NEWS RELEASE                     

For Immediate Release 

 

Contact:  

  Jon Davis, Director, Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program 

505.424.2365, or jdavis@iaia.edu 

  Eric Davis, Marketing & Communications Director

                505.424.2351, or eric.davis@iaia.edu 

 


Visiting Writers
M.L. Smoker, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain,
Brooke Pepion Swaney, Cherie Dimaline, and Justin Torres
Join The IAIA Winter Readers Gathering:  
January 6-13, 2018

Public Invited to Free Nightly Readings by
Visiting Writers and MFA Faculty
on the IAIA campus
 
 
SANTA FE, NM - December 13, 2017 - The Institute of American Indian Arts' (IAIA) Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing program presents The 2018 Winter Readers Gathering -- January 6-13, 2018. Readings will take place each night beginning at 6:00 pm in the Auditorium in the Library and Technology Center (LTC) on the IAIA campus -- located at 83 Avan Nu Po Road, minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue, on the south side of Santa Fe.  For directions and a map of the campus, please visit iaia.edu/about/visit. 

Participating in the gathering this year are noted authors Cherie Demaline (Métis),  M.L. Smoker (Sioux/Assiniboine), Sterling HolyWhiteMountain (Blackfeet), Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish), and Justin Torres -- as well as IAIA MFA faculty members Ramona Ausubel, Marie-Helene BertinoSherwin Bitsui (Diné) , Kimberly Blaeser (Anishinaabe), Jennifer Elise Foerster (Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma) , Santee Frazier (Cherokee), Sydney Freeland (Diné), Pam Houston, Toni Jensen (Métis), Joan Naviyuk Kane (Iñupiaq), Chip Livingston (Creek),  Terese Mailhot (Seabird Island Band) , Tommy Orange (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Derek Palacio, Migizi Pensoneau (Ponca), Ismet Prcic, James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk) , and Ken White .

Each day of the gathering (except Wednesday) at 1:00 pm in the IAIA Library, the Second Year MFA students will be doing readings which will be open to the public.

MFA Director Jon Davis says of this year's Winter Readers Gathering: ""Our amazing faculty readers will be joined by Justin Torres, whose debut collection appeared on nearly all the "best of" lists when it came out in 2011, and four emerging indigenous writers from Montana and farther north. Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves just won both the Governor General's Award and the Kirkus Prize for Young Adult Literature. On Wednesday night, we'll be celebrating the imminent release of lAIA alumna and faculty mentor Terese Mailhot's book Heart Berries."



Readers Gathering Schedule
 
Sat., January 6:    
Jon Davis
Cherie Dimaline
Pam Houston

Sun., January 7:   
Chip Livingston
Marie-Helene Bertino
Jennifer Elise Foerster

Mon. January 8:    
Ken White
Toni Jensen
Sherwin Bitsui

Tue. January 9:   
Migizi Pensoneau
Brooke Pepion Swaney
Sydney Freeland

Wed January 10:   
Derek Palacio
Joan Naviyuk Kane
Terese Mailhot
            
Thu. January 11:   
James Thomas Stevens
Ismet Prcic
M.L Smoker

Fri January 12   
Santee Frazier
Ramona Ausubel
Sterling HolyWhiteMountain

Sat. January 13  
Kimberly Blaeser
Tommy Orange
Justin Torres
                       


VISITING WRITERS

Cherie Dimaline (Georgian Bay Métis) is most noted for her 2017 novel The Marrow Thieves, which won the Governor General's Award for English-language children's literature at the 2017 Governor General's Awards and the 2017 Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category. She won the award for Fiction Book of the Year at the Anskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival for her first novel, Red Rooms. She has since published the novel The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy and the short story collection A Gentle Habit. She was founding editor of Muskrat Magazine, was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier's Awards for Excellence in Arts in 2014, and became the first Aboriginal writer in residence for the Toronto Public Library.

A member of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes, poet M.L. Smoker earned a BA at Pepperdine University and an MFA at the University of Montana, where she received the Richard Hugo Memorial Scholarship. Smoker also studied at UCLA, where she received the Arianna and Hannah Yellow Thunder Scholarship, and the University of Colorado, where she was a Battrick Fellow. Influenced by John Steinbeck, James Welch, and Philip Levine, Smoker composes free verse poems that focus on personal struggle and identity and engage Native American history, language, and culture. As Smoker noted in a From the Fishouse audio recording, "[B]eing a poet allows me to interact and observe and be a witness to so many things that go on in the world around us, large things that go on in our community but also things that happen in our day-to-day lives, and I'm very honored to have the chance and the opportunity to slow down occasionally and pay attention to those things that can sometimes get lost in the greater scheme of things and in our lives." Smoker is the author of the poetry collection Another Attempt at Rescue (2005). With Melissa Kwasny, she co-edited I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights (2009). Smoker lives in Helena, Montana, where she works in the Indian Education Division of the Office of Public Instruction.

Sterling HolyWhiteMountain grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation, where he lived the first part of his life according to the laws of the local basketball religion. He holds a BA in English Creative Writing from the University of Montana, a Masters in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and was a James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. Currently he is working on a collection of novellas  and stories. His stories have appeared in Off the Path: An Anthology of 21st Century Montana American Indian Writers, Volumes 1 & 2.

Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet & Salish) is a film director and writer, who received her MFA in Film and Television from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.  She made several short films while at NYU, including Continental Divide (2008 ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and 2008 Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival). Prior to attending NYU, she worked at a non-profit, the Indian Law Resource Center, a legal organization dedicated to protecting the land and culture of Indigenous people throughout the Western Hemisphere. In 2003, she graduated with honors from Stanford in psychology, writing an honors thesis on the media's effect on American Indians. Her first film, The Indigenoid, showed a young Native man awakening to the Native stereotypes in everyday life. It was nominated for Best Live Short at the 2005 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.  Brooke was accepted to the Montana Artists Refuge during their 2009 American Indian Artists Residency and their October Writers Residency. In 2009, she was also a finalist in a time-sensitive short film competition for the Madrid tourism board.

Justin Torres' debut novel, We the Animals, was published in 2011 and quickly became a national hit, making it onto the bestseller lists of, among others, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. The novel garnered universal praise from critics, appeared on various best books of 2011 lists, and won prizes such as the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the Fred R. Brown Literary Award. It has been translated into fifteen languages and is currently also being adapted into a film. In addition to his first novel, Justin Torres has written a number of pieces of short fiction and essays, which appeared in venues like the New Yorker, Harper's, and the Guardian. He holds a BA in Latin American History and an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In the past, he has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a creative writing fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at universities around the country and is currently Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.


IAIA MFA PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Jon Davis is the author of four full-length poetry collections- Improbable Creatures, Preliminary Report, Scrimmage of Appetite, and Dangerous Amusements; five chapbooks; and Heteronymy: An Anthology, a limited-edition letterpress book in collaboration with the artist Jamison Chas Banks. Davis also co-translated Iraqi poet Naseer Hassan's Dayplaces. He has received a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, the Lavan Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Off the Grid Poetry Prize, and two NEA Fellowships. He directs the MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he has taught since 1990.


FACULTY


Ramona Ausubel is the author, most recently, of the novel Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty (Penguin 2016). Her first novel, No One is Here Except All of Us, won of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and was a Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Her collection of stories, A Guide to Being Born, was one the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of the year and a San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, One Story, Salon (online), The Best American Fantasy and was shortlisted in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading. A new collection of stories, Awayland, is forthcoming.

Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novel 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas and the story collection Safe as Houses. Her work has received The O. Henry Award, The Pushcart Prize, The Iowa Short Fiction Award, and fellowships from The Center for Fiction NYC, Sewanee, MacDowell and Hedgebrook Writers Colonies. She teaches at NYU and lives in Brooklyn, where she is an Editor-at-Large for Catapult Magazine. In Fall of 2017 she was The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellow in Cork, Ireland.

Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich'ii'nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl'izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is the author of Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003) and Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009). His recent honors include a 2011 Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a 2011 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of a 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award.

Kimberly Blaeser is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches Creative Writing and Native American Literatures. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You. Blaeser is Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, and grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. She is the editor of Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose and Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. Blaeser is currently at work on a collection of "Picto-Poems" combining her photographs and poetry. Her creative nonfiction, short stories, and scholarship have appeared widely in journals and anthologies.

Jennifer Elise Foerster, an alumna of the Institute of American Indian Arts, received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is completing a PhD at the University of Denver. She is the recipient of a 2017 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, her first book of poems, Leaving Tulsa, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2013. Her second book, Bright Raft in the Afterweather, is forthcoming in 2018. Her poems have recently appeared in Colorado Review, Eleven Eleven, The Brooklyn Rail, and Kenyon Review Online.

Santee Frazier is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Syracuse University. He is the recipient of various awards including: a Syracuse University Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, The School for Advanced Research Indigenous Writer in Residence, and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship. His poems have appeared in American Poet, Narrative Magazine, Ontario Review, Ploughshares, and other literary journals. His first collection of poetry, Dark Thirty, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2009.

Sydney Freeland (Diné) is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker. Her debut feature film, Drunktown's Finest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win a number of awards, including the Grand Jury Prize and HBO Outstanding First Feature awards at LA Outfest 2014, as well as a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Feature. In 2016, she directed the web series Her Story, which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Drama. Sydney is also a recipient of the 2015 Fox Global Director's Initiative, 2015 Sundance Women's Fellowship, 2015 Ford Fellowship, 2014 Time Warner Fellowship, and a 2004 Fulbright Scholarship. She was selected to participate in both the 2010 Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Labs and the 2009 Sundance Native Lab. Recent projects include directing the Netflix original film Deidra and Laney Rob a Train and directing an episode of the TV series, Heathers. Sydney currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Pam Houston's most recent book is Contents May Have Shifted, published by W.W. Norton in 2012. She is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The 2013 Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, The Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards. She is Professor of English at UC Davis, directs the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers and teaches in The Pacific University low residency MFA program. and at writer's conferences around the country and the world. She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Toni Jensen (Métis) is the author of From the Hilltop, a collection of linked stories published through the Native Storiers Series at the University of Nebraska Press. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2007; Best of the West: Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, 2011; and Denver Quarterly, among others. She holds a PhD from Texas Tech University and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arkansas.

Joan Naviyuk Kane (Iñupiaq) was born in Anchorage, Alaska, where she lives with her husband and sons. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University's School of the Arts.  She won a 2009 Whiting Writer's Award for her first book, The Cormorant Hunter's Wife (NorthShore Press / Alaska Literary Series), and the 2012 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and a 2014 American Book Award for her second book, Hyperboreal (Pittsburgh Press). She is also the author of The Straits (Voices from the American Land) and Milk Black Carbon (Pittsburgh Press). She has been the recipient of Individual Artist Awards and an Artist Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Literary Award, and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship, as well as residencies at the School for Advanced Research, Haverford College, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Her work has recently appeared in The Best American Poetry, Boston Review, and South.

Chip Livingston is the mixed-blood Creek author of four books: two collections of poetry, Crow-Blue, Crow-Black (2012) and Museum of False Starts (2010); a collection of short stories and creative nonfiction, Naming Ceremony (2014); and a novel, Owls Don't Have to Mean Death (2017). His writing has received awards from Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and the AABB Foundation. Chip's writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, Cincinnati Review, and on the Academy of American Poets' and Poetry Foundation's websites. He has taught at the University of Colorado, University of the Virgin Islands, Brooklyn College, and Regis University.

Terese Mailhot is from Seabird Island Band. Her book, Heart Berries: A Memoir, is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press and Doubleday Canada (2018). She is a Tecumseh Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University. Her work has been featured in The Rumpus, Carve Magazine, The Offing, The Feminist Wire, Burrow Press Review, Huffington Post Canada, Indian Country Today, Global Citizen, and elsewhere. Her essay, "I Know I'll Go," was listed as notable in Best American Essays 2016. She is a Native American Journalists Association award winner and also received fellowships from Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Writing By Writers, and Vermont Studio Center.

Tommy Orange was born and raised in Oakland, California. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. His first novel, There There will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in the summer of 2018.

Derek Palacio received his MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State University. His short story Sugarcane appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, and his novella, How to Shake the Other Man, was published by Nouvella Books. His debut novel, The Mortifications, was published in 2016 by Tim Duggan Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. He is the co-director, with Claire Vaye Watkins, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. He lives and teaches in Ann Arbor, MI.

Migizi Pensoneau was born and raised in Minnesota, and attended Wesleyan University. Pensoneau has worked for several Hollywood studios and independent companies as a writer and a producer for film and television. He is the recipient of awards, commissions, fellowships, and grants from ABC/Disney, The Institute of American Indian Arts, the Sundance Institute, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others. Migizi has published several pieces on the interaction of American Indians and popular culture. He recently received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and is a co-founder and writer for the popular comic group the 1491s.

Ismet Prcic was born in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina and immigrated to the United States in 1996. His debut novel Shards was published in 2011 by Black Cat, imprint of Grove Press to critical acclaim, winning the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for first fiction, the Writers Center First Novel Prize, the Oregon Book Award and many others. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and has been translated into nine languages. A recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts award for fiction he is also a Sundance and Jerusalem screenwriting lab fellow. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film Imperial Dreams which premiered in January at this year's Sundance Film Festival and won the audience award in its category.

James Thomas Stevens is an Associate Professor in the BFA Creative Writing Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. A member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation in upstate New York, Stevens grew up between three reservations, the two where his grandparents came from, Akwesasne Territory and Six Nations Reserve, and the one where they settled, the Tuscarora Nation. Stevens earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. He has taught at Haskell Indian Nations University and the State University of New York at Fredonia. Stevens has published seven books of poetry, including Combing the Snakes from His Hair, for which he was awarded a 2000 Whiting Writer's Award, A Bridge Dead in the Water, Mohawk/Samoa: Transmigrations (with Caroline Sinavaiana), Bulle/Chimere, and Tokinish. His work has been anthologized in works such as Genocide of the Mind, Visit Teepee Town, and Sovereign Bones.

Ken White is a co-writer and co-producer of the feature film Winter in the Blood, adapted from James Welch's novel of the same name, and co-director and co-writer of the short film Universal VIP. He has written or co-written ten feature scripts.  His poetry has appeared in The Boston Review, The Tusculum Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Versal, Omniverse, Manor House Quarterly, Spork, Horsethief, and Poets.org, among others. He is the author of the books of poems, Eidolon (Peel Press 2013), and The Getty Fiend (Les Figues Press 2017), as well as the chapbook Middlemost Constantine (Spork 2017).
 
To schedule an interview with Jon Davis, or any of the writers, please contact him at 505.424.2365, or jdavis@iaia.edu. 
  
Support for these events is provided by the Lannan Foundation and New Mexico Arts.

Partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodgers Tax.





Sterling HolyWhiteMountain

Cherie Dimalin

Brooke Pepion Swaney
Justin Torres






M.L. Smoker










Chip Livingston

Pam Houston







Ismet Prcic

Joan Naviyuk Kane






























Ramona Ausubel









 




Jennifer Foerster













Toni Jensen
Sherwin Bitsui
Kimberly Blaesser



Tommy Orange

Terese Mailhot
James Thomas Stevens

Santee Frazier
































Sydney Freedland



Derek Palacio


Marie-Helene Bertino
Ken White
About IAIA -- For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through the IAIA Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures and is committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  IAIA is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at www.iaia.edu


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