Candy Moulton: Previewing “Landscape of Dreams: Santa Fe and the Creative West,” a panel discussion |

Candy Moulton: Previewing “Landscape of Dreams: Santa Fe and the Creative West,” a panel discussion

“Landscape of Dreams: Santa Fe and the Creative West,” a panel discussion, will be presented at Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo, Feb. 25 in Santa Fe, N.M. The program will feature New Mexican authors Lesley Polling-Kempes, Jack Loeffler, Anne Hillerman and Paul Andrew Hutton. The four will share their thoughts on creativity, the lure of the West, fiction, nonfiction, music and respond to audience comments and questions.

This is the annual James Ersfeld Symposium, which is sponsored by Western Writers of America.

Jack Loeffler is an aural historian, sound collage artist, writer and environmental activist. New Mexico has been his homeland for more than 50 years.

Loeffler has produced sound collages for museums throughout the West. He is the project director for the Lore of the Land and the producer of a series of broadcasts for Public Radio on environmental issues. His books include: “Headed Upstream: Interviews with Iconoclasts”; “La Musica de los Viejitos”; “Adventures with Ed”: “A Portrait of Abbey”; “Healing the West”: “Voices of Culture and Habitat”; “Survival Along the Continental Divide”; and “Thinking Like a Watershed.”

Lesley Poling-Kempes is the award winning author of fiction and nonfiction books about the American Southwest. Her novel “Bone Horses” received the 2014 WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction and the Tony Hillerman Award. Her first novel “Canyon of Remembering” was a Western Writers of America Spur Award finalist. Her nonfiction work includes “The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West,” which received the Zia Award; “Valley of Shining Stone: The Story of Abiquiu” and “Ghost Ranch.”

Her newest book, the nonfiction “Ladies of the Canyon: A League of Extraordinary Women & Their Adventures in the American Southwest” was released in 2015 and has been nominated for the MPBA Reading the West nonfiction award.

Paul Andrew Hutton is an American cultural historian, award-winning author, documentary writer and television personality. He is Distinguished professor of History at the University of New Mexico, a former director of the Western History Association and former president and executive director of the Western Writers of America.

He has published widely in both scholarly and popular magazines, and is a five-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award and six-time winner of the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for his print and film writing.

His latest book, “The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History” will be published in May of this year.

Anne Hillerman, the eldest of best-selling mystery author Tony Hillerman’s six children, grew up in Santa Fe and Albuquerque surrounded by stories and beautiful landscapes.

Her first novel, “Spider Woman’s Daughter,” debuted at number ten on the New York Times best seller list, and won a Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Her second book in the new series, “Rock with Wings,” also made the NYT list and was recently released in paperback. Both are mysteries in the tradition of her father’s Navajo books.

Anne is a founding director of the Santa Fe-based WORDHARVEST Writers Workshops and helped create the Tony Hillerman Prize for best first mystery awarded annually by St. Martin’s Press.

Before turning to fiction, she wrote seven nonfiction books including “Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn”, “Gardens of Santa Fe” and the recipe book and restaurant guide “Santa Fe Flavors.”

Western Writers of America, Inc. hosts the free Ersfeld Symposium each year in a different city in the West to help introduce new writers in all media to the organization and its work.

The group was founded in 1953 to promote the literature of the American West and bestow Spur Awards for distinguished writing in the Western field. The founders were largely authors who wrote traditional Western fiction, but the organization swiftly expanded to include historians and other nonfiction authors, young adult and romance writers, and writers interested in regional history.

Today WWA has more than 650 members who write everything from mainstream fiction to local history. Its annual convention occurs each June.

Each convention concludes with the Spur Awards banquet. WWA actively helps its members promote their books and articles and aggressively promotes the literature of the American West, which it considers this country’s unique contribution to world literature. ❖

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