Tony Hillerman’s gift to the nation was to write with sensitivity and appreciation of Indian cultures who have too often been stereotyped. His evocation of life among the Navajo, Hopi, and pueblo tribes of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah will live in our memory
Tony was a friend and a colleague, who taught fiction and journalism at the University of New Mexico for decades. He earned his Masters degree there and inspired many young journalists who today occupy prominent positions around our state and region.
Hillerman, more than perhaps any other writer, taught us how to appreciate the relationship between Indians, landscape and culture for our region.
He was the kind of guy who could always be counted on to give a quick read or quick edit to shape up prose that was flat or even boring.
“I always feel my reader is a very busy person," Tony once said, "and I’m like their driver where they’re sitting in the back of the car. If my story starts to slow down, they stare out the window. I want to keep them along for the ride.”
For the last thirty years, I've documented the work of Pete Seeger, resulting in How Can I Keep From Singing? The Ballad of Pete Seeger, published by McGraw Hill in 1981 and revised, updated, and republished by Villard/Random House, 2008.
Having written half a dozen volumes of history and biography, my specialty is the presentation of folklore, literature, and history via broadcasting. I've been active in radio since 1972, but over the last dozen years I've been Executive Producer of award-winning national radio series for Public Radio International, including “Writing the Southwest” (1995); “Aldous Huxley's Brave New Worlds” (1998); “Across the Tracks: A Route 66 Story” (2001); and Pete Seeger: How Can I Keep From Singing? (2008). I'm currently a DJ for KUNM-FM and a professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.