The University of Nevada, Reno Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism in partnership with Nevada Humanities presents the 2022 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Beth Piatote. Piatote, a creative writer, playwright and scholar, will speak during the free, public event titled “The Mountain as Genre: Form and Writing from the West” on November 17 at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium. Interested individuals can register to attend on the event page.
A former journalist, Piatote completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University and is currently an associate professor of Comparative Literature and English and the director of the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley. She is also one of the co-creators and a current chair of the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization at UC Berkeley.
She is an Indigenous language activist and a founding member of luk’upsíimey/North Star Collective, a group dedicated to using creative expression for Nez Perce language revitalization.
Piatote is the author of two books, including the mixed-genre collection “The Beadworkers: Stories,” which was long-listed for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the PEN/Bingham Prize and short-listed for the California Independent Booksellers Association “Golden Poppy” Prize for Fiction. NPR recognized “The Breadworkers” for illustrating the Native experience in Idaho, and recommended the collection of short stories as a quintessential book with a sense of place in an American state. Her play “Antikoni” was selected for the 2020 Festival of New Plays by Native Voices at the Autry and has been supported by readings with New York Classical Theatre and the Indigenous Writers Collaborative at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Epiphany and numerous other journals and anthologies.
Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program events are sponsored by the Reynolds School of Journalism and Nevada Humanities with generous support from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, Sundance Books and Music and community contributors.
The Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program was established posthumously in 2001 to inspire new generations of writers in honor of Laxalt, who developed from news reporter to fiction and nonfiction author during his prolific career. Considered by many to be Nevada’s finest writer, Laxalt founded the University of Nevada Press and wrote 17 books, four of which were entered for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote for National Geographic and served as a professor in the Reynolds School for 18 years, teaching magazine writing and literary journalism.