Academy for Retired Learning shines a spotlight on Southwestern poets and writers



The Academy for Retired Learning (ALR) will host four presentations in late November and early December on writers and poets from the southwestern border regions, ALR said in a press release.

Two presentations will be given by R. Joyce ZL Garay, Ph.D., who is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at New Mexico State University and an Affiliate Faculty Member of the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies Program. at NMSU, and Spencer Herrera, Ph.D., who is an associate professor in the Department of Languages ​​and Linguistics, where he studies and teaches Chicano literature, film and culture. Garay will also host two round tables with writers and poets.

Here is the presentation schedule, with all programs starting at 10:30 a.m. and connection possible at 10 a.m.:

  • Monday, November 29: Garay and Herrera present “New Mexican writers and their genres”.
  • Wednesday December 1: Round table: “Borderlands in Poetry and Fiction”, moderated by Garay with participants Jennifer Givhan, Carolina Monsiváis and Sheila Black.
  • Monday December 6: Round table: “Indigenous Traditions in / of the Southwest”, moderated by Garay with participants Brandon Hobson and Jamie Figueroa.
  • Wednesday December 8: Garay and Herrera, “Contemporary New Mexico Writers and Future Directions”.

Members of the public can register at under the ALR Presentation link. Purchase of options before 5 p.m. the day before each presentation. ALR will email a Zoom link to registrants the day before each presentation.

Garay obtained a doctorate. at Arizona State University in 2003. Garay regularly teaches courses in Southwestern literature, Chicanx and Latinx literary traditions, border region cultural production, feminist theories, and American literature at large. His academic work mainly focuses on Chicanx writers, including Helena Maria Viramontes, Cherríe Moraga, Alejandro Morales, Rudolfo Anaya and Eduardo Corral. Garay is co-editor of “New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America” ​​and contributor of “Latina and Latino Writers”. Garay is currently preparing his thesis for publication. It is titled “Embodying the Autobiography and Feminist Theory of Mothering: Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga and the Re-visionary Practice of Self / Historia y Teoría”.

Herrera received a BA in International Studies from Southwestern University in 1995, an MA in Spanish from the University of Houston in 2001, and a PhD. in Hispanic Literature with a minor in Film at the University of New Mexico in 2007. He has been a faculty member at NMSU since 2013. Herrera’s most recent co-edited book is “Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland “, published by UNM Press in 2020. He is the co-author of” Sagrado: A Photopoetics across the Chicano Homeland “, published in 2013, also by UNM Press, which received a book award from the Border Regional Library Association, a New Mexico-Arizona Book award and a Southwestern Book of the Year award from the Pima County Public Library. Herrera is also the author / editor of “Before / Beyond Borders: An Anthology of Chicano / a Literature,” published by Kendall / Hunt in 2010. He was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and lived in New Brunswick. Mexico for 20 years.

ALR was founded in 1992 by former NMSU President Gerald Thomas, with retired Deans Thomas Gale, Virginia Higbie, Flavia McCormick and others, including former professor and teacher Clarence Fielder.


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