5. / mar 88

Editor: Andrew Wiget, Dept. of English! 3E, New Mexico S U, Las Cruces, NM 88003


ASAIL NOTES will be moving to Oregon! My commitments to other long-term projects have swamped me, and I have become increasingly dissatisfied this past year with my ability to get NOTES out in a timely fashion. A newsletter can hardly call itself such if it brings you yesterday's news tomorrow. After I had placed several long-distance calls for a relief pitcher, John Purdy from Central Oregon Community College graciously responded with a willingness to assume the task. A former student of Kay Sands', John is a younger scholar who has written a good deal on contemporary American Indian writing. John's invitation to the readership follows:

        Since I hope to do a thorough job as editor, I will rely a great deal upon the dedication and concern of our members to insure that I provide extensive, current and relevant information for our readers. I hope you will assist me so that ASAIL NOTES will continue to fulfill its role as the hub of such a vital organization.
        So, if you have knowledge of recent or forthcoming publications, meetings or conferences, general news, or if you would like to share your current research interests or suggestions, please contact me at the address below.
        I look forward to the next few years, and I am sure I speak for all of us when I thank Andy for his years of devotion to the association and the newsletter.
Professor John Purdy
Language and Literature
Central Oregon Community College
2600 N.W. College Way
Bend, OR 97701-5998
Phone: 503/382-6112, ext. 254

Remember...this is your newsletter. If it is to serve as the principal communicative means to develop a community of scholars, then it is the scholars who must communicate. Write John not only with. news, but with current research projects or relevant public interest issues or letters that suggest projects that ASAIL NOTES might facilitate (like the teaching survey of two years ago). I want to thank John again for taking over this responsibility, and all of you for your cooperation during my years as editor.

SAD NEWS . . .

This year marks the end of two distinguished publications which have been instrumental in the development of contemporary American Indian literature.
        After 17 years--which must be some kind of small press record--The Greenfield Review is ceasing publication. The message being sent by editor/publisher Joe Bruchac is clear: "The bottom line is this. If so many writers praised the magazine for its vision, and its literary merit was recognized by being given such honors as the 1984 American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation, why weren't more people buying it?" The quarterly could never climb out of the red and the Bruchacs could no longer continue to support it. The Greenfield Review Press continues publishing collections of poetry and fiction, however, and Joe is still coordinating his Native American Authors Distribution Project, which has a lengthy list of chapbooks and major press publications for sale. For a catalog; write: The Greenfield Review Press, 2 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center, NY 12833, or phone (518) 584-1728.
        Also ending publication this year is Blue Cloud Quarterly. In addition to running out of steam himself, Bro. Benet Tvedten, the editor, lost the services of the Abbey's full-time printer, and given the other printing priorities at the Abbey, he remarked, "If anything has to go first, it's poetry. BCQ will close strongly, however, with four issues this year, beginning with a volume of Bruchac stories, then collections of poetry by Susan Clemons (Seneca/Blackfeet), Cliff Birney (Yankton Sioux) and Mary Tall Mountain (Koyukon). With Bro. Benet, we too feel the passing of BCQ as a "death in the family." Bro. Benet also observed that Indian writers and scholars seem to have withdrawn into themselves, and lamented what he saw as a lack of community and networking.
        It's impossible to write anything that satisfactorily measures these losses or adequately communicates our gratitude to these editors for their work. Their best testimony is their own record, a legacy of rich and varied publications which broadened our conception of what American Indian writing had become and let us peek over the horizon at what it could be.


Joe Bruchac writes that in mid-January ASKWESASNE NOTES' "building was destroyed by a suspicious midnight fire. They lost everything. Computers, typewriters, thousands of books they were selling, all their back issues, the plates for their books, the works. They're operating now out of the Mohawk Tribal Offices on Cornwall Island and doing the best they can to keep going . . . they just brought out an issue of INDIAN TIME, their local Indian paper, and they have an issue of AKWESASNE NOTES in the works. There may be a benefit done for them sometime soon. Ironic, since they had a successful one this past year with folks like Pete Seeger and Floyd Westerman performing. The only insurance they had was $10,000 on the building itself, not its contents . . ."

PEOPLE . . .

        There were several sessions on American Indian Literature at the Annual Meeting of the MLA this year, all well attended. It was a pleasure to welcome a scholar from Italy for the second year in a row. Last year Franco Meli attended; this year, Laura Coltelli. At the annual business meeting, Jim Ruppert was voted President-Elect to assist Kay Sands, this year's President . . . MAURICE KENNY is now at North Country Community College, Saranac Lake, NY, after teaching a semester at the University of Oklahoma. We'll know its permanent if he gives up Brooklyn. . . . JAMES WELCH has been teaching in the English Department at Cornell University.


        We thank Laura Coltelli, U of Pisa, for supplying the following information on Native American literary scholarship in Italy.


A.    Major publishing houses have inaugurated new series devoted to Native American culture (history, anthropology, autobiography), beginning with the following:

Mursia Publishers. Milano
   G.E. Hyde and G. Bent. La mia gente Cheyenne. (Life of George Bent Written from His Letters), 1984.
   Royal B. Hassrick. I Sioux (The Sioux. The Life and Customs of a Warrior Society), 1984.
   Stanley Vestal. Toro Seduto. Campione dei Sioux (Sitting Bull, Champion of the Sioux), 1984.
   James L. Haley. Gli Apache (Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait), 1986.
   Gualtiero Stafanon. Uomini bianchi contro uomini rossi 1830-1890, 1985.
   Enzo Braschi. Il popolo del grande spirito. Le tradizioni, la cultura e i riti religiosi degli Indiani d'America, 1986.
Rusconi Publishers. Milano
   Alice Nero. La sacra pipa (The Sacred Pipe), 1986.
   Gambe di Legno. La Lunga marcia verso l'esilio (Wooden Leg, A Warrior Who Fought Custer), 1987.
   Mary Sandoz. Cavallo pazzo (Crazy Horse), 1987.
   Figlio di Vecchio Cappello, La sapienza dei Navajo (Son of Old Man Hat), 1987.
   John Bierhorst. Miti pellerossa. Milano: Longanesi, 1984.
   Alessandro Man Catani, ed. Antologia selvaggia. Firenze: Sansoni, n.d.
   Gianni Guadalupi, ed. Indiania ovvero il Paese delle Ombre Rosse. Milano: Franco Maria Ricci, 1987.

B.    Forthcoming volumes of the series "lndianamenicana" ("The New Literature") - General Editors: Laura Coltelli (Univ. of Pisa) - Gaetano Prampolini (Univ. of Florence):

   N. Scott Momaday, La via la Monte della Pioggia (The Way to Rainy Mountain), ed. by Gaetano Prampolini.
   Gerald Vizenor, Parolefrecce (Wordarrows), ed. by Maria Vittoria D'Amico.
   James Welch, La morte di Jim Loney (The Death of Jim Loney), ed. by Cinzia Biagiotti.
   D'Arcy McNickle, L'accerchiamento (The Surrounded), ed. by Marina Gradoli.
   J. J. Mathews, Wah-Kon-Tah. ed. by Gaetano Prampolini.
   N. Scott Momaday, I nomi (The Names), ed. by Laura Coltelli

C.    The forthcoming Native American Literatures, edited by Laura Coltelli, will be published in a few months. It is a new publication of interdisciplinary scholarship dealing with both contemporary and traditional aspects of Native American literatures and cultures.


Franco Meli, "La terra indiana ricordata: la poesia di Simon Ortiz" L'anno della Poesia, Milano: Jaka Book, 1986 (translation of six poems by Simon Ortiz with an introduction, pp. 91-95).


In the past two years Jack Forbes (Univ. of California, Davis), Carol Hunter (Univ. of Oklahoma), Ken Lincoln (UCLA), Kay Sands (Univ. of Arizona) have been invited to lecture on Native American topics at the Univ. of Pisa and Florence. University courses and seminars on contemporary Native American fiction and poetry have been regularly offered in the past few years at the same Italian Universities.


        Barbara Gaibisso, "Ceremony de Leslie Marmon Silko: Assimilazione E Identita culturale" (Univ. of Pisa)
        Caterina Federici. "La narrativa di James Welch" (Univ. of Pisa)
        Paola Freggia, "Il nativo americano nell'opera di James Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain" (Univ. of Pisa)
        Alessandra Levorato, "D'Arcy McNickle tra letteratura e impegno politico" (Univ. of Florence)
        Roberta Orlandini, "Introduzione alla narrativa di James Welch" (Univ. of Florence)
        Luisa Marconcini, "N. Scott Momaday: linguaggio e memoria" (Univ. of Pisa).