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Literary Enthusiasts To Gather for 67th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference

MAUREEN CORRIGAN, Book Critic for NPR's Fresh Air

DR. JAMES ENGLISH, John Welsch Centennial Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

RED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, UNITED STATES, May 16, 2022 / -- The 67th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference, held on-site in Red Cloud this year June 2-4, provides scholarship, special programs, and more for Cather enthusiasts and scholars alike. Literary Prizes: Acclaim and Controversy will explore the landscape of literary prizes as we mark the publication centenary of Willa Cather’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, One of Ours.

Dr. James F. English, author of The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value, examines the impacts of the literary award industry on authors' lives and legacies, their books, and their readers in his talk, “The Literary Award as Judgment Device.”

Maureen Corrigan, book critic on NPR’s Fresh Air, will present “All the Glittering Prizes.” Her talk will consider the backstage deliberations and decisions behind literary awards, informed by her time as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. She will also highlight her career as a book critic and what informs her selections from the hundreds of advance reader copies she receives each year. There will be a book signing after her talk of two of her recent books.

On Saturday, June 4 the public is invited to select on-site events at the Red Cloud Opera House, and a guided prairie tour, with readings, at the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie (also National Prairie Day). A complete roster of activities can be found here on our website. Note that several offerings are free events made possible thanks to Humanities Nebraska.

Other highlights include:

1) June 3 — Artist Talk and Performance with Cassia Kite, artist, and musician Dr. Stacey Barelos, on Soundstitching: Sites and Sounds of Willa Cather’s World [on exhibit at the Red Cloud Opera House Gallery through June 11]

2) June 4, at 7:30 p.m. the Nebraska Chamber Players will present composer Chris Ellenwood’s new composition, Children of the Moon. Based on Cather’s One of Ours, the performance features Nebraska’s own Brian Leeper. Tickets can be purchased separately from conference registration.

The three-day event will also feature panel discussions, annual scholarship awards to high school students and educators, specialty tours, and scholarly papers. Select events will be offered virtually for our remote registrants. Register through Whova, our conference platform, when you visit our website. First-time attendees can save 15% with the code “15catherconf” [reduced student registrations are available]. For more information and registration, visit for the full agenda and registration information.

In addition, Nebraska Public Media’s Friday LIVE arts and entertainment radio show is going on the road for a special live radio program taping featuring piano professor Jonathan Sokasitas of Hastings College, a music performance inspired by the words of Willa Cather with Nebraska Chamber Players’ composer and pianist Chris Ellenwood and vocalist Brian Leeper, and more on Thursday, June 2 in Red Cloud. As an extra treat during Spring Conference, the public is invited to be a part of this free event starting at 10 a.m. CT at the National Willa Cather Center’s Red Cloud Opera House.

Friday LIVE host Genevieve Randall will also give audience members the latest news about music, arts, literature and events happening around the state, including an interview with Ashley Olson, executive director of the National Willa Cather Center about current and future happenings, and more about the 67th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference, June 2-4 in Red Cloud.

Genevieve Randall will also interview artist Cassia Kite and musician Dr. Stacey Barelos about the exhibit Soundstitching: Sites and Sounds of Willa Cather’s World on the Nebraska Public Media Friday LIVE Extra podcast. This unique collaboration between art and music is currently at the Red Cloud Opera House through June 11. The podcast will go live on Thursday afternoon, June 2 and will be available wherever you get your podcasts or online.

The 67th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference is funded in part with the generous support of our lead sponsor, Humanities Nebraska. Maureen Corrigan’s appearance is made possible by the Nebraska Cather Collaborative and the Philip and Helen Cather Southwick Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation. The Nebraska Cather Collaborative is a joint effort of the National Willa Cather Center and the University of Nebraska’s Cather Project, the Willa Cather Archive, and the University of Nebraska Foundation to promote Willa Cather’s life and work and to establish Nebraska as an essential destination for Cather enthusiasts and scholars.


Promoting Willa Cather's legacy through education, preservation, and the arts.
Celebrating 100 years of Willa Cather’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, One of Ours (1922)

The National Willa Cather Center is an archive, museum, and study center owned and operated by the Willa Cather Foundation. Established in 1955, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that promotes Willa Cather’s legacy through education, preservation, and the arts. Programs and services include regular guided historic site tours, conservation of the 612-acre Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, and organization of year-round cultural programs and exhibits at the restored Red Cloud Opera House. The Foundation houses growing archival and museum collections and preserves ten properties that make up the largest collection of nationally-designated historic sites related to an American author. Additional programs include the annual Willa Cather Spring Conferences and biennial International Cather Seminars, which aim to foster appreciation and scholarship of Cather's life, time, and work. The Foundation also publishes the Willa Cather Review, a leading source for Cather-related news, features, and scholarship. For more information, visit, follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter [@WillaCatherFdn] and the Red Cloud Opera House on Facebook [@RedCloudOperaHouse]. We are also on Youtube at National Willa Cather Center.

Catherine Pond
The National Willa Cather Center
+1 606-875-9378
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