Texas literary all-stars gather to celebrate “Viva Texas Rivers” at The Wittliff.

An all-star collection of 23 Texas writers along with an acclaimed artist gathered at the Wittliff Collections on Mother’s Day to celebrate a sparkling new literary anthology devoted to Texas Rivers.

Viva Texas Rivers! Adventures, Misadventures & Glimpses of Nirvana Along Our Storied Waterways is collection of the best writing on the Lone Star State’s beloved, iconic rivers. This is the newest book in the Wittliff’s literary series, published in partnership with the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University.

The long-awaited Viva Texas Rivers! book launch drew an enthusiastic crowd of over 200 people to The Wittliff.

Texas State University President Denise Trauth provided the opening remarks. Other speakers included Wittliff curator Steve Davis, who co-edited the anthology. Author Carmen Tafolla read her rousing poem, “This River Here.” The program also featured a video tribute to Texas writers and their rivers, and a conversation between river experts Andrew Sansom and Joe Nick Patoski.

“The book is truly groundbreaking – as it’s the first time the state’s most prominent literary voices have come together to share a unified voice on an environmental topic.”

Dr. Denise Trauth

Following the program, all 23 writers participated in a mass book signing, one of the largest group autograph parties ever staged for a single book. They were joined by artist Clemente Guzman, whose cover painting “Viva Texas Rivers!” was selected as the poster art for the 2021 Texas Book Festival.

Co-editors Steve Davis and Sam Pfiester joined participating writers Andrew Sansom (Pecos River, Afterword), Carmen Tafolla (San Antonio River) Joe Nick Patoski (Guadalupe and Devils Rivers), Stephen Harrigan (San Marcos River, Barton Springs) Bill Minutaglio (Llano River), William Jack Sibley (Nueces River), Joe Holley (Canadian River), Norma Elia Cantú (Río Grande), S.C. Gwynne (Lower Pecos), Carol Flake Chapman(Colorado River), Andrew Geyer (Frio River), Wes Ferguson (Sabine and Blanco Rivers), Clayton Maxwell (Lower Guadalupe), Mark Busby (Trinity River), Michael Berryhill (Buffalo Bayou and San Antonio Bay), Margie Crisp (Colorado River), Chip Dameron (Brazos River), Robert Reitz (Brazos and Sabinal Rivers), Jeff Davis (Comal River), Daniel Oppenheimer (South Grape Creek/Pedernales River), and Robert Flynn (Red River)

After signing books for more than an hour, the contributors posed for a group photo. In typically irreverent writer/artist fashion, many of them exchanged name plates, causing mass confusion.

Left to right are: Mark Busby, Andrew Sansom, Steve Davis, Robert Flynn, Sam Pfiester, Norma Elia Cantú, Clemente Guzman, Carol Flake Chapman, Jeff Davis, Stephen Harrigan, Carmen Tafolla, Michael Berryhill, Clayton Maxwell, Wes

Ferguson, Joe Holley, Joe Nick Patsoki, Bill Sibley, Margie Crisp, Daniel Oppenheimer, Margie Crisp, Robert Reitz, Bill Minutaglio, Chip Dameron, Andrew Geyer.

  • Photo of authours
  • Photo of audience
  • Photo of guests in gallery
  • Photo of Denise Trauth, Andrew Sansom and Sally Wittliff
  • Photo of President Trauth recieving gift.
  • Photo of Denise Trauth