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A Celebration of Southwest Storytellers- PART 2




"I believe in the mercy of books, the kindness and gentleness of books, the 'A-HA!' of books..."

- Denise Chavez

"Another element to all of my books is the connection to family. What I write has something to do with family, each and every time."

- Michael McGarrity

"That's really what community is. Not really all people being the same or agreeing with each other, but actually complimenting each other."

- Simon Ortiz

August 5th, 2002, another special event in the history of Southwestern letters took place in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, as writers, Denise Chavez, Michael McGarrity, and Simon Ortiz took part in a panel discussion before an audience of several hundred at Jemez Valley High School Auditorium. Earlier that same year Rudolfo Anaya, Tony Hillerman and N. Scott Momaday shared the panel seats. Their discussion became the NFCB Award-winning program A Celebration of Southwest Storytellers, Part 1. Both panels were sponsored by the Friends of The Jemez Valley Library.

As in the first panel, this joint appearance by Chávez, McGarrity and Ortiz, gathered three writers representing the major literary traditions of New Mexico—the Chicano, the Native American, and Anglo. In their writings, Chávez, McGarrity and Ortiz, are literary realists who depict the many cultures of the Southwest autobiographically, authentically, and in detail. Through their many novels, stories, plays, and poems they celebrate the local landscape and customs of the people and they emphasize the importance of family and unspoiled nature, as stays against confusion. For this event, Jemez Springs resident and Pulitzer prize winner N. Scott Momaday served as moderator.

Hear each author talk about the major themes in their work and respond to audience questions in this engaging 59-minte program. Both Ortiz and Chavez read samples of their work while the producers read from McGarrity.


Denise Chavez: Born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1948, playwright and novelist Denise Chávez studied acting and playwriting at New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico. She is best known for her often-anthologized and semi-autobiographical short story cycle The Last of the Menu Girls, which received the Puerto del Sol Fiction Award in 1966, and for her novel Face of an Angel, which received an American Book Award in 1994.

Michael McGarrity: The author of eight police procedural novels in the "Kevin Kerney" series, including the Anthony Award-nominated Tularosa and the recent Everyone Dies. A trained psychotherapist, he was recognized as New Mexico Social Worker of the Year in 1980. An honor graduate of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and a former deputy sheriff, he was honored as Santa Fe's Officer of the Year in 1987.

Simon Ortiz: Born in 1941 and raised at the Pueblo of Acoma west of Albuquerque, Simon Ortiz completed an MFA at the University of Iowa in 1969. He received the 1981 Pushcart Prize for poetry for his collection From Sand Creek. In his didactic, intensely political poetry, he often laments the development and industrialization of Indian lands. Ortiz received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas in 1993.

N. Scott Momaday(moderator): A Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, poet, artist and literary critic. His work includes House Made of Dawn, In the Bear's House and The Ancient Child.

Producer Paul Ingles: a 28 year broadcast veteran and has won numerous awards for his work from the NFCB, OEBIE, and Associated Press. His productions include Peace Talks: Making Peace with Ourselves Since 9-11, The Human Experience, Peace on Earth: A Holiday Folk Tour with Judy Collins, George Harrison: An Appreciation, and In Search of James Brown.

Host Judy Goldberg is a radio and film producer, whose latest work includes the Backroads Radio series.

59 minutes, no breaks, no newscast. Click here to hear a 15 minute sampler of the program.

Click here to hear the entire program in RealAudio.

Click here to view the transcript.

Full program available now via download for members of the Public Radio Exchange (

CDs available for broadcast at $20 each. For information or to order CDs, 505-771-8295 or email