The University of New Mexico
Department of English Language & Literature


The 2015 Rudolfo & Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest

Thanks to a generous contribution from the renowned fiction writer Rudolfo Anaya and his late wife Patricia Anaya, the UNM English Department established the Rudolfo & Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest in 2010. The annual lecture series brings together students, faculty, and community members to address the rich traditions of Southwest literature and new directions in literary and cultural scholarship for our dynamic region.

The annual Anaya Lecture is free and open to the public.

This Year's Featured Speaker

2015-Anne Hillerman

Anne Hillerman

Thursday Oct 22, 2015 - 7:00 pm

George Pearl Hall Auditorium

School of Architecture and Planning

Anne Hillerman is the author of eight published non-fiction books and has worked as an editorial page editor, arts editor, and food critic for the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican. Anne Hillerman’s first novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter (2013), made the New York Times bests...

Past Events


Ana Castillo

2014-Ana Castillo

Ana Castillo is one of the leading figures in Chicana and contemporary literature. A celebrated poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar, Castillo is the author of the novels So Far From God and Sapogonia, both New York Times Notable Books ...


N. Scott Momaday

2013-N. Scott Momaday

N. Scott Momaday is one of the most distinguished writers of our time. His first novel House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, an event that brought new visibility to American Indian literature and literature of the Southwest, a landscape that has inflected his fiction, poetry, an...


John Nichols

2012-John Nichols

A resident of New Mexico since 1969, John Nichols is the author of 12 novels and 8 works of non-fiction. His most recent novel, On Top of Spoon Mountain, was published by the University of New Mexico Press in October of this year. Nichols has written the "New Mexico Trilogy" of novels—his cla...

Rudolfo Anaya

Rudolfo Anaya

Born in New Mexico in 1937, Rudolfo Anaya is a foundational figure in contemporary Chicana/ o literature. His critically acclaimed novel Bless Me, Ultima has reached a broad global audience since its initial publication in 1972. Set in rural New Mexico in the 1940's, the novel addresses land, language, and cultural identity through the story of a young boy’s relationship with the curandera named Ultima. The novel was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as a classic American novel for The Big Read program and is taught regularly in high schools and colleges. An independent film adaptation of the novel was released in 2012 by writer and director Carl Franklin (

Rudolfo Anaya is the author of more than 15 novels and story collections, 10 children’s books, multiple works of nonfiction, and several plays. The novels Heart of Aztlan (1978) and Tortuga (1979) complete a trilogy that began with Bless Me, Ultima. His work also includes the Sonny Baca quartet of detective novels, Albuquerque (1992), The Many Who Could Fly and Other Stories (2006), and Randy Lopez Goes Home (2011). Anaya’s many honors and awards include the Premio Quinto Sol for Chicano literature, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Medal of Arts Lifetime Honor, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the People’s Choice Award from the New Mexico Book Awards, and the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times.

Anaya graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1963 and returned as a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature from 1974–1993. "The English Department cherishes the fact that Emeritus Professor Rudy Anaya was on our faculty for so many years. A founder of our distinguished Creative Writing Program, he still inspires us with his joyous approach to life, sense of humor, and eloquent articulation of Hispanic culture and the beauties of the Southwest. He has long been an internationally known man of letters, but we take pride in the fact that he began his career in our department," says Professor and Department Chair Gail Houston. "We feel privileged to have received his generous donation, and we look forward to sharing this free event with everyone on campus and in the community. There is no better venue for celebrating Southwest literature than the UNM Department of English."

The valuable collections of the UNM Center for Southwest Research include the complete papers of Rudolfo A. Anaya, 1960–2004

In 2012, Rudolfo Anaya worked with writer and director Carl Franklin on an independent film adaptation of Bless Me, Ultima (

The collection includes manuscripts of Rudolfo Anaya’s published and unpublished work, materials from his career as a professor, and correspondence with colleagues and students, with a primary focus on Chicano/a culture and New Mexico’s cultural landscape.

To contribute to the Anaya Lecture Series on the Literature of the Southwest, or to support Hispanic students working towards a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing via the Rudolfo Anaya Fellowship Fund , contact the UNM Foundation directly via their secure giving website or at 1–800–UNM–FUND (866–3863). 

For additional information about the Anaya Lecture series, contact