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Videos of Past Events

The following videos—and many more—can be viewed on The Wittliff Collections’ YouTube Channel.

For videos of the visiting author readings co-sponsored by Texas State’s Creative Writing Program at the Wittliff Collections, go to the Front Porch Journal Audio/Video Archives page.

September 18 , 2016
MARC SIMMONS: Southwestern Treasures from the Maverick Historian

This public event honoring MARC SIMMONS life and work coincided with the Wittliff Collections’ Marc Simmons Archives exhibition opening. Guest speakers: artist RON KIL, historian FÉLIX ALMARÁZ, Simmons’ biographer PHYLLIS S. MORGAN and members of the Simmons family shared their stories about Marc Simmons and his discoveries.

Famed historian Marc Simmons is the celebrated author of nearly fifty books and was knighted by the King of Spain for his contributions to Spanish colonial history. Simmons lives in a self-built adobe home without electricity or running water — and he spent sixty years building one of the great private collections of the Southwest, now housed at the Wittliff Collections.

April 19 , 2015
ARMADILLO RISING: Austin’s Music Scene in the 1970s

This public event celebrates the Wittliff Collections' Armadillo Rising exhibition displayed from February–June 2015. In the early 1970s the Armadillo World Headquarters became the cosmic capital of Austin’s burgeoning music scene, sparking the rise of a uniquely Texas blend of rock, country, and blues that transformed American music.

This program featured EDDIE WILSON, JOE NICK PATOSKI and JASON MELLARD, with a special video appearance of MARK HANNA and RICHARD GAYLORD.

MARCH 1, 2015
HOMEGROWN: Austin Music Posters, 1967 to 1982

This public event celebrates the Wittliff Collections’ Homegrown exhibition of more than 140 vintage pieces from the Wittliff Collections’ poster archives, gifted by TOM WILMORE and other generous donors. Poster artists in the late sixties, seventies, and eighties visually evoked the sound and defined the culture of Austin just as the city was establishing itself as one of the most vital music scenes in the country.

This program, with featured artists JIM FRANKLIN, DANNY GARRETT, MICAEL PRIEST, and KERRY AWN, is moderated by artist and poster historian NELS JACOBSON. Nels guides them through a conversation on how the poster designers helped define Austin’s underground culture.

This event features Homegrown: Austin Music Posters, 1967 to 1982, a 2015 addition to The Wittliff Collections’ Southwestern Writers Collection Series, published by the University of Texas Press.

JANUARY 25, 2015
Photographs by Michael O'Brien

This event celebrates the Wittliff Collections’ first solo exhibition of images by one of America’s premier portrait photographers, MICHAEL O’BRIEN. The Face of Texas salutes the individuality and independent spirit of Texans—from ordinary folk to the rich and famous—including those born here and those who eventually made Texas home. The program features a slide presentation by Michael O’Brien, a conversation between Wittliff director David Coleman and Michael O'Brien, and a Q&A where Elizabeth O’Brien makes an appearance. Elizabeth, writer and former Life reporter (and Michael’s wife), wrote verbal vignettes about each portrait in the new edition of The Face of Texas, published by the University of Texas Press.

DECEMBER 7, 2014
with Bill Wittliff, Jack Unruh, and Jane Sumner, with readings by Ray Benson

BILL WITTLIFF’s first fiction novel, The Devil’s Backbone, is celebrated with an event at The Wittliff Collections. RAY BENSON reads from the novel to kick off the program. JANE SUMNER moderates the discussion with BILL WITTLIFF and JACK UNRUH, illustrator of this marvelous book. Even if you missed the live event, you can experience Bill’s joyful, creative energy and be inspired!

OCTOBER 9, 2014
with Joe R. Lansdale, Wes Ferguson, and Kasey Lansdale

This special Wittliff Collections event features JOE R. LANSDALE, celebrated author and “Champion Mojo Storyteller.” Lansdale is a major contributor to the Wittliff's Southwestern Writers Collection archives. Join him as he shares tales of East Texas along with WES FERGUSON, author of Running the River: Secrets of the Sabine. Also on the bill is Joe’s daughter, singer-songwriter KASEY LANSDALE, who performs a song inspired by a Joe R. Lansdale novel.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2014
with Laurie Ann Guerrero – Poet Laureate of San Antonio

2014-2016 Poet Laureate of San Antonio LAURIE ANN GUERRERO, award winning poet & novelist TIM Z. HERNANDEZ, & inaugural San Antonio Poet Laureate DR. CARMEN TAFOLLA (moderator).

San Antonio Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero reads from her book A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying. Poet Tim Z. Hernandez also reads selected poems, and the inaugural Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Carmen Tafolla, emcees the event.

This program was brought to you by the English Department and the College of Liberal Arts, the Center for Study of the Southwest, the College of Applied Arts, the Honors College, the College of Education, the Department of Modern Languages, the College of Liberal Arts, the Center for Diversity and Gender Studies, The Wittliff Collections, Sigma Tau Delta, Latinas Unidas, and the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos.

Special thanks to coordinators Sarah Garcia and Josh Lopez, MFA students in the Creative Writing program at Texas State University.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
PETER JOSYPH: Cormac McCarthy’s House

PETER JOSYPH returns to The Wittliff Collections to dazzle and inform his audience, helping them understand the spirit of Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Cormac McCarthy. Peter Josyph’s presentation includes his performance as White in a scene from "The Sunset Limited."

Josyph, authored the book, Cormac McCarthy’s House: Reading McCarthy Without Walls, published in the Wittliff's literary series with the University of Texas Press.

This event celebrated the Wittliff’s Fall 2014 exhibition from the literary archives, Cormac McCarthy: Unveiling a Literary Legend.

APRIL 27, 2014
MARY ELLEN MARK—MAN AND BEAST: Photographs from Mexico and India

Internationally renowned documentary photographer MARY ELLEN MARK talks about her work and career with Wittliff Collections director David Coleman. This event celebrated the Man and Beast book, a recent addition to the Wittliff’s photography series with the University of Texas Press, and the Man and Beast exhibition on display in the Wittliff Collections gallery in 2014.

APRIL 3, 2014

Four distinguished authors discuss the past, present, and future of Latina/o literature—in a world where writers are frequently moving beyond traditional borders and boundaries. Texas State Distinguished Alumnus TINO VILLANUEVA, Houston poet, memoirist, and editor SARAH CORTEZ, and filmmaker, playwright, writer, and Wittliff donor SEVERO PEREZ engage in a conversation moderated by San Antonio’s first Poet Laureate, CARMEN TAFOLLA.

FEBRUARY 25, 2014

Two Texas State University faculty authors read from their new work.

FEBRUARY 11, 2014
FINE LINE: Mental Health / Mental Illness

MICHAEL NYE, photographer of FINE LINE: Mental Health / Mental Illness, discusses his documentary exhibition of voices, stories, and portraits on view at the Wittliff in 2014.

This event was presented in conjunction with Texas State’s 2013--2014 Common Experience theme, Minds Matter: Exploring Mental Health and Illness, and was sponsored by the university’s Wittliff Collections and Common Experience, and the CFAN Company.

OCTOBER 24, 2013
DALLAS 1963: Conversation with the authors 
Steven L. Davis  |  Bill Minutaglio

MARK BUSBY moderates a talk about the hostile political climate on Dallas leading up to JFK's fateful visit, the subject of the recently published and critically acclaimed book.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo  |  México lindo

ELIZABETH FERRER, esteemed writer, curator, and former Austin Museum of Art director, presents a talk, “Between Tradition and Modernity is a Bridge: The Photograph in Mexico.” The program opened with Mariachi Carta Blanca performing “México lindo y querido.”

APRIL 4, 2013
GLOBAL ODYSSEY Panel Discussion  
Stephanie Elizondo Griest  |  Manuel Luis Martinez  | John Phillip Santos

Supporting Texas State's 2012-2013 Common Experience theme, CARMEN TAFOLLA moderated a conversation with three other writers featured in the literary exhibition Global Odyssey: From Texas to the World and Back. The discussion focused on the global experiences that have both inspired their creativity and underscored their distinctive heritage as South Texans.

NOVEMBER 10, 2012
LAS SOMBRAS / THE SHADOWS: Photograms by Kate Breakey

This event celebrated KATE BREAKEY’s latest exhibition and her third book in the Wittliff’s photography series with the University of Texas Press. Poet and essayist LIA PURPURA read from the introduction she wrote for the book. A native of Australia, Breakey spoke about working without a camera using the nineteenth-century contact-print technique of making photograms, and about her newest series of images, “Creatures of Light and Darkness,” taken with a digital wildlife camera in the desert near her home in Tucson, Arizona.

JULY 14, 2011

Johnson, a professional writer specializing in horror and true ghost stories, and Alkek Library employee, gave a reading from his latest book, Pages: Book Two of the Stanley Cooper Chronicles.

APRIL 9, 2011

Robb Kendrick was the featured speaker at this event celebrating his and Frost Bank’s gift and the major Wittliff exhibition of over 80 of Kendrick’s works

MARCH 31, 2011

This event, celebrating the Spring 2011 literary exhibition at Texas State’s Wittliff Collections, included a panel discussion on the topic of Big Bend. Featured panelists included Joe Nick Patoski and photographer Laurence Parent, co-authors of Big Bend National Park and many other books, Barbara “Barney” Nelson, editor of God’s Country or Devil’s Playground: An Anthology of Nature Writing from the Big Bend of Texas, and Marcos Paredes, a long-time National Park Service River Ranger at Big Bend, recently retired. Moderating the discussion was Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly, who worked as a reporter for the Big Bend Sentinel prior to joining the magazine and writes about the area in his first book, Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction.

The Big Bend: Land of the Texas Imagination exhibition and program were presented in support of the 2010–2011 Common Experience theme of “Sustainability” at Texas State University-San Marcos.

FEBRUARY 25, 2011

The Bittersweet Harvest exhibition reception featuring guest speaker Kristine Navarro-McElhaney, director of the Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso, was part of a two-day symposium called “Immigrant America.” The symposium, organized and co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University-San Marcos, focused on the history and future of immigration in Texas and the Southwest, especially Hispanic immigration and how it has shaped our society and the implications it holds for the future.

In her presentation at the reception, Ms. Navarro-McElhaney gave an overview of Bittersweet Harvest, then engaged the audience with the importance of collecting oral histories from friends, family members, neighbors and other acquaintences. 

NOVEMBER 6, 2010

Internationally recognized for her large-scale, richly hand-colored photographs, KATE BREAKEY is the featured speaker for the Painted Light exhibition reception and book launch of the latest title in the Wittliff Collections’ Southwestern & Mexican Photography Book Series. Kate's introduction was made by critic, poet, lecturer, and editor A.D. COLEMAN. Published by the University of Texas Press, Painted Light is available October 2010.

Special thanks to this event's Partner Sponsor: SUSAN CREWS BAILEY.

MAY 1, 2010

JIM HIGHTOWER was the featured speaker for this day of festivities celebrating the gift of his archive to the Wittliff Collections and the exhibition, Swim Against the Current.

The first of two panel discussions, “Populism in Texas Politics,” featured former Senator FRED HARRIS, JIM CULLEN, editor of the national newspaper Progressive Populist, LINDA CHAVEZ-THOMPSON, former executive VP of the national AFL-CIO, and BOB MOSER, editor of the Texas Observer, who served as moderator.

Discussing “Populism in Texas Culture” were CAROLYN MUGAR, executive director of Farm Aid, editorial cartoonist BEN SARGENT, photographer ALAN POGUE, and TOM PITTMAN, lead man for the Austin Lounge Lizards and host of KUT’s “Folkways.” The moderator was DR. GARY HARTMAN, director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State.

 JIM HIGHTOWER then rallied the crowd as the featured speaker.

Music was added to the mix with performances by JIMMY LaFAVE, CAROLYN WONDERLAND with SHELLEY KING, and the AUSTIN LOUNGE LIZARDS.

OCTOBER 28, 2009

SUSAN WITTIG ALBERT, founder of the Story Circle Network, reads from her book in the Wittliff’s Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series, Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, published by the University of Texas Press. SUSAN J. TWEIT, a much-published nature writer, reads from her latest memoir, Walking Nature Home, also from UT Press. The two authors also discuss their works and lives and take questions from the audience.

OCTOBER 17, 2009

The newly expanded Wittliff Collections were commemorated with a reception and program highlighting their fall literary and photographic exhibitions. Director CONNIE TODD, Alkek Library Associate VP JOAN HEATH and Texas State University President DR. DENISE TRAUTH spoke about the history and future of the Wittliff Collections. Special guest KEITH CARTER was the featured speaker.

OCTOBER 30, 2008

One of the most anthologized of Latina writers, Dr. Tafolla has published work for both children and adults in more than two hundred anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks, and readers. Long considered one of the madrinas of Chicana Literature and a master of bilingual code-switching, Tafolla is the author of more than fifteen books, seven screenplays, and numerous articles and essays. She reads from her book, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans.