JANUARY 4—JUNE 30, 1998
WOMEN WRITE THE SOUTHWEST
SOUTHWESTERN WRITERS COLLECTION
Katherine Anne Porter, brilliant and provocative, once proclaimed that she was "the first and only serious writer that Texas has produced." While Porter was certainly our state's most acclaimed writer for a number of years, her artistic achievements are now finding good company as new generations of talented Southwestern writers come to prominence. Many of these writers, not surprisingly, are women.
A new exhibit from the Southwestern Writers Collection, Women Write the Southwest, focuses on the literary and artistic contributions of several generations of Southwestern women, including Katherine Anne Porter. The books, photographs, journals and manuscripts on display reveal a vital body of work that is as rich and varied as the region itself.
A special series of public readings from many of the authors featured in Women Write the Southwest will be presented by the Southwestern Writers Collection during April and May.
The exhibit contains a comprehensive overview of women's contributions to Southwestern letters, and it showcases classic works of literature including a rare 1836 edition of Texas by Mary Austin Holley, the first-ever English-language work on the state. Also included are stirring works of historical fiction such as Elizabeth Crook's The Raven's Bride and Promised Lands, and Elithe Hamilton Kirkland's Divine Average and Love is a Wild Assault. Works by Chicana writers are also prominently featured, including TxState professor Leticia Garza-Falcón's forthcoming book, Gente Decente: A Borderlands Response to the Rhetoric of Dominance.
Special emphasis is given to writers whose major archives are housed in the Southwestern Writers Collection: Beverly Lowry, Elithe Hamilton Kirkland, Angela Shelf Medearis, Sarah Bird, and Katherine Anne Porter. Of additional interest, popular regional singer-songwriters Marcia Ball and Kimmie Rhodes have loaned many of their personal artifacts and manuscripts for display.
Five readings will add a special public component to the exhibit. African-American historian and Texas' most successful children's book author Angela Medearis will read at the Collection on Monday, April 6 at 12:30 pm. Light lunch refreshments will be served. Noted historical novelist Elizabeth Crook will be joined by Austin mystery writer Mary Willis Walker for a 6:30 pm reading on Wednesday April 15. Ms. Walker will sign copies of her new novel, All the Dead Lie Down. Wimberley writer Billy Porterfield will read from Elithe Hamilton Kirkland's work and talk about her legacy at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 22. TxState professor Leticia Garza-Falcón will read from and sign copies of her new book Gente Decente at the Collection on Friday, May 1.