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Native American Author Headlines Conference

January 30, 2012

Renowned Native American author and poet Leslie Marmon Silko will be the featured speaker at Angelo State University’s 16th annual Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-24, in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.

The annual conference, which focuses on fiction, poetry and nonfiction, is open free to the public and will be held in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center. 

Silko will conduct a public reading at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, followed by a book signing.  On Friday, Feb. 24, she will participate in a public interview at 11 a.m. conducted by Dr. Linda Kornasky of the ASU English and Modern Languages Department, followed by a question and answer session.  Silko will also attend dinners with students and faculty from the department. 

A former professor of English and fiction writing at the University of Arizona-Tucson, Silko has written novels, short stories, essays, poetry, articles and film scripts.  She has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for Poetry, the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant,” the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Living Cultural Treasure Award and the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award.  She was also the youngest writer to be included in the Norton Anthology of Women’s Literature for her short story, Lullaby. 

Silko’s latest book, Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir, combines her life story with family history and draws from Native American storytelling traditions in considering the spiritual power of the natural world.  Besides her recent work, Silko also published the highly acclaimed Ceremony in 1977, which has become a standard selection in higher education for Native American literature.  Her other works include the novels, Gardens in the Dunes, After a Summer Rain in the Upper Sonoran and Almanac of the Dead, as well as several short story and poetry collections. 

Kelton, who died in 2009, wrote more than 40 books, including The Time it Never Rained, The Man Who Rode Midnight and The Good Old Boys.  He was a seven-time winner of the Western Writers of America’s (WWA) Spur Award, and he was named the WWA “all-time best western author.”  Kelton also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association and the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. He was the first Distinguished Visiting Professor at ASU. 

The ASU English and Modern Languages Department hosts the conference, which is sponsored by the university. 

More information about Silko is available online at 

For more information about the Writers Conference, contact Dr. Terry Dalrymple or Dr. John Wegner at 325-942-2268 or visit the conference website at


English and Modern Languages