NEWS RELEASE                     

For Immediate Release 



  Santee Frazier, Director, Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program 

505.424.2365, or

  Eric Davis, Marketing & Communications Director

                505.424.2351, or 


Winter Reading Series  
January 4-11, 2020
Public Invited to Free Nightly Readings  by 
Visiting Writers and MFA Mentors 
on the IAIA campus

SANTA FE, NM - December 12, 2019

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing program presents The 2020 Winter Reading Series -- January 4-11, 2020. 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  

All readings are free and open to the public.

The 2020 IAIA MFACW Winter Reading Series brings together a diverse range of voices working in the literary arts. We welcome readings by new mentors David Treuer (Ojibwe) and Cedar Sigo (Suquamish). Featured writers include emerging poet and essayist Tiffany Midge (Standing Rock Sioux), fiction writer Rion Amilcar Scott, and queer Chamoru poet Lehua M. Taitano.  

MFA Program Director  Santee Frazier  (Cherokee), remarked   "The long term goal of the IAIA MFA CW is to promote Indigenous intellectualism and  knowledge systems through the literary arts. Many of the mentors, visiting writers, and students participating in Winter Residency are active in their home communities, which establishes a learning environment akin to the vision of Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee), founder of IAIA."

Readers Gathering Schedule
Saturday, January 4: 
David  Treuer  
Kristiana  Kahakauwila  
Sunday, January 5:
Ken White  
Chip Livingston   
Kimberly Blaeser  
Monday, January 6: 
Rion Amilcar Scott   
Jennifer Foerster   
Sherwin Bitsui  
Tuesday, January 7: 
Cedar  Sigo    
Toni Jensen   
James Thomas Stevens  
Thursday, January 9:
Esther Belin   
Tiffany Midge  
Friday, January 10:
Lehua M.  Taitano    
Brooke Swaney   
Migizi   Pensoneau    
Saturday, January 11:
Pam Houston   
Brandon Hobson  

David Treuer

David Treuer  (Ojibwe) is from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, two Minnesota Book Awards, and fellowships from the NEH, Bush Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He divides his time between his home on the Leech Lake Reservation and Los Angeles, where he is a Professor of English at USC. The son of Robert  Treuer , an Austrian Jew and Holocaust survivor and Margaret Seelye  Treuer , a tribal court judge, David  Treuer  grew up on Leech Lake Reservation. After graduating from high  school  he attended Princeton University where he wrote two senior theses - one in anthropology and one in creative writing - and where he worked with Toni Morrison, Paul Muldoon, and Joanna Scott Treuer  graduated in 1992 and published his first novel, Little, in 1995. He received his PhD in anthropology and published his second novel, The Hiawatha, in 1999. His third novel The Translation of Dr. Apelles and a book of criticism, Native American Fiction; A User's Manual appeared in 2006. The Translation of Dr. Apelles was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, Time Out, and City Pages. He published his first major work of nonfiction, Rez Life, in 2012. His next novel, Prudence, was published by Riverhead Books in 2015. His essays and stories have appeared in Granta, Harper's, Esquire,  TriQuarterly , The Washington Post, Lucky Peach, The New York Times, The LA Times, Orion, and . His most recent book of nonfiction, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, (2019), is a New York Times Bestseller.  

Kristiana Kahakauwila

Kristiana Kahakauwila  is a  hapa  writer of kanaka  maoli  (Native Hawaiian), German, and Norwegian descent. Her first book,  This  is Paradise: Stories (Hogarth, 2013), takes as its heart the people and landscapes of contemporary Hawai`i. She earned a BA in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Michigan. A former Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, Kristiana currently lives in Bellingham, WA, where she is an Associate Professor at Western Washington University. Recent work has appeared in RED INK, Kartika Review, Mistake House Magazine, and GEO Magazine. She is currently at work on a historical novel set on the island of Maui.  

Ken White

Ken White is a poet and screenwriter. He co-wrote and  and  co-produced the feature film Winter in the Blood, co-directed and co-wrote the short film Universal VIP, as well as directed and co-wrote the short film The Conservationist, currently in development as a feature, which White will direct. He has written or co-written ten feature scripts, including BlightThe  Wereman , The Sorrows, and Cullen's Hound, as well as new scripts, The Orpheum Circuit, The Conservationist, and a television pilot, LIT, with James Meetze. White is the author of three books of poetry, Eidolon, The Getty Fiend, as well as Middlemost Constantine (forthcoming from Spork). His work has appeared in The Boston Review, The Tusculum Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Omniverse, Manor House Quarterly,  Versal , Spork, Horsethief, and , among others. White teaches screenwriting in the Institute of American Indian Art Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing program and joins the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the fall of 2019.  

Chip Livingston

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.  

Kimberly Blaeser

Kimberly Blaeser is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Copper Yearning, (forthcoming from Holy Cow! Press) and Apprenticed to Justice (Salt Publishing). Her scholarly work includes the monograph Gerald  Vizenor : Writing in the Oral Tradition, and she is the editor of Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry and Stories Migrating Home. Blaeser, who served as Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-16, is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and grew up on White Earth Reservation. An editorial board member for the "American Indian Lives" series of the U of Nebraska Press and the "Native American Series" of Michigan State University Press, Blaeser's short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and scholarship has been widely anthologized.  

Rion Amilcar Scott

Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn't Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, and Crab Orchard Review among others.

Jennifer Elise Foerster

Jennifer Elise Foerster received her PhD in English and  Literary Arts from the University of Denver, her MFA from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts and her BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford. In addition to teaching in the IAIA MFA program, which she served for one year as Interim Director, Jennifer teaches for the Rainier Writing Workshop. She also co-directs, with the poet, Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation), an arts mentorship program for  Mvskoke  youth in Oklahoma, and is a Project Director with the non-profit organization   InnerCHANGE  WORKS. She is the author of two books of poetry, Leaving Tulsa (2013) and Bright Raft in the  Afterweather  (2018), both published by the University of Arizona Press. Foerster is of German, Dutch, and  Mvskoke  descent, is a member of the  Mvskoke  (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, and lives in San Francisco.  

Sherwin Bitsui

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), Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and Dissolve (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). His honors include a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a 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. In addition to teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he joins the faculty at Northern Arizona University in the fall of 2019.  

Cedar Sigo

Cedar Sigo  was raised on the Suquamish Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. He studied at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the  Naropa  Institute Sigo  is the author of Royals (Wave Books, 2017), Language Arts (Wave Books, 2014), and Stranger in Town (City Lights, 2010). He is also the editor of There You Are: Interviews, Journals, and Ephemera, on Joanne Kyger. Of his work, Ron Silliman writes, "Cedar  Sigo  is a Frank O'Hara for the 21st century: witty, erudite, serious, with a terrific ear and eye for the minutest details, at home in the world of the arts." He has taught at St. Mary's College and Naropa    University. He lived in San Francisco, California for many years and now lives in  Lofall , Washington.  

Toni Jensen

Toni Jensen (Métis) is the author of a short story collection, From the Hilltop, and a memoir-in-essays about gun violence, Carry, forthcoming from Ballantine. She is the recipient of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction and the Gary Wilson Short Fiction Award. Her essays and stories have been published in journals such as Orion, Catapult, and Ecotone. She teaches in the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas and in the low residency MFA Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

James Thomas Stevens

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.  

Esther Belin

Esther Belin ( Diné ) is a multimedia artist and writer. She is the author of two collections of poetry, From the Belly of My Beauty (1999), which won the American Book Award  from  the Before Columbus Foundation, and Cartography (2017). She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Durango, Colorado.  

Tiffany Midge

Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and raised in the Pacific Northwest. A former humor columnist for Indian Country Today, she taught writing and composition for Northwest Indian College, and served as poet laureate for Moscow, Idaho. Her books include The Woman Who Married a Bear (winner of the Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry and a Western Heritage Award); and Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up  Halfbreed  (winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Award). Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's, the Offing, Waxwing, World Literature Today, Lit Hub, First American Art Magazine, and more. Her humor memoir is Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's (University of Nebraska Press). Midge's McSweeney's essay "Open Letter to White Women Concerning the Handmaid's Tale and America's Historical Amnesia" won a Pushcart Prize and her subversively comic collection of poems, Horns, is also forthcoming from Spokane's Scablands Books. Midge is the 2019 Simons Public Humanities fellow for University of Kansas Hall Center for the Humanities.  

Lehua M. Taitano

Lehua M. Taitano is a queer Chamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigu Guåhan  (Guam) and co-founder of Art 25: Art in the Twenty-fifth Century. She is the author of two volumes of poetry - Inside Me an Island ( WordTech  Editions) and A Bell Made of Stones (TinFish Press). Her chapbook,  appalachiapacific , won the Merriam-Frontier Award for short fiction. She has two recent chapbooks of poetry and visual art: Sonoma (Dropleaf Press) and Capacity (a Hawai'i Review e-chap). Her poetry, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction have appeared in Poetry, Fence, Arc Poetry Magazine, Kartika Review, Red Ink International Journal, and numerous others. She is the recipient of a 2019 Eliza So Fellowship and the 2019 Summer Poet-in-Residence at The Poetry Center at The University of Arizona. She has served as an  APAture  Featured Literary Artist via Kearny Street Workshop, a  Kuwentuhan  poet via The Poetry Center at SFSU, and as a Culture Lab visual artist and curatorial advisor for the Smithsonian Institute's Asian Pacific American Center Taitano's  work investigates modern indigeneity, decolonization, and cultural identity in the context of diaspora.  

Brooke Swaney Pepion

Brooke Swaney Pepion (Blackfeet Tribal Member & Salish Descendent) is a 2003 Stanford graduate. She went on to obtain her MFA from NYU. A 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Fellow, a 2014 Sundance Native Lab Fellow and a Time Warner Fellow, her work has screened at Sundance, 
ImagineNative, the Autry and the Museum of Modern Art, amongst others. She is versed in both short and long-form content creation. 

Migizi Pensoneau

Migizi Pensoneau was born and raised in Minnesota, and attended Wesleyan UniversityPensoneau 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 in Santa Fe, NM, and is a co-founder and writer for the popular comic group the 1491s. 

Pam Houston

Pam Houston is the author of the memoir,  Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Countryas well as two novels,  Contents May Have Shifted  and  Sight Hound;  two collections of short stories,  Cowboys Are My Weakness  and  Waltzing the Cat;  and a collection of essays,  A Little More About Me , all published by W.W. Norton.  Her stories have been selected for volumes of  The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century  among other anthologies.  She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and several teaching awards.  She teaches in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers, which puts on between seven and ten writers gatherings per year in places as diverse as Boulder, Colorado, Tomales Bay, California, and Chamonix, France. 

Pam lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande where she raises horses, donkeys, Icelandic Sheep, and Irish Wolfhounds. She learned everything she knows about being a teacher and much about what she knows about being a human being from her years at Denison, and from the professors in the English department in particular.  Her father always said, "Pam, one of these days you are going to realize you spend your whole life lying in the gutter with somebody's foot on your neck."  And then she went to Dension and her professors said, "You can do anything you want with your life as long as you work hard and keep the greater good in mind."  Needless to say it was a turning point, and so far the foot on her neck has never materialized.

Brandon Hobson

Brandon Hobson is the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking, a winner of the Reading the West Book Award and finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. His other books include Deep Ellum and Desolation of Avenues Untold. He has won a Pushcart Prize, and his stories and essays have appeared in such places as Conjunctions, The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, NOON, Publisher's Weekly, and elsewhere. In addition to mentoring in the MFA program, Brandon is beginning in the Fall 2019 as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at New Mexico State University. He holds a PhD from Oklahoma State University and is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.  

To schedule an interview with  MFA Program Director  Santee Frazier or any of the writers, please contact  Eric Davis  at 505.424.2351, or .
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.
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 our Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures -- and committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at

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