Mesa Verde’s Literary Ties Subject of Free Lecture
Contact: Betty Lieurance, 970-529-4608
Contact: Laurel Rematore, 970-529-4445
Writer-in-Residence Robert Galin will give a free lecture discussing the connections between Mesa Verde National Park and the Southwest’s literary history at a free lecture on Thursday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Far View Lodge Library in the park.
The Mancos, Colorado-based writer, journalist, and educator will speak about how various writers have used both the sights and spirit of Mesa Verde National Park in their literary works. Among the authors Galin will discuss are Willa Cather, Tony Hillerman, Louis L’Amour, and Nevada Barr. He will highlight some of the specific locations in and around the park with photos.
Galin holds degrees in journalism, liberal studies with a major in journalism, and a master’s degree in writing. He has worked in newspapers and other media, and now teaches English and communications at the University of New Mexico at Gallup. He remains a resident of Southwestern Colorado.
He also was a seasonal park ranger (protection) at Mesa Verde for four years and was a ranger-coordinator, interpreter and volunteer at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially on Alcatraz. He also was a ranger and interpreter at state parks in Southwestern Colorado and in his native California.
“Mesa Verde has very strong connections to the literature of the Southwest,” Galin says. “It’s important to celebrate those connections as well as the land itself. Readers can lose themselves in the colorful mesas and mountains by reading and rereading these books and stories.”
Writers’ ties to the Mesa Verde area remain strong. The family of Western writer L’Amour still owns a ranch near Mancos, east of Mesa Verde, and Barr was a ranger at the park, Galin notes. Hillerman adopted the Southwest as both his home and his muse, and Galin says he hopes that by bringing light to these links, that the public’s appreciation for the park and the Southwest will grow.
Mesa Verde National Park’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program provides professional artists the opportunity to become part of a long established tradition of artists and writers creating works in our national parks. The AIR program is managed for the park by the nonprofit Mesa Verde Museum Association. Learn more at www.nps.gov/meve/supportyourpark/artists_in_residence.htm
Did You Know?
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.