Carr-Gottstein Academic Center
4225 University Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508
Writers from across Alaska and the United States to gather for discussions, readings over weekend in March
Alaska Pacific University will host indigenous poets for a series of discussions, workshops, and readings March 11-13, on its Anchorage and Spring Creek Farm Kellogg Campus. The readings will be free and open to the public on March 12 and 13, 2016, beginning at 7pm in the auditorium at Carr-Gottstein Academic Center Lecture Hall, Room 102 at APU. More information about the events and author images are available upon request.
Confirmed writers include
- Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Dine 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. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
- Chee Brossy is a poet, fiction writer, and journalist living in Santa Fe. He was born in Chinle, Arizona and received his BA in English from Dartmouth College. He is at work on his MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he teaches and is an editor of the literary journal Mud City. Before IAIA, he worked as a reporter for The Navajo Times and The High Country News. He is Diné, originally from Lukachukai, Arizona, and has also lived in Honolulu and Portland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in the Taos Journal of Poetry & Art, Sentence, Denver Quarterly and the Prairie Schooner. He is currently at work on a story collection tentatively titled Warlike.
- Abigail Chabitnoy is a poet of Aleut descent. She is currently an MFA candidate at Colorado State University, where she is an associate editor for Colorado Review. She also works as a freelance editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and she has written reviews for the Volta blog and The Courier, a publication of the Wolverine Farm Press and Bookstore based in Fort Collins, CO, where she currently resides.
- Joan Naviyuk Kane, Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, is the author of The Straits, Hyperboreal, and The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, and has been the recipient of a Whiting Award, the Donald Hall Prize, an American Book Award, the Alaska Literary Award, and a United States Artists Creative Vision Award. She teaches in the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
- Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp, of the Costanoan-Rumsen Carmel Band of Ohlone Indians. Knapp is an MFA candidate at the Institute of American Indian Arts, by way of Los Angeles County, with a BA in English lit from CSU San Bernardino, and a big pair of AAs from Mount San Antonio College. Recently nominated for a Pushcart, he has published over sixty pieces across the United States and Internet. He now curates the Claremont West Reading Series, and his most recent print publications are forthcoming in Nerve Cowboy and San Diego Poetry Annual. He has recently been selected as a recipient of the Muse Times Two poetry prize.
- Kashona Notah is Inupiaq, Lakota and Cherokee and an enrolled member of The Native Village of Kotzebue. He has recently been named a Gates Millennium Scholar and the recipient of the John B. Harcourt award from Ithaca College. He is studying English, Native American Studies, and Creative Writing at Stanford University.
- Carrie Ojanen is an Inupiat from the Ugiuvamiut tribe from Ukivok, King Island, Alaska. Ojanen received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry, from the University of Montana in 2010. Her poems have appeared in As/Us Journal, Prairie Schooner, the Louisville Review, and Yellow Medicine Review.
- Susie Silook is a Yupik/Inupiaq writer and sculptor. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Nimrod, and Totems to Hip Hop: an Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, among others. She is the recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship, a Governor’s Award for an Individual Artist, in and the Eiteljorg Fellowship.
- James Thomas Stevens is the Chair of 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. Given his profound influence as a writer, teacher, and mentor, we are especially grateful that he is leading our inaugural workshop.
- Marie Tozier, an Inupiaq poet from Nome, Alaska. She is in the final year of UAA’s low residency MFA program. Marie and her husband share their home with seven (some home-again, college-again) children and three huskies. She enjoys many hobbies and activities centered on family and the subsistence lifestyle. Marie’s poems, “I Woke Up,” and “In August” have been published in Yellow Medicine Review.
- Bill Wetzel is Amskapi Pikuni aka Blackfeet from Montana. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the American Indian Culture & Research Journal, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Yellow Medicine Review, Studies In Indian Literatures (SAIL), Waxwing Magazine, Hinchas de Poesia, Red Ink Magazine, Literary Orphans and Off The Path: An Anthology of 21st Century American Indian Writers Vol.2. He is a co-founder of Indigipress and the founder and curator of the Stjukshon Indigenous reading series in Tucson, AZ.
We hope to develop generative spaces, bridges, and collaborations that enhance poetry by and among Native American people in the United States. We also aim to foster service, mentorship, and dedication to expanding needs of Native communities in regard to poetics, literacy, education, and Native languages. But in very simple terms, we hope to be of service — to Native writers and our needs, to our tribal communities, and finally to the wider public and literary community. This, if anything, is at the core of why we’ve come together at all: to be of service.
While we are grateful to Canto Mundo, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Lannan Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Alaska Humanities Forum, Rasmuson Foundation, and Peggy Shumaker for contributing resources of time, experience, guidance and support in our initial phases, this is our first programming effort and our budget is modest. The first tier of our development includes a Retreat/Workshop for Native poets through our Fellowship Program, a multi-year commitment through which we have recruited a first group of 10-15 fellows for an inaugural conference, identified and collaborated with partner organizations to host initial Retreat/Workshops, and provided tools for fellows to work in our communities through poetry. If you are interested in contributing to help offset the costs of this workshop through Alaska Pacific University please see contact information below.