Santa Fe Sans Writer’s Block

Gaspar Perez de Villagra.

The earliest record of the written word in New Mexico can be traced to Gaspar Perez de Villagra. The soldier/scribe wrote the epic poem La Historia de Nuevo Mexico in 1598. His narrative chronicles the journey of Juan de Oñate and the first European founding of America. By the early 20th century Santa Fe had an abundance of writers in both Spanish and English. Felipe M. Chacon, who wrote poetry and fiction, and was also the editor of several Spanish language newspapers, including Santa Fe’s El Nuevo Mexicano. Mary Austin co-authored the book Taos Pueblo with Ansel Adams. Oliver La Farge and Willa Cather both won Pulitzer Prizes for their writings on Santa Fe during their time here. The book, Origins of New Mexico, by Fray Angelico Chavez, to this day, remains the “bible” for genealogists.

Contemporary Authors

For decades Marc Simmons provided generations of readers with the history of New Mexico through his historical column Trail Dust. Alice Khan Laddas, the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The G Spot and Other Discoveries about Human Sexuality, lives in Santa Fe. As does Jacqueline Dunnington, the Marion scholar, who received two Apostolic Blessings from the Vatican for her books on Our Lady of Guadalupe. Joe S. Sando was the first Native American to document pueblo life in New Mexico. Evan s. Connell, who died in Santa Fe in 2013, wrote the stories Mr. and Mrs. Bridge that were stories were made into a movie of the same name starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

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