Don D. Walker Prize

The Don D. Walker Prize is given annually to the best journal essay or book chapter from an edited collection in Western North American literary and cultural studies, published during the previous calendar year (for example, the 2023 winner’s essay will have a publication date of 2022). “Western” in this context is defined broadly and refers to all of North America that historically or critically has been considered “West” as well as to comparative studies of the American West that cross regional or national boundaries.

Nominations are solicited from presses and journals, as well as from individuals. Self-nominations are accepted. The prize selection committee is made up of Western Literature Association members.

The award will be given at the annual Western Literature Association conference. 

It is not necessary to be a member of the association to win the award.

Please submit the essay or article you wish to nominate (preferably by electronic attachment) to the committee chair, Emily Lutenski.

In the event of print submission, please send 5 copies to

Emily Lutenski
Walker Prize Chair
Saint Louis University
Adorjan Hall
3800 Lindell Blvd 131
St Louis MO 63108

Deadline for nominations: June 1, 2023.

If you have any questions, please email Dr. Emily Lutenski directly.

Don D. Walker Prize Recipients

  • 2023 Timothy Foster and John Beusterien, “The Thirsty Llano Estacado: The Manuel Maés Ballad Corpus,” Great Plains Quarterly 42.1/2
  • 2022 Krista Comer for “Staying with the White Trouble of Recent Feminist Westerns,” Western American Literature 56.2
  • 2021 Joshua Smith for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin Showdown: Stowe, Tarantino, and the Minstrelsy of the Weird West,” in Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre , ed. by Kerry Fine, Michael Johnson, Rebecca Lush and Sara Spurgeon
  • 2020 Emily Lutenski for “Dickens Disappeared: Black Los Angeles and the Borderlands of Racial Memory,” American Studies
  • 2019 Marcel Brousseau for “Allotment Knowledges: Grid Spaces, Home Places, and Storyscapes on the Way to Rainy Mountain, ” Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • 2018 Jessica Hurley for “Impossible Futures: Fictions of Risk in the Longue Durée,” American Literature
  • 2017 Christopher Pexa
  • 2016 Lori Harrison-Kahan and Karen E. H. Skinazi
  • 2015 Joanna Hearne
  • 2014 Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue
  • 2013 Kay Yandell
  • 2012 Kirby Brown
  • 2011 Chadwick Allen
  • 2010 Hsuan L. Hsu
  • 2009 Mark Rifkin
  • 2008 Chadwick Allen
  • 2007 Stephen Tatum
  • 2006 Janet Dean
  • 2005 Susan Bernardin
  • 2004 Stephanie LeMenager
  • 2003 Susan Scheckel
  • 2002 Victoria Lamont
  • 2001 Susan Kollin
  • 2000 Chadwick Allen
  • 1999 Krista Comer
  • 1998 Forrest Robinson
  • 1997 Gary Scharnhorst
  • 1996 Susan K. Bernardin
  • 1995 Stephen Tatum
  • 1994 Susan Lee Johnson
  • 1993 Annette Kolodny
  • 1992 Roxanne Rimstead
  • 1991 Glen A. Love
  • 1990 Lee Clark Mitchell
  • 1987 Roger Stein
  • 1986 Margery Fee
  • 1985 William Lemon
  • 1984 Melody Graulich
  • 1983 Robert Roripaugh
  • 1982 Richard Slotkin
  • 1981 Anthony Hunt
  • 1980 Forrest G. Robinson
  • 1979 Jarold Ramsey