An iconic cowboy poet, a pair of Spanish literary translators and the original host of “Blue’s Clues” will headline Distinguished Lecture Series Week for West Texas A&M University.

The series was created to enhance classroom education by inviting national personalities to speak to WT students and the community about important issues.

As previously announced, Steve Burns will speak at 7 p.m. on April 5 at Legacy Hall at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center. “What happened to Steve?” by Burns. the discussion will also be available to watch via Zoom at

Burns’ speech is free to the public. Seating will be open to WT students at 6:00 p.m. and to the general public at 6:30 p.m. Additional seating will be available in the meeting rooms in the basement of the JBK Student Center.

“I love talking to people who grew up watching ‘Blue’s Clues,'” Burns said. “I really feel like we’re just carrying on a conversation, you know?” And it’s really, really wonderful and humbling.

Participants are encouraged to bring a new children’s book to give away to children in the Texas Panhandle. The network of reader leaders will have a collection box near the entrance to Legacy Hall.

Up next: Beloved poet and former WT Red Steagall will present “Cow Country Values ​​Told in Story, Verse and Song” at 7 p.m. on April 7, also at Legacy Hall. A Zoom option is available on

Steagall’s appearance is a joint presentation of the Center for the Study of the American West‘s Garry L. Nall Lecture Series in Western Studies and WT Distinguished Lecture Series.

The event will also be free to the public.

Named for a retired WT history professor and former editor of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, the Nall Lecture Series supports CSAW’s mission to promote the study of the American West. Each semester, CSAW invites a renowned scholar to participate in a community conference, classroom lectures, question and answer session, and small group outings with students.

Steagall’s presentation will engage students in Western American history with a particular focus on legend, myth and fact, said Dr. Alex Hunt, Regents Professor of English and director of CSAW.

“Red will tell stories and share songs and poems about Western American culture and heritage, with a particular focus on the Texas Panhandle region,” Hunt said. “He’s a great guy, and he’s excited to be returning to WT to visit old haunts and see many of the friends he still has in the area.”

Steagall, a renowned singer-songwriter, western musician and cowboy poet, holds a degree in agriculture from WT and has recorded over 20 albums. He is the 2006 Texas Poet Laureate, has published five books, and is currently the Texas Cowboys Poet Laureate.

CSAW will host additional events for students to meet and discuss scholarly and professional issues with Steagall.

Steagall’s appearance was made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Other sponsors of Steagall’s presentation include the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages; the WT Department of Agricultural Sciences; and the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

Additionally, scholars Lisa Dillman and Gregary J. Racz will be featured in a two-part presentation, “Spanish Literacy Translation in Motion,” on April 4.

The first event will offer students and guests the opportunity to participate in prose and poetry translation activities. The workshop will begin at 12:30 p.m. on April 4 in room 316 of the classroom center.

The second event is an evening discussion on literary translation and will begin at 6:30 p.m. on April 4 in the Recital Hall of the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. Dillman and Racz will share their interest in English and Spanish translation.

“Translation is a complex cultural practice that is much more than just exchanging words in another language,” said Dr. Andrew Reynolds, WT’s Spanish Program Director.

Dillman currently teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University in Atlanta. Other career highlights include her translation of the novel “The Mule” by Juan Eslava Galán, which was made into a film starring Clint Eastwood.

Racz is professor of English, philosophy, and languages ​​at Long Island University in Brooklyn, reviewer for Translation Review, and past president of the American Literary Translations Association. His latest work includes translations of Latin American poetry that appeared in the bilingual volumes of “The Reincarnation of the Butchers” by Chilean Oscar Han.

“Because we are one Hispanic Service Institution, it’s something that can be really beneficial for our Hispanic students as well as any student interested in language, the arts, and literature,” said Reynolds. “In the 13 years I’ve been here, we’ve never had an event like this at WT. I’m so excited to have these translators here on campus.

Other event sponsors include the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, the Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, and the WT Spanish Program. Both events are free to the public.

The final DLS event of the spring, “Anti-Union Workers and Conservative Backlash Politics During the 1937 Siege Strikes” with Dr. Gregory J. Wood, will take place at 6 p.m. on April 14 in the Blackburn Room of the Cornette Library. . A Zoom option will also be available.

Responding to the diverse needs of the region is a key mission of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From begging to the world.

This plan is fueled by the historic amount of $125 million one west huge fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which launched publicly on September 23 — has raised nearly $108 million.

-West Texas A&M University