Vol. XI, No. 3                             May 1994


Still, Indians have a way of surviving. But it's almost like Indians can easily survive the big stuff. Mass murder, loss of language and land rights. It's the small things that hurt the most. The white waitress who wouldn't take an order, Tonto, the Washington Redskins.

Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven


Editor's Note                                Page 1
Bulletin Board                              Page 2
Gatherings                                    Page 3
Calls                                             Page 4
Publications                                  Page 5


is published three times a year--on 15 October, 15 February, and 15 May--for the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures. Publication is funded with membership dues, and with assistance from the Department of English, Western Washington University. Please submit news-worthy materials to:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055
phone: (206) 650-3243
fax: (206) 650-4837

(Layout and technical support provided by Mark Sherman.)

Editor's Note

I recently found out that many subscribers are receiving their Notes long after it has been mailed; we have removed the barriers to getting each issue off campus in a timely fashion, but, unfortunately, we have not been able to convince the U.S. Postal Service to move their bulk mail faster. We are now considering other options, and to help update and streamline our mailing list, we have decided to send this issue of Notes with an "address correction requested" plea. With the Fall issue in mind, please help us make it a strong issue by sending material suitable for our readers, at any time during the summer. Thanks, and good thoughts.

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Bulletin Board

William Penn (Nez Perce/Osage) is the winner of this year's North American Prose Award for his collection of autobiographical essays, All My Sins Are Relatives. "Penn describes the impact of diverse Native American and non-Native cultures on his adult life and, in particular, on his vocations as writer, teacher and literary critic.... He has published stories, poems and essays in Antaeus and Missouri Review, and a first novel, The Absence of Angels, earlier this year."

There is a "listserv [a type of electronic, information exchange] for the discussion of Native American literature[s]" at Cornell University. "Discussions in this listserv are open to any aspect of Native literature. The listserv welcomes book reviews, articles about poetry, fiction, and criticism; and general chit-chat about Native literature." Address questions to Michael Wilson,


There will be a Native American Film and Video Festival from the 2nd to the 5th of June in Scottsdale, Arizona. Imagining Indians will be presented by ATLATL, a national service organization for Native American artists, The Native American Producers Alliance, The Scottsdale Center for the Arts, and Victor Masayesva. This is "a comprehensive national forum on American Indian issues in film and video from the Indian perspective. Invited guests include representatives from the Apache, Hopi, Navajo. Maricopa, Pima, Central Australian and Inuit tribes." Tantoo Cardinal, Gary Farmer, Graham Greene, Tony Hillerman, Phil Lucas, James Luna, Merata Mita, Wes Studi and Floyd Red Crow Westerman will also attend. "Discussion topics include: 'Economic Opportunities for Tribal Peoples in Film,' 'Fact and Fiction: A Look at Incident at Oglala and Thunderheart,' 'Intellectual Property Rights: Can Language, History, Stories, Designs and Rituals be Exclusively Owned,' 'Aesthetic of the Native American Film,' and 'Can a White Man Make a Film About an Indian?' For registration information, call the Scottsdale Center at (602) 994-2787.

The Northwest Native Writers' Circle will be hosting the third annual Returning the Gift Festival-Northwest Gathering from July 7th to the 9th at Neah Bay, Washington on the Makah Reservation at Cape Flattery Resort. Native Writers' Circle members Philip Red-Eagle and Gladys Cardiff (Eastern Cherokee) will be coordinating this year's festival. There will be writer's workshops, panels, story circles, etc., as well as curriculum planning. The primary focus for the conference is on Native writers living in the northwest, including Canada. Those interested should request information in writing from Philip Red-Eagle, P.O. Box 314116, Seattle, WA 98103-1416.


From Moccasin Telegraph: Clifford Trafzer (Wyandot) is editing an anthology by Native young people, from elementary through high school age; submit material to Clifford Trafzer, 10173 Palermo Court, Yucaipa, CA 92399, phone (909) 797-9266.

Series editors Arnold Krupat and Brian Swann seek submissions for The Smithsonian Series of Studies in Native American Literatures. "Defining 'literature' in the broadest sense, [the Series] seeks to provide a center for this new interdiscipline. The Series will publish scholarly and critical essays of distinction on the literary cultures of indigenous peoples (including translations and retranslations) as well as lively writing whose concerns and modes of presentation do not generally fall within the usual scholarly bounds. . . . The Series Editors welcome suggestions for further projects. Royalties from the Series publications may be donated to Native American rights and education funds. Proposals of 2-4 pages are now being accepted. Correspondence may be directed to Daniel Goodwin, Editorial Director, Smithsonian Institution Press, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 7100, Washington, DC 20560." From Brian Swann: "forthcoming books include work by Herbert Luthin, Denise Arnold, Patricia Penn Hilden."


A recent documentary by Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva Jr. is receiving great reviews around the country, and rightfully so. Imagining Indians is an expansive look at the ways non-Natives have historically "imaged" Native peoples. It focuses primarily upon Hollywood depictions, from the 1936 movie The Plainsman to Dances With Wolves and Thunderheart, but it also addresses private and institutional collections, and the universal issues of appropriation and representation. As always, Masayesva provocatively mixes image and word, and layers scenes in evocative ways. It is a rich work, and can be obtained in two 1/2" video formats: an hour and a half long version and a trimmed version for PBS that runs an hour. (The last price list I have sets the purchase prices at $150 for the short and $175 for the long.) There is also a 16mm film copy available for rental. To buy or rent this useful film, contact IS PRODUCTIONS at P.O. Box 747, Hotevilla, AZ 86030, or call (602) 734-6600. (There will also be a Native American Film and Video Festival in June that addresses these very issues. See the "Gatherings" section of this Notes).

This July will see the publication of Paula Gunn Allen's book, Voice of the Turtle: American Indian Literature 1900-1970 from One World. To order, use Ballantines 1994 College Catalog, or write Ballantine at 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022; telephone (212) 572-2475. (They do offer desk and examination copies.)

Karl Kroeber has edited a volume of essays for Duke University Press entitled American Indian Persistence and Resurgence that "celebrates the resurgence of Native Americans within the cultural landscape of the United States. Diverse commentators, including literary critics [Elaine Jahner, et al], anthropologists {6} [Edward Spicer, et al], ethnohistorians, poets [Wendy Rose, Jarold Ramsey, et al] and a novelist [Gerald Vizenor] address persistent issues facing Native Americans. . . ." To order: Duke University Press, Dept. HLW/Box 9066, Durham, NC 27708-0660.

James Welch has edited a special issue of Ploughshares entitled Tribes. This Spring 1994 issue compiles "works by seven Native American writers, five fiction authors and twenty-three poets to explore contemporary notions of tribalism and community in the U.S." To order the issue ($8.95 for it alone or $19/$24 international for it and a years subscription, write Ploughshares, Emerson College, 100 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02116.

Joseph Bruchac has co-authored a new book with Gayle Ross (Cherokee). The Girl Who Married the Moon: Tales from Native North America is due out this Fall from Greenfield Review Press. The press has also released its 1994 Catalog. The staff requests that you either send a stamped ($.98) envelope, or $1.50 to cover mailing. The new catalog contains some recent inclusions that may be of interest to our readers: Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival by Velma Wallis (Athabaskan) from Epicenter Press; Circle of Nations: Voices and Visions ofAmerican Indians (a truly beautiful book) from Beyond Words Publishing; Growing up Native American an anthology of works from 22 Native American Writers by Patricia Riley from Bison Books; Rising Voices: Writings of Young Native Americans selected by Arlene B. Hirshfelder from Charles Scribner and Sons; Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother's Wisdom by Marilou Awiakta (Cherokee), a collections of poems and essays "a key to creating balance in ourselves and in our world" from Fulcrum Publishing; and Full Moon on the Reservation by Gloria Bird (Spokane); {7} as well as many, many other books of note and importance. Write to North American Native Authors Catalog, P.O. Box 308, 2 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center, NY 12833; call (518) 583-1440; or fax (518) 583-9741.

January 1995 will see Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America, edited with an introduction by Brian Swann. This is an extensive collection of stories from every corner of the continent, divided into sections by geographic area.

From University of Arizona Press: Bone Dance: New and Selected Poems, 1965-1993 by Wendy Rose. This "is a major anthology of her work, comprising selections from her previous collections along with new poems." And The Sound of Rattles and Clappers: A Collection of New California Indian Writing, Greg Sarris, editor. "Shared land and cultures mark the distinguishing parameters of this anthology, which collects poetry and fiction by ten Native Americans of California Indian ancestry."

From Salmon Run Press this month: Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry, edited by John E. Smelcher and D.L. Birchfield. It contains works by many of the best poets in the field, forty. Also, A.S.A.I.L. members are invited to request advance review copies from John E. Smelcer, Editor, Alaska Pacific University, 4101 University Drive., # 328, Anchorage, AK 99508.

Blood Thirsty Savages: Poems by Adrian C. Louis "is a collection that reaches to the core of contemporary Native American life. It is an equation of anger and survival, of acceptance and defiance brought into delicate balance." This will be available in July 1994 in bookstores or directly from Time Being Books, 10411 Clayton Road, Suite 203, St. Louis, MO 63131. Or toll free: 1-800-331-6605.

From meeting ground: "The Center [for the History of the American Indian] is proud to announce that a new bibliography is available. "Recent Books and Articles in American Indian History: 1991" contains over 1,000 entries organized in 13 major categories. Send orders to Margret Curtis with a $5 check payable to the Newberry Library [60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610-3380]. A compilation of the lists covering 1985-1990 is currently in press at the University of Oklahoma Press and will be available in 1994."

From Moccasin Telegraph: "E.K. (Kim) Caldwell (Tsalagi/Creek/Shawnee) has had her short story 'Bear Daughters' accepted for publication in Ani-Yun-Uriya: An Anthology of Contemporary Cherokee Prose which is being published by Greenfield Review Press for release in 1995. Roxy Gordon (Choctaw) will have three of his books published by Event Horizon Press of Desert Hot Springs, California. [They] are: Texas Gone North, Coleman County Chronicles, and Rhythm Rebel. Bea Harrel (Chocktaw) recently sold a children's book called How Thunder & Lightening Came to Be to Dial Books for Young Readers which will be forthcoming in May 1995."