Angelo State University’s 17th annual Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton will feature award-winning Cuban-American author Cristina Garcia this Friday, Feb. 22, in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.

The annual conference, which focuses on fiction, poetry, nonfiction and drama, is open free to the public and will be held in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center.  This year’s conference will include discussions on how different cultures and gender give voices to underrepresented groups, including Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans and women.

Garcia will conduct a public reading at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 followed by a book signing.  She will also participate in a public interview at 10 a.m.  A National Book Award finalist, she is the author of six novels, including “Dreaming in Cuba,” “A Handbook to Luck” and “The Lady Matador’s Hotel.”  She has also published several young adult novels and a collection of poetry.

Joining Garcia on the program will be Carmen Tafolla, a fiction writer specializing in the Mexican-American experience.  She will follow Garcia’s Feb. 22 evening presentation with a public poetry reading.  Her best-known work is “The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans,” which focuses on how cultures and languages intersect along the Texas-Mexico border.  She was named the first Poet Laureate for San Antonio by Mayor Julian Castro.

The Writers Conference is named for author Elmer Kelton, who died in 2009.  He is the author of more than 40 books, including “The Time it Never Rained,” “The Man Who Rode Midnight” and “The Good Old Boys.”  He was a seven-time winner of the Western Writers of America’s (WWA) Spur Award, and he was named the WWA “all-time best western author.”  Kelton also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association and the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.  He was the first Distinguished Visiting Professor at ASU.

For more information about the Writers Conference, contact Dr. Linda Kornasky at 325-486-6149 or Dr. Gabriela Serrano at 325-486-6155.  Additional information is also available on the conference website at