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May 2001

Release Date: May 30, 2001

Kelton Writers Conference Receives Grant Support

The Writers' League of Texas has awarded a $1,625 grant to the English Department at Angelo State University to help underwrite the Sixth Annual Writers Conference in honor of Elmer Kelton next year.

Dr. James A. Moore, head of ASU's English Department, will administer the grant. The grant was awarded by the Writers' League of Texas on behalf of the Texas Commission on the Arts and will supplement funding from the university for the annual conference.

The theme for the 2002 conference is "The Changing Environments of the Southwest: The Land and Its Cultures." The conference has been scheduled for Feb. 21-23 at the Houston Harte University Center. It is open free to the public.

The grant will support speakers and activities of the conference, which is hosted each February by the ASU English Department. The conference is jointly sponsored by the English Department and ASU. Over a three-day period, approximately 25 poets, essayists, fiction writers and scholars will read from their original works, deliver talks and conduct panels relating to Texas and the Southwest.

The keynote speaker will be Stephen Harrigan, the author of the best-selling novel "The Gates of the Alamo," as well as two other novels and several collections of essays on Texas and the environment. Harrigan is also a screenwriter whose screenplay about Laura Ingalls Wilder is in production and slated for television release this fall.

Kelton will deliver his annual address on the opening night of the symposium. A San Angelo resident, Kelton has written more than 40 books, several of which have been recognized for excellence by Western Writers of America, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Literature Association. The Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) has honored him with the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award for Continuing Excellence in Texas Letters. In 1997 he became ASU's first AEP/West Texas Utilities Distinguished Visiting Professor. His latest book is "Badger Boy."

Previous keynote speakers at the annual conference have included such major authors as Rudolfo Anaya, W.P. Kinsella, Denise Chavez and Reginald McKnight.

John Wegner chairs the 2002 conference organizing committee. Other members are Terry Dalrymple, Mary Ellen Hartje, Chris Ellery, Leigh Harbin, Glenn Dayley and James Moore. For more information about the conference, contact Wegner at (325) 942-2273, Ext. 223