Hutton.
Off on a Tangent
Outdoors writer and author of a dozen books, M. John Fayhee will discuss the theme of tangents in life and writing – how getting sidetracked can take us onto alternative paths that lead to a deeper understanding of the word around us.
The Poetry of Laura Tohe
Laura Tohe, current Navajo Nation Poet Laureate for 2015-2017, will read and discuss her work with Bonnie Maldonado, the first Poet Laureate of Silver City.
From Tragedy to Art
Tim Z. Hernandez will read from his latest work, All They will Call You, a novel based on the Los Gatos Canyon plane crash. Hernandez will describe how the accident, which killed deported Mexican farmworkers, inspired him to create this work.
The Poetry of Andrea Cote-Botero
Cote-Botero, an award-winning poet originally from Colombia and now based at UTEP, will read some of her poems in Spanish and English and discuss her writing process.
Keynote address: Stella Pope Duarte
Stella Pope Duarte, a Humanities Scholar at the 2015 festival, will focus on the way in which her childhood in urban Phoenix in a largely Mexican American barrio has influenced and inspired her writing. Duarte will also participate in the Three Wise Women panel.
Three Wise Women
Stella Pope Duarte, Sharman Apt Russell, and Laura Tohe will be in conversation about the writing life and the influences on their work as Southwest authors.
Three Wise Men
Dick Gerdes will discuss the writing life with Mark Medoff, author of the play CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, and Paul Andrew Hutton, historian and television presenter.
Two sessions will be held each day with several authors who will interact freely with the audience and with each other. These roundtables are informal opportunities for writers and audiences to discuss the craft and business of writing. The Humanities scholars will also be Roundtable participants.