Vol. XIII, No. 1 March 1995

Vol. XIII, No.1                             March 1995

"The eagle ranges far and wide over the land, farther than any other creature, and all things there are related simply by having existence in the perfect vision of the bird." -- N. Scott Momaday


Association News                 Page 1
Bulletin Board                      Page 4
Calls                                     Page 4
Gatherings                            Page 5
Publications                         Page 7
Periodicals                          Page 10


is published three times a year -- on October 15, February 15, and May 15 -- for the Association for the Study of American Indian literatures. Publication is funded by American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Please submit news-worthy materials to:

Michael Wilson
Department of English and Comparative Literature
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
Phone: (414) 229-4839
Fax: (414) 229-2643
Electronic mail: mwilson@csd.uwm.edu

Association News

ASAIL Presidents Report

As we swing into a new year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our organization. Special thanks are due several people for their extraordinary dedication and hard work. For health reasons, Rodney Simard stepped down as editor but may return in the future when he feels fully recovered. We greatly appreciate the fine work Rodney has produced for SAIL, particularly the vision he provided as editor; he continues as consulting editor. John Purdy graciously has agreed to step in as editor for an interim period of one year or more. Bob Nelson keeps everything flowing smoothly and makes certain we meet our financial obligations to the world. Without Bob, where would we be? Michael Wilson has gallantly stepped in and taken over the ASAIL Notes as John shifted his responsibilities to the editorship--welcome aboard to Mike! For those of you who do not know Mike, he is the one who keeps the electronic discussions going on The Net. Betty Louise Bell and Ines Hernandez Avila will continue to serve as Vice-President and Secretary, respectively, for another two years. Thanks to each person for the unique contribution each has made to our organization. Thanks also to their institutions for the support they give which in turn enables our people to do work for ASAIL, particularly the University of Richmond, the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, and Western Washington University.
          At this year's annual meeting at the Modern Language Association Conference, we agreed to go forward with our plans to increase Native participation in the organization. With $300 travel grants, we partially sponsored two Native graduate students to attend MLA, both of whom gave papers on ASAIL panels--Jeane Breinig and Fred White. Next year we hope to continue offering travel grants as we can afford to do so. In addition, we are planning to reach out more effectively to the tribal colleges by offering them free subscriptions of SAIL for one year. We hope to feature a volume of tribal college student writing within the next year. We call upon you to {2} consider contributing an extra $35 to ASAIL, and thereby becoming a special sponsor of a tribal college library subscription, or contributing toward our native graduate student grants. (Please send contributions to Robert Nelson, Box 112, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173.)
          As President of ASAIL, I welcome any comments or suggestions you may have for the directions of the organization, journal, and newsletter. As all of you know, the interest in American Indian literary study has grown substantially over the last several years; we must have your help and contributions if we hope to continue the high standards in our discussions of Native topics, writings, and teachings. Because of the increased volume of names on our Notes subscription list, we will soon be instituting a special charge for non-ASAIL members. (We discussed and agreed upon this plan at the 1993 MLA.) John continued the practice of sending the newsletter to individuals who are not interested in or able to subscribe to SAIL, but the costs of doing so have skyrocketted. We are talking about a designing a new cover. Let us know what you think

At the San Diego MLA we sponsored "Return to Native Languages," chaired by Fred White, and "Teaching Native American Literatures," which I chaired. Both sessions were well-attended and -received. The American Literature Division sponsored "Past, Present, Future(s): Literary Criticism and Native American Literature," chaired by Arnold Krupat; "Voices of Native California," chaired by Greg Sarris; and "Performance of Diane Glancy's Halfact," organized by Susan Scarberry-Garcia.
          Next December we will be sponsoring two sessions at the MLA: "Identity and Intentionality: Native Language Presence in Contemporary Native American Texts," with Fred White organizing; and "Regionalism and American Indian Literatures," with A. LaVonne Ruoff organizing. We will also be participating in the American Literature Association conference in Baltimore in May with several panels. The Division will be sponsoring sessions on teaching (Jim Ruppert), Critical Native voices (Kim Blaeser), and Midwestern Native Writers (LaVonne Ruoff).
          At this year's ALA in Baltimore, ASAIL will sponsor two panels (thanks to Betty Louise Bell for organizing them): "Talking {3} Red: Native American Literature and Language," chaired by Bob Reising, and "Tracking Louise Erdrich," chaired by Catherine Rainwater. The conference takes place May 25, 26, & 27, at the Stouffer-Harborplace Hotel; make reservations by dialing 1-800-468-3571. Because the organization operates largely by word of mouth, the program organizer has suggested that we plan now for next years conference in San Diego in late May or early June (they alternate between Baltimore and San Diego). If you are interested in chairing a panel or presenting a paper next year, please contact me: Cornell University, Department of English, Ithaca, New York 14850.
          Again, thank you for your continued support. We look forward to another productive and inspiring year.

Respectfully yours,
Kate Shanley, ASAIL President

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Bulletin Board

ASAIL is asking for donations to send SAIL to all tribal colleges in the U.S. for one year, and to help defray travel costs for American Indian graduate students attending the upcoming MLA conference in Chicago. There are twenty-eight tribal colleges, which often operate on very limited budgets. Any amount you wish to donate is greatly appreciated. Please send donations to Robert Nelson, Box 112, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173.

ASAIL encourages writers to think about producing books for the MLA series "Approaches to Teaching." The only book in Indian literature so far is Ken Roemer's Approaches to Teaching Momaday's Way to Rainy Mountain. Our field would certainly benefit from having more books in this series on such complex works as Leslie Silko's Almanac of the Dead and Ray A. Young Bear's Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives.

NativeLit-L is an electronic mailing list for the discussion of Native American Literature. The list welcomes book reviews, articles about poetry, fiction, and criticism; information about publications, talks, conferences; and general chit-chat about Native literature. Currently, over 300 people worldwide are subscribe to this list. For information about subscribing, send e-mail to idoy@crux2.cit.cornell.edu.


The Stuttgart Seminar in Cultural Studies will hold its 4th session from August 6 to August 15, 1995 near Stuttgart, Germany. The topic of the seminar is Re-Writing History. The seminar is organized by Prof. Heide Ziegler, who holds the Chair of American Studies and is currently serving as President of the University of Stuttgart. It is sponsored by the City of Stuttgart, by the University of Stuttgart, and by the State of Baden-Wittenberg. The application deadline is May 1, {5} 1995. Only a limited number of scholarships are available. For more information, contact the Stuttgart Seminar, do Prof Dr. Heide Ziegler, Universit fr Literaturwissenschaft, Amerikanistik und Neuere Englische Literatur, Keplerstr. 17, D-70 174 Stuttgart, Germany. Phone: 0049-711-121-3104; fax: 0049-711-121-3500. E-mail: heide.ziegler@po.uni-stuttgart.de

Loonfeather Press is seeking prose manuscripts for an anthology of Anishinaabe writing to be edited by Kimberly Blaeser. Submissions may be either fiction or creative non-fiction, but no poetry is being considered at this time. Unpublished material is preferred, but previously published work will be considered provided the author retains publication rights. Deadline for submissions is May 15, 1995. Please include a short autobiographical sketch, a self-addressed stamped envelope for reply and, if you wish, a post card for verification of the manuscripts receipt. A small payment will be made per page of printed text, and writers will receive one copy of the anthology and a 40% discount on additional copies. The anthology will be copyrighted with all rights returning to the authors upon publication. Please send submissions to: Kimberly Blaeser, Dept. of English & Comparative Literature, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201.


Here is the list of panels ASAIL is sponsoring at this years ALA conference (Baltimore, 26-28 May):

I. Talking Red: Native American Literature and Language. Chair: Bob Reising, Pembroke State

1. "Hoop Dreams: Sherman Alexie's Reservation Moves," Eric Anderson, Rutgers University
2. "The Subtle Politics of Storytelling in American Indian Fiction," Edward Huffstetler, Bridgewater College
3. "Lumbee Language and Literature," Bob Reising, Pembroke State University

II. Tracking Louise Erdrich           Chair: Catherine Rainwater, St. Edwards University

1. "Narrative and Ethos in Erdrich's 'A Wedge of Shade,'" William J. Scheick, University of Texas at Austin
2. "Indi'n Humor and Postmodern Play in Erdrich's THE BINGO PALACE," Nancy J. Peterson, Purdue University
3. "Of Vision Quests and Spirit Guardians: Female Power in the Novels of Louise Erdrich," Annette Van Dyke, Sangamon State University

The session of the NorthEast Modern Language Association entitled "Teaching Native American Literatures: New Approaches and Connections" will take place on April 1, 1995, 3:45 pm, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. This panel is chaired by Eric Anderson, and will have the following presenters:

1. "Teaching Native American Creation Stories to Students of the Judeo/Christian Tradition" -- Michael Olin-Hitt, Mount Union College.
2. "Teaching 18th-Century Treaties: Native American Literature in Historical Perspective" -- Maureen Konkle, University of Minnesota.
3. "Place as Text: An Experiential Study of Native American Culture in Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas" -- Shirley Thomas, John Brown University.
4. "Missing Pages: The Legacy of Colonization in American Literature" -- Kara Provost, University of Minnesota.
5. Response -- Elizabeth Ammons, Tufts University.


James Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre) has released his first work of non-fiction, Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians, written with Paul Stekler (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994). According to Karen Auerbach, publicist for W. W. Norton, Killing Custer "is a detailed, personal, and quietly passionate resurrection and retelling of the events surrounding the tragic battle between Custer's Seventh Calvary and the Plains Indians at the Little Big horn." Auerbach explains: "The book grew out of Welch's extensive researches in preparation for co-writing the script for the superb American Experience episode, "Last Stand at Little Bighorn," which Paul Stekler co-wrote and directed.

Robert Allen Warrior's much-anticipated Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions is now available. From the jacket: "Tribal Secrets lays the groundwork for a new and richer American Indian critical studies through a comparative interpretation of the works of Vine Deloria Jr. and John Joseph Mathews, two American Indian intellectuals of this century. Warrior draws a framework for understanding the contribution of these writers and scholars as part of the struggle for tribal sovereignty, and argues that the contemporary reality of Native peoples can and should be part of a critical understanding of the past, present, and future of Indian America." Gerald Vizenor writes that Warrior "ascertains intellectual histories that have been largely unconsidered in other studies of Native American Indians . . . a courageous comparative textual criticism."

Recently Carter Revard served as guest editor for the Nebraska English Journal issue of American Indian poetry and essays on American Indian books and topics, called Native American Heritage (1993/1994, published by the Department of English, Creighton University). Poets in this issue include Kim Blaeser, Charlene Blue Horse, Annette Arkeketa, Simon Ortiz, Lee Ann Howe, Maurice Kenny, and Carter Revard.

Matthias Schubnell guest-edited an issue of The American Nature Writing Newsletter (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment), which includes works from N. Scott Momaday, Joy Harjo, Louis Owens, Joe Bruchac, Carter Revard, Laura Tohe, Charmaine Benz, and Marilou Awiakta. The address for the Association (ASLE) is c/o Scott Slovic, Department of English, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666-4616.

The volume Tricksterism in Turn-of-the-Century American Literature, edited by Elizabeth Ammons and Annette White-Parks, has been published by the University Press of New England. In praise of this collection, Amy Ling writes: "The connecting theme of the trickster is central to the theory and practice of multicultural literature and of utmost interest and importance to students of American literature. I know of no other volume that does the important work of this one." Included in this work is an essay by Eric Anderson, "Manifest Dentistry, or Teaching Oral Narrative in McTeague and Old Man Coyote."

Robert Nelson's Place and Vision: The Function of Landscape in Native American Fiction (Peter Lang, 1993) has recently been selected by Choice magazine as one of two books by Lange for their "Best Academic Books for 1995." Place and Vision explores the role of physical landscape as both source and shaper of individuals and cultural identities in three important contemporary Native American novels: Leslie Silko's Ceremony, N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn, and James Welch's The Death of Jim Loney.

Adrian C. Louis has published his much-awaited novel Skins, a "stunning novel by one of the leading American Indian poets." Sherman Alexie praises the novel as "violent and dangerous book about 20th century Sioux Indians . . . a complex portrait of racism and brotherhood, sexism and affection, murder and redemption, alcoholism and laughter. These are not simply Sioux of 'Dances with Wolves.' These are not 'Native Americans.' These are Indians (Yes, Indians) living, dying, and loving on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. Believe me, despite all the pain and because of the pain, this is a love story."

Greg Sarris has recently published three much-admired works: The Sound of Rattles And Clappers, an edited collection of writing by American Indians in California; Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream, a biography of a Porno Basket maker for the Portraits of American Genius Series by the University of California Press; and Grand Avenue, a novel about the interconnected lives in two contemporary Pomo families. Geary Hobson writes that The Sound of Rattles and Clappers, which includes works by Janice Gould and William Oandasan, represents "the cream of contemporary California writing." Michael Dorris writes that "Grand Avenue is not only one of the very best works of fiction by and about Native Americans, its one of the most important imaginative books of the year, period." Sherman Alexie writes: "Greg Sarris' stories made me want to fly around the country and find some Indians, any Indians, so we could trade stories and songs. He has made himself an exciting new part of the latest Native American literary renaissance."

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Today, some of the best writing by Native authors, both fiction and nonfiction, covering a wide range of Native issues, is to be found in the wealth of Native American periodicals currently being published. The following list is a sample of the wide variety of magazines, journals, and newsletters currently available. This list is compiled by D.L. Birchfield, updated February 1995. (Note: many Native publications which do not regularly feature creative work by Native writers or which are not largely devoted to the study of Native literature have not been included).

Akwe:kon: A Journal Of indigenous Issues, 300 Caldwell Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. Literature and book review editor, David Moore. Formerly Northeast Indian Quarterly, now in its 11th year; wide range of articles, legal issues, Native agriculture, history, reviews, poetry, fiction, photos; quarterly, $18 per year.
American Indian Culture And Research Journal, American Indian Studies Center, 3220 Campbell Hall, UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1548. Now in its 18th year; professional, scholarly quarterly, interdisciplinary; lots of excellent, meaty reviews; $20 per year.
American Indian Libraries Newsletter, American Indian Library Assoc. (AILA), do Lotsee Patterson, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Oklahoma, 401 W. Brooks, Norman, OK 73019. Quarterly, now in its 17th year; job announcements, spot news, AILA minutes; excellent short book reviews by Lisa Mitten of the University of Pittsburgh; $10 per year to: American Indian Library Association, c/o Joan Howland, Law Library, University of Minnesota, 229 19th Avenue, South, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
The Four Directions: American Indian Literary Quarterly, Snowbird Publishing Co., P.O. Box 729, Tellico Plains, TN 37385. Relatively new, independent, Indian-owned quarterly, packed with poetry, short fiction, essays, all by Native writers; Vol. I issues #1, 2, & 3 are sold out; some copies of #4 (an All-Native Women's issue) {11} might still be available; Vol. II, #1 has also been published; $21 per year; $6 per issue.
Journal Of First North Gatherings: The En'owkin American Peoples, Theytus Books LTD, P.O. Box 20040, Penticton, B.C., Canada V2A 8K3. Published annually by the En'owkin Centre International School of Writing, a Native writers school in Canada, affiliated with the University of Victoria, but operated by Native people; packed with creative work (poetry, fiction) by Native writers from throughout North America; Vol. V (FaIl, 1994) is 284 pages; write for current catalogue, also publishes many other excellent works by Native authors.
Great Promise Magazine, 1103 Hatteras, Austin, TX 78753. Brand new Native children's magazine, edited by Native people, has now published its inaugural issue.
Indian Youth Of America Newsletter, P.O. Box 2786, Sioux City, IA 51106. Now in its 9th year; quarterly; each issue showcases fiction or poetry from some of the best Native authors (Carter Revard, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Beth Brant, etc.); sample copy, $2.50.
Moccasin Telegraph, 2951 Ellenwood Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031-2038. Now in its 3rd year; combined newsletter (irregular, sometimes monthly or bi-monthly, sometimes quarterly) of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas and Wordcraft Circle of Native American Mentor & Apprentice Writers; showcase of original poetry, fiction, and essays by emerging Native writers; reports on Native writer's conferences and workshops; Market Report features calls for submissions for anthologies, guidelines for submission to Native publications and book publishers, other opportunities for Native writers to find outlets for their work; profiles of Native authors; $24 per year, $2 sample copy.
Native Peoples Magazine, Suite C-224, 5333 N 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85014-2804. Full color quarterly magazine devoted to arts and lifeways of Native people; $18 per year.
Native Playwrights Newsletter, c/o Paul Rathbun, Director of Theater, Bravard Community College, 1519 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922. Now beginning its 3rd year; published March, July, & November; interviews with Native playwrights (Bruce King, LeAnne Howe, Carlotta Kauffman, etc.); news and reviews; history of Native theater. $20 per year.

News From Indian Country, Rt. 2, Box 2900-A, Hayward, WI 54843. National, Independent, twice-monthly Native newspaper; frequent interviews with Native authors; book reviews; $18 for six months.
News From Native California, P.O. Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709. Now in its 9th year; quarterly magazine covering a wide range of issues, exclusively concerning Indigenous peoples of California; articles, events calendar, reviews, history, photos; $17.50 per year.
The Raven Chronicles, P.O. Box 95918, Seattle, WA 98145. Now in its 4th year; multi-cultural journal of the arts and literature, including Native American literature; poetry, fiction, essays, reviews; winner of Washington State Bumbershoot Awards for literary excellence; $12 per year, $3 sample copy.
Spirit Talk, Postal Drawer V, Browning, MT 59417. A new, Indian-owned magazine devoted largely to Plains Indian culture, but covering other Native topics as well; debut issue has been published, second issue due out in March 1995; $19 per year.
Turtle Quarterly, Native American Center for the Living Arts, 25 Rainbow Boulevard S., Niagara Falls, NY 14303. Now in its 7th year; quarterly magazine; wide range of articles, emphasis on Native environmental and legal issues; fiction, reviews, photos; special children's section; $15 per year.
Wicazo Sa Review, Route #8, Box 510, Rapid City, SD 57702. Biannual, since 1985; Native-edited academic journal by American Indian Studies professionals; reviews, scholarly articles and essays, literary criticism, occasional poems, short stories, and humor; $20 per year.