Speaker to discuss her work at library

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By Kirsten Laskey

Marta Weigle’s resume is a thick one. She is an anthropology professor and chairwoman of the Department of American Studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She is also the former owner of Ancient City Press in Santa Fe and worked as an editor from 1981-2005.

Weigle has shared her knowledge as a consultant for projects provided through National Endowment for the Humanities Youth Planning grants. These projects include  the “Oral History of Huerfano Valley” project the Walsenburg School System did in Colorado.

She served as a consultant for several books including “The Great Southwest” and “Sounds of Our Heritage from the Southwest.”   

She was written or edited about 25 books, which mainly focus on New Mexico folklore and cultural history. The newest book she edited, “Telling New Mexico: A New History,” will be released soon.

The book presents New Mexico history from prehistoric to the present through essays and articles by 50 historians and scholars.

Her book, “Santa Fe and Taos – the Writer’s Era,” was re-printed in 2008 by Sunstone Press’ Southwest Heritage series.

Additionally, she served as a member of the board of trustees at the American Folklore Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The list goes on and on. The point is Weigle has done a lot.

Next up, Weigle will speak in the Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak series, which will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday.

During the talk, Weigle plans to select books from different stages of her writing and talk about them.

Weigle said she became interested in folklore while attending boarding school.

“I was in boarding school and I wrote short stories and people liked what I did … so I just kept doing that.”

Additionally, her grandfather, Luther A. Weigle also inspired her literary leanings. She explained her grandfather was a biblical scholar, a storyteller and a writer.

She became introduced to folklore through her grandfather who would read fairy tales to her.

Her writing took a small diversion when she wanted to pursue becoming a shrink, but after working in a psychologist’s office, Weigle said it wasn’t for her.

While living in a writers’ commune in Cambridge, Mass., her interest in folklore became rejuvenated.

“For me, (folklore) means folk tales, mythology (and) an oral narrative tradition,” she said.

Additionally, Weigle said she became interested in writing about New Mexico when her family relocated to the state when her father was president of St. John’s College.

The  people  who they lived with took her and her family everywhere in New Mexico, she said.

“I thought it was just magical,” Weigle said. “I never wanted to be any where else.”

She said she is looking forward to sharing her work through the Authors Speak.

“It’s an opportunity to open up a little bit about my most recent work,” Weigle said.