Date: February 26, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jeanette Smith, NMSU Library, (575) 646-7492, firstname.lastname@example.org
Las Cruces poet laureate Keith Wilson, who died on February 10, left as his legacy a body of work widely recognized by the international literary community. A New Mexico native, Wilson was renowned for his poetry and other writings on the Southwest. His work has been translated into Spanish, German, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Indonesian and Japanese. Shaman of the Desert, a volume of his collected poems, will be published posthumously by Clark City Press.
Wilson was accorded numerous honors including a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Senior Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, a D.H. Lawrence Fellowship, a Border Book Festival El Premio Fronterizo Award and the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He was named a Knight of Mark Twain for his outstanding contributions to American literature.
A New Mexico State University Professor Emeritus, Wilson also received NMSU’s Westhafer Teaching Award in 1972, the first awarded by the university to a professor in the creative arts. He spent twenty-two years at NMSU before retiring in 1987. Wilson is remembered by his colleagues, his students, fellow writers and the many people who attended his poetry readings.
A wealth of information regarding Wilson’s life and nearly forty published works is available in the NMSU Library’s Archives and Special Collections Department. The Keith Wilson Papers, a large collection of 43 linear feet, contains his correspondence, manuscripts and poetry, as well as photographs and biographical information.
Steve Hussman, the head of the Archives and Special Collections Department, said, “Keith’s strong sense of service to the community and social justice as well as his legacy of writing stories and poetry and his readings will be preserved for future generations of students and scholars-he will be greatly missed.”
For more information on the collection, please contact Hussman at (575) 646-4756.