Grayscale pencil drawing portrait of Rudolfo Anaya


Presented by Chris Chaves
June 8, 10:30am-12:00pm
Registration required.

“A million books to read, to look at, to hold in one’s hand, to learn, to dream…” writes Anaya. The public is invited to attend this free mini-lecture and discussion forum that reintroduces us to Rudolfo Anaya’s commemorative essay titled “The Magic of Words”; this essay was originally delivered at the University of New Mexico’s Zimmermann Library shortly after its acquisition of its one-millionth book. In “The Magic of Words”, Anaya, the first New Mexico Hispano who achieved national literary recognition, conveys bi-lingual descriptions on a word’s power to inform the creation of beautiful and powerful literature. It begins in Santa Rosa, New Mexico listening to his abuelos’ stories, the local librarian’s commitment to put books in the hands of a country boy, and his culminating educational experiences in the University of New Mexico’s Zimmerman Library stacks. In “The Magic of Words”, Anaya seems to describe his own Allegory of the Cave experience originally expressed by Plato a couple of millennia ago. Expect to listen to others, interact, and share your own experiences with the magic of words in your own literary world.

Chris Chaves works for the University of New Mexico, College of Arts & Sciences; he has years of experience creating and facilitating public humanities seminars involving the intersection of literature, ethics, and social justice. He completed a doctoral degree at the University of Southern California where he investigated the links between English and math courses, student involvement, and academic retention in community colleges. Aside from his administrative experiences, he has taught for the University of New Mexico, the College of William & Mary, Southern Illinois University, and lectured at Santa Fe Institute. He is a member of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society.




Seeking to understand who we are, who we were and who we aspire to be.