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Viva Texas Rivers! Adventures, Misadventures, and Glimpses of Nirvana along Our Storied Waterways

NOW OPEN through May 31, 2022


Come Explore Texas Rivers... with the state’s greatest writers.

This exhibition celebrates the new literary anthology in the Wittliff's Book Series: Viva Texas Rivers! Adventures, Misadventures, and Glimpses of Nirvana along Our Storied Waterways.

Many of Texas’ leading writers have had their hearts captured by a river, and they have created sparkling accounts of the waterways they love. Co-editors Steven L. Davis and Sam L. Pfiester have assembled the best of those works into a revelatory collection of diverse literary voices. Viva Texas Rivers! showcases many classic writings along with brand-new essays written for this volume. The literary nonfiction is complemented by flashes of poetry that brilliantly reflect these curving ribbons of light.

The exhibit features 58 of the writers who have contributed to the book, showcasing historical artifacts from river trips along with manuscripts, magazines, quotes, and pages from Viva Texas Rivers! Several writers have contributed video readings, which play on a continuous loop in the exhibition space.

The exhibition also pays homage to artist Clemente Guzman, whose cover painting for Viva Texas Rivers! led to his selection as the Poster Artist for the 2021 Texas Book Festival.

Spectacular riverscape photos by noted photographer Kenny Braun complement the literary displays, along with watercolor-based river maps created by Molly O’Halloran.

Experiencing Viva Texas Rivers! brings you as close to the living nirvana of a Texas River as you can get without launching yourself into a canoe and following a great blue heron as it glides just above the breaking rapids, leading you around the bend as the river flows onward toward the best places in our hearts.

Viva Texas Rivers! is on exhibit through May 31, 2022. The book will be published in November 2021 by Texas A&M University Press as part of its Wittliff Collections Literary Series in Partnership with Texas State's Meadows Center's River Books Series.


About the authors in this exhibition

Viva Texas Rivers! features John Graves, the godfather of Texas river literature. Graves’ classic book, Goodbye to a River (1960), is an account of his three-week journey along the Brazos River. This exhibition displays treasures from Graves’ major archive at The Wittliff Collections, including the canoe paddle he used to guide himself downstream.


Other featured authors in alphabetical order:

Francis Edward Abernethy (Neches River)

Michael Barnes & Joe Starr (Pease River & James River)

Gordon Baxter (Village Creek)

Michael Berryhill (Buffalo Bayou)

Alan Birkelbach (San Gabriel)

Keith Bowden (Río Grande)

David Bowles (Río Grande)

Mark Busby (Trinity River)

Norma Elia Cantú (Río Grande)

Gary Cartwright (Trinity River)

Carol Flake Chapman (Colorado River)

Sandra Cisneros (San Antonio River)

Margie Crisp (Colorado River)

Chip Dameron (Brazos River)

Jeffrey S. Davis/Patnarain (Comal River)

Steven L. Davis (co-editor)

Gerald Duff (Sabine River)

John Erickson (Canadian River)

Wes Ferguson (Sabine River  & Blanco River)

Robert Flynn (Red River)

Andrew Geyer (Frio River)

S.C. Gwynne (Lower Pecos River)

Stephen Harrigan (San Marcos River)

Butch Hancock (Guadalupe River)

William Hauptman (Wichita River)

Joe Holley (Canadian River)

Paulette Jiles (Nueces River)

Joe R. Lansdale (Sabine River)

Attica Locke (Buffalo Bayou)

Domingo Martínez (Río Grande)

Clayton Maxwell (Guadalupe River)

Wayne H. McAlister (Guadalupe River)

Walter McDonald (Brazos River)

Bill Minutaglio (Llano)

Pat Mora (Río Grande)

Karla K. Morton (Washita)

Naomi Shihab Nye (Little Blanco River)

Sasha von Oldershausen (Río Grande)

Daniel Oppenheimer (South Grape Creek/Pedernales)

Américo Paredes (Río Grande)

Joe Nick Patoski (Guadalupe River & Devils River)

Emmy Pérez (Río Grande)

Sam L. Pfiester (co-editor)

Jan Reid (Red River & Río Grande)

Benjamín Alire Sáenz (Río Grande)

Andrew Sansom (Pecos River)

Jan Seale (Río Grande)

Edwin "Bud" Shrake (Río Grande)

William Jack Sibley (Nueces River)

Thad Sitton (Neches River)

Gardner Smith & Robert Reitz (Brazos River)

Octavio Solis (Río Grande)

WK Stratton (Leon River)

Carmen Tafolla (San Antonio River)

Beatriz Terrazas (Río Grande)

Geraldine Ellis Watson (Neches River)