Vol. X, No.1                             Nov. 1992


"Standing before the children, I realized that what I do as a writer, teacher, and storyteller is to demystify language, and I smiled. Making language familiar and accessible to others, bringing it within their grasp and comprehension, is what a writer, teacher, and storyteller does or tries to do."
                             Simon Ortiz, Woven Stone.


Association News                  Page 2
Publications                           Page 4
Calls                                       Page 11
Gatherings                             Page 14
Bulletin Board                       Page 16


is published three times a year for the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures, with assistance from the Department of English, Western Washington University. Please submit noteworthy materials by October 15, February 15 and, May 15. For information or submission of news, write:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055

Association News

          There are three significant news items for members. First, James Ruppert has written that A.S.A.I.L. has had its affiliate status renewed for another seven years by the Modern Language Association.
          Also, A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff writes that the Modern Language Associations Executive Council has approved the creation of a division on American Indian Literatures. The first official meeting of the new division will take place at the 1993 annual convention in Toronto. "Having prepared the papers for our requests thirteen years ago for discussion group status and this year for division status, I am especially pleased to share this splendid news." It is, indeed.
          Finally, a new editor has been chosen for our Association's journal, Studies in American Indian Literatures. Rodney Simard of the University of California, San Bernardino will assume the duties on the first of January. We wish him the best. We cannot say good bye so easily to Helen Jaskoski, however, who has done so much for the Association, for the journal, and for the collective "us." Good thoughts, Helen.

          A.S.A.I.L. sessions at this years M.L.A. convention will be:

Gender and Gay/Lesbian Studies in Native American Literature
Chair: Gretchen Ronnow, Wayne State College
Tuesday, December 29, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

1. "Gender Construction in Early Literary and Political Discourses of Native American Women."
          Carol Batker, University of Massachusetts
2. "Masculinity, Self-Performance, and Representation: The Gendering of Black Hawk."
          Timothy Sweet, West Virginia University
3. "Disobedience (in Language) in Texts by Lesbian Native Americans."
          Janice Gould, University of New Mexico
4. "Gender Construction Amid Family Dissolution in Louise Erdrich's The Beet Queen."
          Louise Flavin, University of Cincinnati

Literature in Native Languages
Chair: Luci Tapahonso, University of Kansas
Wednesday, December 30, 3:304:45 p.m.

1. "Pulling Down the Clouds: Some Words on Thoughts About Rain."
          Ofelia Zepeda, University of Arizona
2. "Writing Within Hozho: The Navajo Process of Creation."
          Laura Tohe, University of Nebraska
3. "Deer Women and Elk Men: The Lakota Narratives of Ella Deloria."
          Julian Rice, Florida Atlantic University

          There is to be a reading by Native writers as well, but I have not been informed about the exact time or who will read, so look in your convention program. If any of the writers who are giving papers in the panels listed above are involved in the reading, it will be a fine one.
          The convention program, obviously, did not arrive before production of this issue, so panels related to American Indian literatures are not available, except those listed as "Calls" in past issues of Notes or the MLA Newsletter. However, there are two sessions that are worthy of note at this printing: "Teaching American Literature 1880-1920: New Ideas and Approaches" will include a paper by A.S.A.I.L. {4} member Alanna Kathleen Brown, "The Issue of Collaboration in Native American Texts." Brown will also read a paper--"Coyote and the Monster Gods: Mourning Dove's Narratives"--for a panel on Environmentalism offered by the Commission on the Literature[sic] and Language[sic] of America.
          Enjoy the gathering.


Books and Collections

          The Returning the Gift gathering in Norman this summer will result in at least two publications. The first is a newsletter produced by The Native Writer Circle of the Americas. The dues for memberships to support the group are only five dollars, and this will pay for publishing and mailing the newsletter to members. There is also an anthology in the making, which should be published in 1993 by The University of Arizona Press in cooperation with our Association's journal, Studies in American Indian Literatures. For information about the newsletter or the anthology write to:

Joe Bruchac, Editor
The Greenfield Review Literary Center
P.O. Box 308
Greenfield Center, N.Y. 12833

          The University of Arizona Press has released several new volumes this Fall. The Hawk is Hungry and Other Stories is a collection of sixteen stories by D'Arcy McNickle, ten of which have not been published previously. The collection was edited by A.S.A.I.L. member, Birgit Hans. Woven Stone, by Simon Ortiz, is an "omnibus of three previous works--Going for the Rain, A Good Journey, and Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land." Mud Woman: {5} Poems from the Clay by Nora Naranjo-Morse is a collection in which she juxtaposes "clay and words to capture not only the essence of the creative process but also the satisfactions and complications of what it means to be a Pueblo woman in the late twentieth century." History and Mythology of the Aztecs: Codex Chimalpopoca, translated by John Bierhorst, "Chronicles the rise of Aztec civilization and preserves the mythology on which it was based." And Annikadel: The History of the Universe as Told by the Achumawi Indians of California, edited by Istet Wolche and C. Hart Merriam, records a mythology that "embraces not only the archetypal tales of primeval darkness and battles between good and evil, but also the doings of the First People...."

          Among the Dog Eaters, by Adrian C. Louis contains new poems by the author of Fire Water World, both of which are available from West End Press.
          Other publications available from West End Press include Wolfsong, by Louis Owens (Owen's first novel which "exposes the raw edge of the current American land rights controversy with a political perception, an uncompromising story line, and a militancy unheard in a decade"); Lone Dog's Winter Count, by Diane Glancy; Halfbreed Chronicles, by Wendy Rose; Columbus Day, by Jimmie Durham; A Breeze Swept Through, by Luci Tapahonso; and Skins and Bones, by Paula Gunn Allen. West End Press/Publisher Services, P.O. Box 2510, Novato, CA 94948.

          From the University of California Press: Arnold Krupat's new book, Ethnocriticism: Ethnography, History, Literature. To order, contact the Univ. of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720.

From The University of Nebraska Press this summer: Choteau Creek: A Sioux Reminiscence, by Joseph Iron Eye {6} Dudley. "This book is about the common, quiet people who never make the headlines or find their names in print. They are the backbone of the reservations, the ones who pass on the values that make Native Americans what they are. This story of my grandparents reminds us that there is a spirit in people which enables them to rise above the potential devastation of poverty and racism into a life marked by humor and laughter, one that radiates love and kindness."
          Also from Nebraska, Pueblo Indian Folk-Stories, by Charles F. Lummis, with an introduction by Robert F. Gish: "thirty-two myths centering around the Pueblo of Isleta on the Rio Grande" (originally published in 1894). Nebraska Press, 901 North 17th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588-0520.

          Robert Gish also has a book of his own out, Songs of My Hunter Heart: A Western Kinship: "at once a lyrical evocation of growing up in a family of hunters in the modern West and an accounting of a persons interrelationship with place--landscape, flora, and fauna.... In attempting to examine the Native-American heritage of his Oklahoma relatives relocated in the enchantments and opportunities of the modern Southwest, the author attempts to fashion his own individualized version of the American quest for identity...." Iowa State University Press, 2121 S. State Avenue, Ames, IA 50010-8300.

          New from Theytus Books: "Sundogs is the first novel by the renowned Native author, Ms. Lee Maracle." The novel is "about the struggle of a young First Nations family for love and solidarity in the context of that turbulent year [1990]." Maracle has also written BobbiLee: Indian Rebel (1975), I Am Woman (1988) and Sojourner's Truth (1990).
          Elizabeth Cuthand's book of poetry, Voices in the Waterfall, originally published by Lazara Press, was released {7} again by Theytus Books last June.

Theytus Books Ltd.
Box 20040
Penticton, B.C.
V2A 8K3 Canada

          The Smithsonian Press has released On the Translation of Native American Literature, edited by Brian Swann. This is a collection of essays by scholars in a variety of fields who discuss the ways that texts have been translated, both literally and figuratively. Smithsonian Institution Press, 13311 Monterey Ave., Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-0900.

          The University of Massachusetts Press has published William Apess's On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess, a Pequot, edited by Barry O'Connell. Contact the Press at P.O. Box 429, Amherst, MA 01004.

          From the ever-informative (and always enjoyably readable) The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Newsletter (Victor Golla, editor): wanisinwak iskwêsisak/Two Little Girls Lost in the Bush, A Cree Story for Children. Told by Nêhiyaw/Glecia Bear. Edited and translated by Freda Ahenakew and H. C. Wolfart, 1992.
          And from Fifth House Publishers in Saskatoon there are the personal recollections collected in khkominawak otcimowiniwwa--Our Grandmothers' Lives, As Told in Their Own Words, told by Glecia Bear, Irene Calliou, Janet Feltz, Minnie Fraser, Alpha Lafond, Rosa Longneck, and Mary Wells. Order either or both from University of Toronto Press, 5201 Dufferin St., Downsview, Ontario, Canada, M3H 5T8.
          Micmac Texts. Albert D. Deblois. 1991 (Ten texts, with word-for-word translations. One text tells of the first landing of Europeans in Nova Scotia.) In the U.S., order from the University of Chicago Press, 11030 S. Langley Ave., {8} Chicago, IL 60628. In Canada, Mail Order Services, Publishing Division, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier St., Hull, Quebec, J8X 4H2.
          Also, several volumes of papers are available from the annual symposia of the Latin American Indian Literatures Association: "In Love and War: Hummingbird Lore" and Other Selected Papers from the 1988 Symposium of the Latin American Indian Literatures Association, edited by Mary H. Preuss. Labyrinthos, 1989 ($25); Selected Papers from the VII International Symposium on Latin American Indian Literatures. Labyrinthos, 1990 ($32); and Past, Present and Future: Selected Papers on Latin American Indian Literatures. Edited by Mary H. Preuss. Labyrinthos, 1991 ($32). For information, or to order, contact: Labyrinthos, 6355 Green Valley Circle #213, Culver City, CA 90230.

          From The Johns Hopkins University Press Aboriginal Voices: Amerindian, Inuit, and Sami Theater, edited by Per Brask and William Morgan, "explores the character and purpose of northern native peoples theater groups. Includes play scripts, essays, and interviews." To order, write or call the Press at 701 West 40th Street, Suite 275, Baltimore, MD 21211; 1-800-537-5487.

          The Way We Live: California Indian Reminiscences, Stories, and Songs was released in October by Heyday Books. This is a revised edition, with a new introduction by editor Malcolm Margolin and some new contemporary material: "this rich and varied collection includes stories, love songs, chants, and more from native people around the state."
          Also included in Heyday's fall catalog is Lucy Thompson's To the American Indian: Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman, originally published in 1916, and The Maidu Indian Myths and Stories ofHanc'ibyjim, edited and translated by William Shipley.

          A Dena'ina Legacy, K'tl'egh'i Sukdu: The Collected writings of Peter Kahfornsky, edited by James Karie and Alan Boraas has been released by the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

          Beacon Press announces their own release of Paula Gnn Allen's The Sacred Hoop: The Feminine in American Indian Traditions: "Arguing that colonization transformed and obscured what were once women-centered cultures, Allen explores a remarkable range of topics, from female deities, American Indian women's history and the honored place of lesbians in Indian culture, to the importance of mothers and grandmothers to Native American identity." List price is $14.00 with $3.75 shipping and handling: Beacon Press, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108.

          From The University of Oklahoma Press: Teaching American Indian Students, edited by Jon Reyhner, "the most comprehensive resource book available for educators of American Indians." This is an updated and much expanded edition of Teaching the Indian Child: A Bilingual/Multicultural Approach first published in 1986. The new edition, as the editor notes, includes chapters on language development, teaching American Indian literatures, and works by scholars such as Karen Swisher, William Leap, Jeanne Eden, Sandra Fox, Dick Littlebear, and Jim Cummins. Telephone orders can be made by calling the Press at 1-800-627-7377.

Journals and Newsletters

          The D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago produces a very valuable newsletter, Meeting Ground. While its focus is not primarily on Native American literatures, it provides occa-{10}sional references to collections and relevant background materials. The Center and the Newberry also fund fellowships for study in their extensive holdings, and provide summer institutes for teachers. For information on the newsletter, write to the Center, Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610-3380.

          For those who wish to know more about Native literatures other than those of the U.S., there is the Latin American Indian Literatures Journal, Box 31, Pennsylvania State University-McKeesport, McKeesport, PA 15132.

          I have also received a copy of renegade #16, "a periodical series which varies in format and content." In #16, I find poems by Maurice Kenny and the ever-powerful Charlotte DeClue, reviews by the editor, Frank Parman, and a list of worthy journal back issues. For information, write:

Frank Parman, Editor
Cottonwood Arts Foundation
P.O. Box 2731
Norman, OK 73070


          The American Literature Association will hold its annual convention this May in Baltimore, Maryland. As last year, A.S.A.I.L. has been asked to provide several sessions in American Indian Literatures. To date, a few members have suggested topics, with two likely areas for consideration: the teaching of Native American texts, and colonizing influences (either internalized or externalized) found in the texts. There are, of course, numerous other possibilities. At present, panels have not taken shape, so I ask that any interested reader please contact me with an idea for a paper or panel, and I will begin to organize our sessions. In particular, I am looking for people to chair sessions. The deadline for completed panels is January 10, 1993. For more information or to share ideas, call me at (206) 676-3243 (office) or (206) 592-2076 (home) or write to:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055

          Franchot Ballinger, past A.S.A.I.L. president, is "compiling a guide to Native American Studies programs in the United States and Canada. This guide will be made available to students, faculty, counselors, etc. as an advising and planning resource." He has already compiled a partial list of programs and sent questionnaires to several. However, the sources of information concerning programs are sketchy, at best, so readers who want their programs to be included in the guide should contact Franchot:

Franchot Ballinger
Mail Location 205
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221

N.E.H. Summer Seminar for School Teachers

          I will direct a seminar--"Four First Novels of Indian America"--from June28 to July30, 1992 at Western Washington University. The seminar will examine, closely and in great detail, The Surrounded by D'Arcy McNickle, House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday, Winter in the Blood by James Welch, and Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. The stipend for participants this year is $2825 for the five-week seminar. There is a March 1 deadline for final applications. For information and/or application materials contact:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055

Translation Prizes and A wards

          The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) announces a new annual award: The ALTA Outstanding Translation of the Year. As many as ten books will be honored each year, with the awards divided among the following categories: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Poetry, Contemporary Non-fiction, Literature of the Past. Publishers are invited to nominate one book in each category. For information about the award, write:

ALTA Award
American Literary Translators Association
The University of Texas at Dallas
Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688

          Also, PEN has a translation prize, which was awarded to Dennis Tedlock in the past: the Pen Book-of-the-Month Club {13} Translation Prize. For information, contact PEN American Center, 568 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

          Interestingly, The Academy of American Poets also has an award for translation that, given its description in the October issue of P.M.LA. (page 1304), would seem to apply to translations of American Indian poetry: "A prize of $1000 will be given to a living citizen of the United States for a book of poetry translated into English from any language and published in 1992." Pulitzer Prize winner Carolyn Kizer is the judge; she is known for her own translations of Chinese poets. The deadline is December 31, 1992. Send two copies of each book (or write for information) to Academy of American Poets, Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, 584 Broadway, Suite 1208, New York, NY 10012.


The D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian Fellowships: Frances C. Allen Fellowships are available to women of Indian heritage pursuing an academic program at any stage beyond the undergraduate degree. Award lengths may vary; stipends cover living and travel expenses. Deadlines are February 1 and August 1. Further information and application materials are available from the McNickle Center, Newberry Library, Chicago, IL 606 10-3380. Call: (312) 943-9090 ext. 267.

The University of California, Los Angeles offers a Fellowship Program in Ethnic Studies, which provides support for postdoctoral studies, including American Indian. The deadline for application is December 31, 1992. For further information, write to Barbara Turner, Office of the Chancellor, Institute of American Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1405."


          The most significant news on recent gatherings is, of course, on Returning the Gift, a Native Writers convention held in Norman, Oklahoma last July. By all accounts, it was a huge success. Some 220 invited writers participated, all expenses paid; there were 47 student scholarships; another 101 writers had their fees waived; and numerous scholars and members of the public attended as well.
          The gathering accomplished a great deal: establishment of The Native Writer Circle of the Americas, an organization to "encourage new literacy and expression of our traditions through writing; to place Native literatures in an international context; to build coalitions & strengthen Native-based literary organizations; to reaffirm Native identity and the continuance of Native literary traditions, with strong emphasis on the place of Native writing in education." The group will plan for another major North American writers festival in 1996, as well as regional festivals during the next three years, produce a newsletter (see "Publications" section of this issue of Notes), develop curriculum material and a directory of writers, and provide mentor relationships for young writers. The organization will have an office in the English Department at the University of Oklahoma, and the Greenfield Review Literary Center will coordinate with the group.
          The only sad note about the gathering is that it was so successful the organization was left with a sizable deficit. It was money well spent, and if readers would like to help the group recapture its sound financial footing, contributions would be accepted, and/or there are also calendars available and memberships/subscriptions to the newsletter. For information, write to Joe Bruchac, The Greenfield Review Literary Center, P.O. Box 308, Greenfield Center, NY 12833
          "Interculturalism and the Writing of Difference" is {15} the title of a colloquy in Bordeaux this month, November 26-28. A.S.A.I.L. members Laura Coltelli and Arnold Krupat will participate in one panel--"Amerindian and Jewish American Writing"--with papers on "Creek Heritage in Joy Harjo's Poetry" and "(P)rediscoveries: Columbus in Native American Fiction," respectively.

          Also in France, (Paris, June 3-5, 1993), the 14th American Indian Workshop will be offered in association with the l'association française pour la recherche en anthropologie sociale. The workshop will be divided into two sessions: the first--"Tradition, Continuity and Invention in Native North American Societies"--will provide papers from twelve invited scholars; the second--"Current Research in Native American Studies"--will present eight papers from scholars who submitted proposals last summer. For information on attending, contact:

Marie Mauzé
Laboratoire d'anthoropologie sociale
52, rue du Cardinal Lemoine
75005 Paris, France
Fax: 33 1 44 27 17 66

Bulletin Board

The Native American Journalists Association has moved from Boulder, Colorado to 230 Tenth Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415. (Their newsletter, Medium Rare, is a useful, informative publication.)

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DTP Realization: Mark Sherman