Overview Schedule

Plenary with Poet, Natalie Diaz

(Mojave, Latinx) 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and 2020 National Book award finalist, Natalie Diaz says of language: “Where we come from we say language has an energy, and I feel that it’s a very physical energy.” This energy suffuses both of her collections as they explore both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.

Support a local bookstore by using to find copies of Natalie’s works:

  • When My Brother Was an Aztec (2013)
  • Postcolonial Love Poem (2020)

Past Presidents’ Business Discussion – Moderated by Nancy Cook

12:15 – 1:15 – The Mandalorian Room

Past Presidents’ Business Discussion

(Past, current, and future Presidents only)

Awards Event and Entertainment

Congratulations to this year’s winners. Every year we recognize outstanding performance in a variety of categories. Please help us to continue this annual tradition as we present the following awards:

Delbert & Edith Wylder Award

Outstanding service to the WLA

Nicolas S. Witschi

Thomas J. Lyon Book Award

Outstanding book in Western American Literary and Cultural Studies

Cathryn Halverson, Faraway Women and the Atlantic Monthly

Don D. Walker Award

Best essay published in Western American Literary Studies

Emily Lutenski, “Dickens Disappeared: Black Los Angeles and the Borderlands of Racial Memory,” published in American Studies   

J. Golden Taylor Award

Best essay submitted to the WLA conference by a graduate student

Surabhi Balachander

Dorys Crow Grover Awards

For outstanding essays submitted to the WLA conference by graduate students who contribute to our critical understandings of region, place and space in western American literatures

Sarah Nolan & Renee Sprinkle

Creative Writing Award

For the best creative writing submission to the conference

Raul B. Moreno, “The Land of Infinite Variety: Transmigration and the Fictional Essay”

We hope you’re ready to dance!

Because the event is in webinar format you don’t have to worry about what you look like dancing on Zoom.

Beth and Elease of Bella Lux Entertainment have choreographed a routine to “Wild, Wild West” just for us that you can learn in advance of our scheduled Awards and Entertainment event. Beth and Elease break down the steps for you in two easy to follow along videos that you can watch and rewind as many times as you like.

Part 1 Tutorial

Part 2 Tutorial