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Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) 
MFA Faculty Member  
Joan Naviyuk Kane
Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship
First Indigenous Writer to be Awarded for Poetry
 
 
 
SANTA FE, N.M. - April 6, 2018. 

The Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation approved the awarding of 173 Guggenheim Fellowships (including two joint Fellowships) to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists, including IAIA MFA faculty member Joan Naviyuk Kane ( Iñupiaq). Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-fourth competition.  

The great variety of backgrounds, fields of study, and accomplishments of Guggenheim Fellows is one of the unique characteristics of the Fellowship program. In all, forty-nine scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, sixty-nine different academic institutions, thirty-one states, and three Canadian provinces are represented in this year's class of Fellows, who range in age from twenty-nine to eighty. Sixty Fellows have no academic affiliation or hold adjunct or part-time positions.  

Since its establishment in 1925, the Foundation has granted more than $360 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, and winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Turing Award, National Book Awards, and other important, internationally recognized honors.  

The Guggenheim Fellowship program remains a significant source of support for artists, scholars in the humanities and social sciences, and scientific researchers. New and continuing donations from friends, Trustees, former Fellows, and other foundations have ensured that the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation will be able to continue its historic mission. The Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation is once again underwriting the Fellowship in Constitutional Studies, and a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music is supporting supplemental grants for composers.  

Joan Naviyuk Kane


Joan Naviyuk Kane is Iñupiaq with family from King Island (Ugiuvak) and Mary's Igloo, Alaska. She was raised in and attended public school in Anchorage, where she currently raises her sons. Kane  graduated with honors from Harvard College, where she was a Harvard National Scholar, and Columbia University's School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of a graduate Writing Fellowship. Her books include The Cormorant Hunter's Wife (2009), Hyperboreal (2013), The Straits (2015), Milk Black Carbon (2017), and Sublingual (2018).
 
She has received the John Haines Award (2004), Rasmuson Foundation Individual Awards (2007, 2016), the Whiting Writer's Award (2009), the Connie Boochever Fellowship from the Alaska Arts and Cultures Foundation (2009), a National Native Creative Development Program Award from the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center (2009), the Anchorage Museum Theatre Script Contest (2009), and was a finalist for the 2009 Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Fellowship. Kane received the 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship, the 2013 United States Artists Foundation Creative Vision Award, the 2013 Rasmuson Foundation Artist Fellowship, the 2014 Alaska Literary Award, and the 2016 Aninstantia Foundation Fellowship. In 2014, she was indigenous writer-in-residence at the School For Advanced Research, was Tuttle Creative Residency Fellow at Haverford College and a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in 2016, and, in 2017, was a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellow and a judge for the awards of the Griffin Poetry Prize.
 
Her poems have been anthologized widely, including Best American Poetry, Hick Poetics, Read America(s), Syncretism & Survival: A Forum on Poetics, Monticello in Mind, and elsewhere, and new poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Pinwheel, Arkansas International, and Boston Review. Her essays have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food, The Poem's Country: Place & Poetic Practice, and 21|19: Readings in Proximity. Kane will focus her Guggenheim Fellowship year on research and writing related to the role Alaska assumed in national and world dynamics during the Cold War era, and will write toward a contemporary Iñupiaq understanding of the historical prominence of the arctic in geopolitical terms, which shall be subsumed or re-contextualized in her creative work. She has taught in the low-residency MFA program in writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, since January 2014.

Joan's application included this quote: "I am so grateful for your consideration, and I hope you find that a Guggenheim Fellowship will best support this work I propose. My teaching of poetry, residence in Alaska, engagement with the Alaska Native village and regional corporations to which I am enrolled, and continuing relationships and exchange with other indigenous literary artists make me hopeful that I can continue to add to my skills and experience as an Iñupiaq writer, and perhaps influence, with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the growing body of and conversations with and about Native literature."

IAIA MFA Program Director Jon Davis remarked, "The Guggenheim Foundation's recognition of Joan's poetry is a testament to the remarkable body of work that she has already produced and to the promise of future work. She joins three other important indigenous authors, Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation), Linda Hogan (Chickasaw), and Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) who received Guggenheim Fellowships for their prose."







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Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, and Museum Studies -- a minor in Performing Arts -- an MFA in Creative Writing -- along with certificates in Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History -- IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serves 517 full time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe.  IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission -- and is the only college in New Mexico accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. 
 

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 committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at  www.iaia.edu

The Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  To make a donation on-line, please click here -- or call toll free: 1.800.804.6423.