New authors join IAIA writers festival

Dec 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

An array of award-winning authors are joining the Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA, Santa Fe, NM) Writers Festival, a week of free campus readings by graduate students and instructors from the institute’s MFA program. The festival will take place January 4-10, 2014.  

“We’ve got a great lineup for the second Writers Festival, with old friends reading new work and some new faces,” said Jon Davis, director of IAIA’s MFA in creative writing and Santa Fe’s Poet Laureate. “This promises to be even more exciting than the very popular first festival.”

New writers include Ramona Ausubel, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Santee Frazier (Cherokee), Linda Hogan (Chickasaw), Joan Kane (Inupiaq), Chip Livingston (Creek), Chris Merrill, and Ken White. Davis will also read from his new manuscript, Reply All, and from his most recent book, Preliminary Report (Copper Canyon Press, 2010). Returning authors include Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene), Sherwin Bitsui (Navajo), Natalie Diaz (Mohave/Pima) and Melissa Febos.

The Writers Festival is part of IAIA’s low residency MFA program in creative writing where visiting faculty are introduced to graduate students when they are in residence in Santa Fe. The faculty mentor students throughout their coursework. Approved by the Higher Learning Commission earlier this year, IAIA’s graduate program allows students to work and live in their hometowns while completing a creative writing degree. IAIA’s program is the only one in the country that focuses on Native American literature and authors.

“For the aspiring Native writer, this is a chance to work with established elders in the Native writing community,” Davis says. “For the non-Native, it’s a chance to immerse him or herself in a vital tradition of American literature. One-fourth of the literature read is authored by Native writers. These residencies are on Native ground. There will be a sense of ownership and community.”

All readings start at 6 p.m. at the IAIA campus and are free and open to the public. RSVPs are required for the Sherman Alexie reading. For more information about the IAIA Writers Festival, please visit www.iaia.edu/iaia-news/events/iaia-writers-festival/.

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