Lesley Poling-Kempes

Selected Works

The true story of remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed into the rugged outback of the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world.
“In the exquisite novel BONE HORSES Lesley Poling-Kempes grandly creates the landscape of New Mexico as a living character – vital, enduring and full of magic. As the geography of the American Southwest comes alive on the pages, the geography of the heart is revealed to be far more than muscle and bone. This is a story of what truly knits us together – family, history, enduring friendships - served up in luminous language and unforgettable story-telling.” Mary E. Mitchell PEN Award-winning author
"Canyon of Remembering is a memorable and exceptionally well crafted novel." -- The Midwest Book Review
“A writer’s acute, compelling history of one of America’s more endangered landscapes. Digging deeply into the history of a place, Poling-Kempes mines a rich vein of lore and myth.” Kirkus Reviews
The definitive work about the Harvey Girls, Harvey Houses, and the Santa Fe Railway. Recently optioned by Atalaya Productions for a television series.
“Poling-Kempes is a skillful writer, smoothly dovetailing the human stories that make up the narrative of this pristine, peaceful, and appealing place. The author flat out knows how to tell a good story.” Richard Etulain
"In her meticulous account, Lesley Poling-Kempes discusses the geophysical origins of this land of 'extremes and contrast,' analyzing the layered stone formations and matching them up with O'Keeffe's keen observations of red shales, sandshales and silt stones created 200 million years ago. . ." – Dore Ashton, Times Literary Supplement

Quick Links


Authors Anne Hillerman, Jann Arrington-Wolcott, Dawn Wink, Lesley, and Lucy Moore, Rising Moon, Abiquiu.

Lesley is a speaker with the New Mexico Humanities Council. To schedule a book talk about Ladies of the Canyons or The Harvey Girls visit the NMHC website.


January 30 - St. Francis Auditorium, Museum of Art, Santa Fe , 6 pm; Slideshow/​lecture - Ladies of the Canyons

April 10 - Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos, 7 pm -- Slideshow/​lecture - Ladies of the Canyons


January 18 - Ghost Ranch Museum, noon

March 4 - Placitas Public Library, 1 pm

April 21 - San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, 10 am

May 11 - Book Club of Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library at The Bourbon Grill,
Old Las Vegas Hwy, Santa Fe, 5-7 pm

June 7 - Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, 9 am

June 17 - Juan Tabo Public Library, Albuquerque, 1 pm

July 29 - Petroglyph National Monument, The Harvey Girls and the SFRR, 1 pm

August 5 - NMHU, Las Vegas, NM, 4:30 pm

August 12 - Cherry Hills Public Library, Albuquerque, 1 pm

October 12 - Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe, 3 pm