Check out our world-class line up of headlining speakers at this year's convention. Capitalizing on our location in the Southwestern Region, we selected authors from the region whose works tie into our convention theme, Borderlands and Enchantments. Simon Ortiz, Gary Soto, and Leslie Marmon Silko will provide convention-goers with readings, discussions, and insights that are varied and intriguing.
Simon Ortiz, whose work From Sand Creek is our Common Reader, was born and raised a short distance from Albuquerque at the Acoma Pueblo and certainly can speak to the notion of borderlands, margins, and the in-between; regardless of the form his writing takes, he seems always to be exploring man's alienation—from others, himself, his environment—and suggesting that a reconnection with Mother Earth and the wisdom of ancestral spirits may mitigate this alienation.
Gary Soto, though perhaps pushing our regionalism a bit as he was born in Fresno, California, writes about Mexican-American life and culture, focusing on the experiences of those who often find themselves living on the edges of society as a marginalized people. While Chicano life and culture is his primary subject matter, he says that human experiences transcend these cultural borders and that he's drawing "portraits of people in the rush of life."
Leslie Marmon Silko was born in Albuquerque and grew up on the Laguna Pueblo nearby. At the heart of her fiction, poetry, and prose are issues of cultural identity, and she foregrounds the importance of tradition and ceremony in maintaining that identity. While her writing will certainly present us with borderlands themselves, as well people who live on those borders, her attention to Native American culture and tradition will also provide resonance with our enchantments theme as well—not in a fairy-tale or spell-bound way, but in the spiritual almost magical realism that emerges in her recounting of these Native traditions. All in all, with this stellar line-up, the beginning of our 91st year is auspicious!
Wednesday, March 18
Opening Events, 6:30 p.m. (Pavilion IV-V-VI)
Book Signing, 8:00 p.m. (Pavilion Court)
Thursday, March 19
Featured Speaker, 7:30 p.m. (Pavilion IV-V-VI)
Book Signing, 8:30 p.m. (Pavilion Court)
Leslie Marmon Silko
Saturday, March 21
Featured Speaker, 3:30 p.m. (Pavilion IV-V-VI)
Book Signing, 4:45 p.m. (Pavilion Court)