American Conversations: Celebrating Poems in Rural Communities
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Partnering Organizations

U.S. Senator Tom Udall is the senior United States senator from New Mexico, a seat he was first elected to in 2008. Many thanks to the senator and his staff for coordinating the New Mexico “American Conversations” visits.


Cannon Air Force Base, home of the 27th Special Operations Wing, lies in the high plains of eastern New Mexico, near the Texas Panhandle. The base is eight miles west of Clovis, New Mexico, and is 4,295 feet above sea level. The base itself sits on 3,789 acres of land. Currently, approximately 5,800 military and civilian personnel make up the work force at Cannon.

Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) was established in 1890 to educate the Native American children from the tribes throughout the southwest. The history of Santa Fe Indian School uniquely reflects federal and state policies and politics. In 2000, with the signing of the Santa Fe Indian School Act, this land was turned over to be held in trust for the 19 Pueblo Governors of New Mexico. This has allowed SFIS to build a program based on educational sovereignty—the right and responsibility to educate New Mexico Indian children in a manner that supports their cultural and traditional belief systems.

Santa Clara Pueblo is a Tewa-speaking Pueblo located along the Rio Grande north of Santa Fe, near Española, a site occupied since the late 14th or early 15th centuries. Santa Clara is known for the majesty and beauty of its landscape as well as its ancestral home, the Puye Cliff dwellings, a famed historical and archeological landmark located near the modern Pueblo. The Santa Clara people have preserved many of their ancient traditions, with a strong tribal government, a strong commitment to education and a prosperous economy.