News Release

Alvarado to speak at 42nd annual Stegner Lecture

LEWISTON, Idaho – Beth Alvarado will be the speaker at Lewis-Clark State College’s 42nd annual Stegner Lecture on April 5 at 7 p.m. at the Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston.

The event is free and open to the public.

Alvarado, whose talk will be on “A Landscape, a Narrator, and a Journey,” is a short story writer, essayist, teacher, and desert-dweller. She lived in Tucson, Arizona, where she taught at the University of Arizona for many years before migrating to the high desert of Central Oregon where she teaches for the Low Residency MFA Program at Oregon State University-Cascades.

Alvarado is the author of four books. She has written extensively about marrying, as a white woman, into her late husband's Mexican American family when she was 19 years old. Her essay collection “Anxious Attachments” won the 2020 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and was long listed for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. In 2020, she was awarded an Oregon Literary Career Fellowship.

Much of Alvarado's work addresses life in the US/Mexico borderlands and the environmental precarity of living in a desert. Her recent story collection, “Jillian in the Borderlands,” speaks to the humanitarian toll of immigration policies. “Anthropologies: A Family Memoir” layers scenes, oral histories, and dreams from both Fernando's family and her own. Her first story collection, “Not a Matter of Love,” won the Many Voices Prize from New Rivers Press.

Alvarado's essays, stories, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of magazines, including The Sun, High Country News, Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Review, Fourth Genre, and River Teeth. Three essays have been chosen as "Notable" by Best American Essays. She is an Editorial Advisor for JackLeg Press and was on the Editorial Board of Puro Chicanx Writing of the 21st Century, sponsored by Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts and the Black Earth Institute.

Alvarado earned her bachelor's degree in English and creative writing from the University of Arizona, a master's in literature from Stanford University, and her master's in creative writing from the University of Arizona.

The Stegner Lecture is named after Wallace Stegner and has been an area literary-cultural highlight since Stegner gave the first lecture in 1982. Stegner has often been called “The Dean of Western Writers” and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972. The annual lecture at LC State features discussions about the writer’s relationship with the physical and psychological territories in which the writer resides.