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What Wildness is This

JUNE 1—JULY 31, 2007


The Southwestern Writers Collection celebrates another new title in its book series, What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest, with a summer exhibit and conference.

What Wildness is This is an anthology of writings by women about their experiences in the Southwestern environment. The book is published by the University of Texas Press and is a project of the Story Circle Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives.

Through prose, poetry, creative nonfiction, and memoir, the women in this anthology explore both the outer landscape of the Southwest and their own inner landscapes as women living on the land. The editors have selected nearly one hundred pieces, showcasing works by emerging writers as well as established voices such as Joy Harjo, Denise Chávez, Diane Ackerman, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gloria Anzaldua, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barbara Kingsolver.

An exhibit on What Wildness Is This opens at the Southwestern Writers Collection on June 1, 2007 and is on view through July 31. The Story Circle Network is donating archives from the book to the SWWC, and the artifacts on display include manuscripts, photographs, excerpts from the book, biographies of selected writers, and numerous books that showcase women's writing in the southwest. Also on display are materials documenting the ten-year history of the Story Circle Network.

On June 8-9, the SWWC serves as the host site for a conference and celebration of writing about place and personal history, which is being held by the Story Circle Network. The program includes a free public reception on June 8 and a keynote address by Kathleen Dean Moore, who wrote the introduction to What Wildness Is This. The conference offers a variety of workshops and panel discussions focused on writing about place. For more information about the conference, please visit the Story Circle Network website.

Two of the four co-editors for What Wildness Is This share connections to Texas State University-San Marcos. Dr. Susan Wittig Albert is the founder of the Story Circle Network and a former Professor of English and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Texas State. She is the author of the acclaimed “China Bayles” mystery series. Another co-editor is Susan Hanson, who teaches in the English Department at Texas State and is the author of Icons of Loss and Grace: Moments from the Natural World.