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Searchlight New Mexico & CW Presents: Race and Class in New Mexico
Searchlight New Mexico & CW Presents: Race and Class in New Mexico

Mon, Nov 13


Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Searchlight New Mexico & CW Presents: Race and Class in New Mexico

Unraveling the complexities of identity in light of the recent shooting at an Oñate rally in Española, as explored in a personal essay by Deborah Taffa (Kwatsaán/Laguna Pueblo), director of creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Date, Time & Location

Nov 13, 2023, 6:00 PM MST

Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

About the Event

This will be an in-store presentation and live-streamed on Zoom, register for Zoom here.

Collected Works Bookstore and Searchlight New Mexico are thrilled to engage in a community collaboration to bring important and relevant conversation to our city. This event is the third in our series.

Deborah will be in conversation with Luis Peña.  Together they will discuss Deborah's recent Searchlight article about the September shooting in Española, which occurred during a rally meant to halt the reinstallation of a Juan de Oñate statue. At first, it appeared to be yet another example of rampant gun violence and political divisions: A young man wearing a MAGA hat lashed out and shot an Indigenous activist. But in a state as complex as New Mexico, such assumptions don’t necessarily apply. Deborah dispels the cliches in a piece that explores the historic class inequities and racial divisions behind the violence.

About the Speakers

Searchlight New Mexico is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative reporting.

Deborah Jackson Taffa is the Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) in Santa Fe, NM. Her memoir, WHISKEY TENDER, which will be launching at Collected Works Bookstore next year, was named one of the most anticipated books to watch for in 2024 by Zibby Media. She has won fellowships and grants from PEN America, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Rona Jaffe, Tin House, A Public Space, the Ellen Meloy Fund, the Kranzberg Arts Foundaion, and the NY State Summer Writer’s Institute.

A citizen of the Quechan (Yuma) Nation and Laguna Pueblo, Deborah earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Prior to her job at IAIA, she taught Creative Nonfiction at Webster University and Washington University in Saint Louis. She also served as an Executive Board Member with the Missouri Humanities Council where she was instrumental in creating a Native American Heritage Program in the state.

She serves as the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine, River Styx. Her writing can be found at The Rumpus, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, A Public Space, Salon, Huff Post, Prairie Schooner, The Best Travel Writing, The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. Her play, “Parents Weekend,” was performed at the Autry Theater’s 8th Annual Short Play Festival in Los Angeles in 2018.

Luis Peña was born in 1977 to a loving family in the isolated mountains of northern NM and was raised among hard-working people. Luis is happily married to his high school sweetheart and is a father to three young leaders. As a child, Luis bore witness to the struggles of his gente against erasure and the continued occupation of the commons. Through self-expression and spiritual devotion he has managed to navigate an ever-changing world and is committed to justice for all living things. He is a self-educated historian.

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