Q&A with Dr. Duane Vandenbusche

Duane Vandenbusche is a Professor of History at Western Colorado University in Gunnison since 1962 and has just been named Colorado’s State Historian, the first to be based outside of the Front Range in its 96-year history. He is the author of 11 books including: “The Gunnison Country,” “Around Monarch Pass,” “Lake City” (with Grant …

Read more

Aaron Abeyta – Poet, Author, Teacher, Coach, Mayor and San Luis Valley Native

Where were you born?

I was born in La Jara, Colorado (at the hospital there). Put another way, I am a San Luis Valley native from the jump.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue poetry and writing?

Consciously, I made the call during my junior year of college. I was at Colorado State University to become an English teacher, and for whatever reason I just decided one day that I was going to drop the Education degree and pursue creative writing. It tacked on another year to the whole college experience as I made up a few classes, but it all worked out in the end; I ended up teaching and writing, best of both worlds.

Did you come from a creative family?

Depends on what you call creative. I am the only one that pursued “artistic” things, but if you count the creativity of living on a ranch, making things work as if by magic (i.e. duct tape, baling wire and twine), finding ways to make money stretch beyond its supposed limits, and the day to day life of living in a vibrant oral tradition, then by those standards we were all pretty creative. I really credit my grandpa for being one of my early influences; he told wonderful stories, and I strive, to this day, to create some of his storytelling “form” in all my work, whether it be poetry, letters or fiction.

Read more