The UNM English Department announces its tenth annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest, featuring US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. The lecture will take place Tuesday, October 5, @ 7pm in the Albuquerque Journal Theatre at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC), 1701 4th Street SW, with a book-signing and reception to follow. The lecture is free and open to the public. Please reserve a ticket at https://my.nmculture.org/30/2459.

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa and is an award-winning writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation., One of the most distinguished poets of our time, Harjo was named the twenty-third US Poet Laureate, the nation’s first Native American poet to receive such an honor. Harjo was reappointed to a second term on April 30, 2020, and a third term on Nov. 19, 2020. Born in Tulsa, Harjo is an award-winning writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. Her numerous publications include nine books of poetry, a memoir, a young adult novel, a children’s book, and six CDs featuring her poetry and music. including her newest release, I Pray for My Enemies. In addition to the title of US Poet Laureate, Harjo’s other prestigious awards include the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, a PEN US Literary Award for Nonfiction, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Harjo is Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and currently holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

Harjo’s lecture is a homecoming, having graduated with a BA from the English Department at UNM, where Mr. Anaya taught for nearly two decades. The tenth annual lecture is the first since Mr. Anaya’s passing in 2020. The tenth annual lecture honors Mr. Anaya’s legacy and welcomes back a lobo alumna and three-time US Poet Laureate whose literary arc began in the English Department at UNM.

In 2010, Mr. Anaya established the lecture series through a generous gift to the English Department. A renowned fiction writer, founder of UNM’s distinguished Creative Writing Program, and former instructor of Joy Harjo, Mr. Anaya is also an Emeritus Professor of English at UNM. His papers are held at UNM’s Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections in Zimmerman Library, some of which are available through the Rudolfo Anaya Digital Archive: https://anaya.unm.edu/

The annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest has featured foundational figures in Southwestern literature, such as Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz (2010), Las Cruces writer and playwright Denise Chávez (2011), Taos novelist and activist John Nichols (2012), Kiowa poet and fiction writer N. Scott Momaday (2013), Chicana writer Ana Castillo (2014), Santa Fe mystery writer Anne Hillerman (2015), Latinx poet Rigoberto González (2016), Santa Clara Pueblo potter and poet Nora Naranjo Morse, and opera composer Héctor Armienta (2018). Last year, the lecture series hosted three symposia on the Indigenous Southwest, with Dr. Lourdes Alberto from the University of Utah; Dr. Jennifer Denetdale from UNM; and Jason Asenap (UNM), Tristan Ahtone (High Country News), and Shaun Beyale (graphic artist). The lecture series continues to support Southwestern literature, arts, and cultures, and we hope to continue offering events that are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Anaya Lecture website at http://english.unm.edu/anaya.

To support the lecture series and keep the events free and open to the public please visit https://www.unmfund.org/fund/rudolfo-and-patricia-anaya-lecture-on-southwest-literature/.

To help create The Rudolfo Anaya Sala, a public home for Mr. Anaya’s memorabilia and other special collections in Zimmerman Library, visit https://www.unmfund.org/fund/rudolfo-anaya-sala-fund/, or contact Carol Kennedy at Carol.Kennedy@unmfund.org for more information.