Nationally acclaimed writer and scholar Beth Piatote will be joined by award-winning MFA faculty author Raquel Gutiérrez.

May 17, 2022

Beth Piatote, a writer and scholar of Native American and Indigenous literature and law, will read and discuss her recent work on June 6 at the High Desert Museum.

The program, titled “Writing West: A Conversation with Two Award-Winning Authors,” will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. A reception will follow.

Piatote, who is the OSU-Cascades Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program’s 2022 Distinguished Visiting Writer, will be joined by MFA faculty author Raquel Gutiérrez. Gutiérrez’s latest book, “Brown Neon” has been lauded in national media since its release earlier this year. Following their readings, Piatote and Gutiérrez will discuss opportunities and challenges faced by writers of color whose storytelling is shaped by landscapes in the American West. 

Piatote, who is Nez Perce and an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, is a professor of Native American Studies at University of California, Berkeley. Her research spans Indigenous studies, American studies, literary studies, legal studies, and women’s and gender studies.

Piatote is recognized for her focus on revitalizing Indigenous languages, including Nez Perce. She writes fiction, poetry, plays and essays, and is the author of “Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature,” and “The Beadworkers: Stories,” which was longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, both in 2020.

Gutiérrez, uses poetry, non-fiction and critical writing to explore their perspective as a queer and brown writer. Their work encompasses migration from Mexico and Central America, desire and colonization, and the U.S. Southwest. They are a 2021 recipient of the Rabkin Prize in Arts Journalism. Their writing has appeared in Art in America, The Georgia Review and on NPR Music. They teach poetry in the MFA program.

“Writing West” celebrates the growing literary connections between the High Desert Museum and OSU-Cascades’ MFA program.  One example, the Waterston Desert Prize Writing Prize, a museum program, was founded by MFA faculty author Ellen Waterston.

The event is $5 and members of the High Desert Museum receive a 20% discount. Registration is free to OSU-Cascades students. To register, visit

About OSU-Cascades:  Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by 2.5 million acres of mountains and high desert, OSU-Cascades offers small classes that accelerate faculty-student mentoring and engages in top tier research as part of Oregon State University. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.

About the High Desert Museum: The High Desert Museum opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.