• Testimonials

    WLA faculty are committed to graduate student mentorship and are eager to support student scholarship by offering valuable feedback and creating spaces for exchange and collaboration.
    Ho'esta Mo'e'hahne, 2018
    Owens Award recipient 2016

2022 Virtual Engagement Events

The 2022 Virtual Engagement Events are contextually related to the 2022 conference. Please join us at any of these FREE events!


If you missed this virtual event on September 14, 2022, you can view the recording here. Only WLA members can access the recording with a password that was sent to all members.


Dr. Chadwick Allen (University of Washington) and
Dr. Lisa Tatonetti (Kansas State University)  invite you to 

“Trans-Indigenous and Queer Connections:
A Workshop on Mohawk Poet James Thomas Stevens”

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 (4:00 pm PST/ 5:00 MT/ 6:00 pm CST/ 7:00 pm EST) 

Join Chad Allen and Lisa Tatonetti for a workshop on the writing of Akwesasne Mohawk poet James Thomas Stevens, who, together with his students from the American Indian Arts Institute, will be a keynote speaker at the 2022 WLA Conference in Santa Fe. The workshop will guide participants through Stevens’ innovative trans-national and trans-Indigenous projects and attend to the queer intersections that mark his poetics.

You must be registered to attend. Please register here.

Please join us on Thursday, March 24th, at 4:00 PM (Mountain Time) for the WLA’s next engagement event, featuring a Plática, a conversation, with renowned author, activist, and playwright Denise Chávez. She will read and discuss her current book project, The Ghost of Esequiel Hernández, a novel exploring the dark history of the U.S.-México border with its ever-present military presence that has tragically impacted its inhabitants and their way of life. The novel is set in Redford, Texas, formerly called El Polvo/The Dust, where eighteen-year-old goat herder Esequiel Hernández was killed by a U.S. Marine in 1997. Chávez’s maternal roots are in this remote and magical corner of Far West Texas. The novel explores familial dysfunction as well as the legacy of life on the Frontera, the liminal space that is the break between these worlds. 

As founder and director of Casa Camino Real, a bookstore and gallery located in the historical Mesquite District on the Camino Real in her hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Denise believes in the healing power of books to save lives. She is the author of various books including The Last of the Menu Girls, Face of An Angel, A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture, and her most recent, The King and Queen of Comezón. Chávez is the recipient of the American Book Award, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fellowship, the Hispanic Heritage Award, and the New Mexico Governor’s Award in Literature. Denise holds a BA (NMSU, 1971), MA (Trinity, 1974), and MFA (UNM, 1984), as well as an honorary doctorate from UNM (2004).

Please visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Casa-Camino-Real-Book-Store-Art-Gallery-345230548885989
and on Abebooks at: https://www.abebooks.com/casa-camino-real-las-cruces-nm/55655980/sf

Denise also recommends the following movies
The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández: https://www.pbs.org/pov/watch/ballad/

The Devil’s Swing by Alan Govenar: https://www.docarts.com/devils_swing.html

You must register for the event. You can scan the flyer’s QR code or click here.

  • Western Literature Association (WLA)

    Founded in 1965, the Western Literature Association (WLA) is a non-profit, scholarly association that promotes the study of the diverse literature and cultures of the North American West, past and present.

  • Western American Literature (WAL)

    (The Journal)

    Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in western American literary studies.

  • Black Lives Matter

    The Western Literature Association (WLA) is in solidarity with Black communities, after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the ongoing pattern of systemic racism and injustice that targets black and brown bodies. ...http://www.westernlit.org/black-lives-matter/