Vol. IX, No.1                             Nov. 1991

                 life isn't so hard
                 to stop
                 a moment
                 & not interact
                                 "Sometimes"    nila northsun


Association News                   Page 1
Books                                       Page 3
Calls                                        Page 6
Gatherings                              Page 9
Bulletin Board                        Page 10


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. Due dates for publications are October 15, February 15 and May 15. Send news-worthy materials or subscription fees ($4 domestic,$6 overseas) to:

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

Association News

The annual association business meeting will take place at the Modern Languages Association convention in San Francisco, on the 29th of December at 10:15 a.m. in Sausalito A, Hilton. All members are urged to attend; there are many things to discuss and to handle, including the election of new officers.

There will be several A.S.A.I.L. programs, as well as related sessions and papers, taking place during the course of the convention.

"Authenticity and Authorship: Tracking Signs In Native American Texts" 3:30-4:45 December 27th, Monterey B, Hilton, John Purdy, Presiding.

1. "Looking through the Glass Darkly: The Editorialization of Mourning Dove," Alanna Kathleen Brown, Montana State Univ.

2. "American Indian Literatures, Authenticity, and the Canon," Rodney Simard, California State University at San Bernardino.

3. "Tracking the 'Truth' in Black Hawk's Autobiography," Ruth Burridge Lindemann, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana.

4. "Storytelling: Tradition and Preservation in Erdrich's Tracks," Jennifer Sergi, Univ. of Rhode Island.

"Kashaya-Pomo Women Talking Stories" 9:00-10:15 p.m. December 27th, Whitney, Hilton, Greg Sarris Presiding.

Speakers: Anita Silva, Sonoma County Health Center; Violet {2} Chappell, Kashaya-Pomo Reservation; Vanna Lawson, Santa Rosa, California.

"Reversing the Gaze: American Indians Look Back at Columbus" 1:45-3:00 December 28th, Sonoma, Hilton, A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff Presiding.

1. "Dawn Bringer and the Christ Bearer: The Columbian Impact on Native American Narratives," Jay Hansford C. Vest, Univ. of Washington.

2. "Vizenor's Heirs of Columbus: Overturning the 'Striven Western Gaze with Humor,'" Kimberly M. Blaeser, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

3. "Discourse and That Course: Dorris and Erdrich Remap Columbus," Louis Owens, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz.

"Author, Audience, Critic: Who Produces the Native American Text?" 10:15-11:30 a.m. December 30th, Belvedere, Hilton, Toby Langen Presiding.

1. "Encountering Traditional Stories in Print: Reading as Restoration," Toby Langen, Seattle, Washington.

2. "The Concept of Canonicity and Children's Literature by Native AmericanAuthors," Evelyn Wright, Western Washington Univ.

3. "'She Must Serve Her Purpose': Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Fertility in the Novels of N. Scott Momaday," Kathleen Donovan, Univ. of Arizona.

4. "Indians: The Hole in America's Heart," Bonnie Barthold, Western Washington Univ.

Of further note:

"Hemingway's Presentation of Diverse Others" (Dec. 27th) will include "Hemingway's Native Americans: Including the Thing Left Out," Michael Longrie, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison. "American Literary Pluralism: Rhetoric and Reality" (Dec 29th) will include "Understanding American Indian Oral Literatures: Academic and Community Contexts," Alfonso Ortiz, Univ. of New Mexico.

"Women as Creative Agents: Multicultural Perspectives" (Dec 29th) will include "Linda Hogan: Dismantling and Rebuilding the World Through Writing," Kimberly M. Blaeser, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

"The Image and Meaning of New World Discovery in Ethnic Literature: (Dec. 30th) will include "The Sense of Discovery in Native American Literature," Andrew Wiget, New Mexico State University

Books and Other Publications

Talking Leaves: Contemporary Native American Short Stories was released in October by Laurel Books/Dell Publishing. Edited and Introduced by Oregon writer Craig Lesley, the collection contains seventeen previously unpublished short stories interspersed with reprinted stories and excerpts from novels by such writers as Joy Harjo, Gerald Vizenor, Beth Brant, Ed Edmo, Joseph Bruchac, Linda Hogan, Rayna Green, Mickey Roberts, Maurice Kenny, Greg Sarris and Elizabeth Woody, to name only a few. For information, contact Dell at (212) 492-8672 or 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10103.

Ray A. Young Bear "awaits the publication of his third book, Black Eagle Child, from the University of Iowa Press. Using dreams and mythology as a take-off point combined with modern tribal realities, the book documents the tumultuous journey of two Native Americans through Midwestern America, 1965 to 1989."

Joseph Bruchac's novel The Dawn Land is due for release next year from Fulcrum. Moreover, his collection of short stories, Turtle Meat, is to be published by Holy Cow Press. (For an update on "Returning the Gift," the writers conference Bruchac has helped bring into being, please see the "Gatherings" section.)

And from The Greenfield Review Press there are two recent books. Raven Tells Stories: An Anthology of Alaska Native Writing is edited by Bruchac and includes "poems, stories, essays, plays, and journal excerpts from the writings of native Alaskans." Twenty-three writers are represented, including Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Robert H. Davis, Glen Simpson and Mary TallMountain, to name only a few. One More Story: Contemporary Seneca Tales of the Supernatural, as told by DuWayne Leslie Bowen, is a collection of "narratives of ghosts, giant animals, shapeshifters and strange events... 'told by Indians to Indians.' What makes this book a special one is Bowen's style, for these tales are told in his own unique, enthralling way." (The Bruchac book is $12.95, the Bowen $9.95. Add $1.50 each for postage and handling. The Greenfield Review Press, 2 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center, N.Y. 12833.)

There are two expansive anthologies to be released from Norton soon. The Before Columbus Foundation Fiction Anthology and its companion piece The Before Columbus Foundation Poetry Anthology "celebrate the 10th anniversary of the non-{5}profit foundation's American book Awards." The fiction anthology is edited by Shawn Wong, Ishmael Reed, and Kathryn Trueblood and includes excerpts from works by writers familiar to Notes readers: James Welch, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Russell Banks and Gerald Vizenor. The poetry collection is edited by Wong, Reed, J.J. Phillips and Gundar Strads and includes poems from Peter Blue Cloud, Linda Hogan, Maurice Kenny, Duane Niatum, William Oandasan and Elizabeth Woody. (These books include works from numerous writers from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and will be priced at $24.95 and $11.95 paper.)

Professor D. Riemenschneider announces ACOLIT, the newsletter for Gesellschaft für die Neuen Englischsprachigen Literaturen (Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English). The association acts as a center for the study an promotion of emergent literatures in English from around the world, and sponsors conferences that incorporate scholarly presentations as well as readings and book fairs. Their gathering in Mannheim, Germany in 1990 brought writers from India, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Africa, Canada, Australia and the U.S. together with students, teachers, and readers from throughout Europe. For more information about ACOLIT or the Association, contact Professor Riemenschneider through the Institut für England-und Amerikastudien, der J.W. Goethe-Universität, Kettenhofweg 130, Postfach 11 19 32, 6000 Frankfurt am Main 11, Germany.

I have received the first issue of an extensive publication: Languages of the World. It is "an international journal on language typology, genetic relationships of languages, geographical linguistics and related topics." Related topics include Native American literatures (as well as adds for SAIL and NOTES). The extensive nature of this publication, and its newsletter, Linguistic News Lines, will make it a very useful {6} resource for anyone who wishes to study Native American literatures. For information about these works, or to subscribe, write:
Languages of the World
Sportplatzstr. 6
D-8044 Unterschleissheim  München
(Fees are $27 Student, $40 Individual, and $55 Institution.)

I have also received the first edition of "La Concha": "the quarterly newsletter of Tainos Del Norte. We are a Taino group based in New York City and are all of Tainos ancestry from Boriken." The publication includes articles upon Tainos history, language, healing plants, a statement of purpose, and a poem. For subscriptions ($12 a year) write Tainos Del Norte, 2673 Broadway, Suite 223, New York, NY 10025.

From The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Newsletter:
A Discourse-Centered Approach to Culture: Native South American Myths and Rituals. Greg Urban. University of Texas Press, 1991. Urban "draws upon his wide experience as a linguistic anthropologist in lowland South America to argue that culture is not necessarily a shared entity, equally accessible to all members of a community. Instead, culture is 'localized' in discourse, and 'the extent of sharing and continuity is open to empirical investigation through the comparison of actual instances of discourse usage'."

K'etettaalkkaanee: The One Who Paddled Among the People and Animals. Catherine Attla. Alaska Native Language Center (Univ. of Alaska Press), 1990. "A traditional pan-Athabaskan and pan-Eskimo story cycle.., in Koyukon Athabaskan and English...." And K'etetaalkkaanee: An Analytical Compan-{7}ion Volume. Chad Thompson, 1990. This is a teacher's guide to the above.
The Maidu Indian Myths and Stories of Hanc'ibyjim. Edited and translated by William Shipley. Heyday Books, 1991. "Texts collected by Roland B. Dixon in 1902-03 from an accomplished Maidu storyteller carefully and lovingly translated by the senior scholar in Maidu linguistics."

And from the North, via James Ruppert:

From the Writings of the Greenlanders: Kalaallit atuakkiaannit. Compiled, translated and edited by Michael Fortescue. Fairbanks: Univ. of Alaska Press, 1990. (A collection of translations from Greenlandic Native writing.)

Native Writers and Canadian Writing. A special issue of Canadian Literature, W. H. New, Ed. Univ. of British Columbia Press, 1990. (Articles and poems by Native and non-Natives.)

Sweet Promises: A Reader on Indian-White Relations in Canada. J.R. Miller, Ed. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1991.

Northern Voices: Inuit Writing in English. Penny Petrone, Ed. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1988. (Selections of many writers from traditional tales and modern writing published in English.)

Our Bit of Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature. Agnes Grant, Ed. Pemmican Publications, 412 McGregor, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R2W4X5.

There are two recent works of note in Writers Digest. "Louise Erdnch and Michael Dorris: A Marriage of Minds," an inter-{8}view by Michael Schumacher (June 1991); and "Matt Burns and a Fistful of Poems," by Joseph Bruchac (February 1991).

Also, Studies in American Indian Literatures editor Helen Jaskoski has an article, "Thinking Woman's Children and the Bomb," forthcoming in The Nightmare Considered, Ed. Nancy Anisfield. This collection of writings focuses on nuclear issues in literature; Helen's article discusses Ceremony and Stallion Gate. The collection also includes an article by Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris.

I have also received an issue of The Seedhead News, a quarterly publication of Native Seeds/ SEARCH, "a nonprofit organization that works to preserve the traditional crops of the Indigenous People in the greater Southwest." If interested, write Kevin Lee Lopez, Native American Outreach Coordinator, 2509 N. Campbell Ave. #325, Tucson, AZ 85719.


N.E.H. Summer Seminar for School Teachers

Kenneth Roemer will direct a seminar--"Voices Reaching Back, Creating Anew: Four 20th-Century Native American Texts"--from June 29-July 24, 1992 at the University of Texas at Arlington. The stipend for participants is $2,450 and to be eligible applicants must be "full-time or regular part-time teachers at public, private, or parochial schools: preferences for grades 7-12 and for teachers with at least three years of experience." Further details and applications will be available after late November. Write to:

Kenneth M. Roemer
English/Box 19035
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX 76019

A.S.A.I.L. sessions at the conference of the American Literature Association, May 28-3 1, 1992. San Diego, California.

We hope to offer five sessions, which may include panels or readings as well as the presentation of papers. Possible session topics include: the treatment of historical truth in recent Native American novels; the poetry of Joy Harjo; oral literature in the print culture--colonization, hybridization, preservation, or impossible dream?; community, classroom and library--experiences with Native American literature inside and outside academe. ("Experiences" might include fieldwork, teaching, community organization, or encounters with institutional and tribal politics.)

If you would like to organize a panel or session, please call Toby Langen at (206) 633-4207. To propose a paper, please send a one-page abstract to Toby at 1102 North 46th Street, Seattle, WA 98103. Deadline: 15 February 1992.

One session has already formed:

"D'Arcy McNickle and the Canons of America"

I am seeking papers for a session on the writer D'Arcy McNickle (1904-77) during the American Literature Association conference in San Diego, May 28-31, 1992. Papers, suitable for a 15-20 minute presentation, should focus on McNickle, his writings, his relationship with other contemporary writers or works, or any other topic/idea fitting for the conference. Send abstracts by February 15th to:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055
(206) 676-3243

(If requested, submissions will also be considered for the book described below.)

The Hungry Generations: The Visions of D'Arcy McNickle

I am also seeking unpublished essays on McNickle for a book that will examine, in detail, his life and writings. Although my primary interest is in his fiction, I encourage essays that creatively explore any aspect(s) of McNickle's life and work that may provide contexts for his literary endeavors. I will accept submissions until June 1, 1992, and will respond to abstracts, inquiries, partially formed ideas until May 1, 1992. For more information, format requirements, or submissions, contact:

John Purdy
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055
(206) 676-3243

Contemporary Translations of Native American Literatures of North America
Brian Swann has received a contract to edit an anthology/reader showcasing the best contemporary translations (or retranslations) of North America Native American literatures. Random House will publish the hardcover and Vintage Books the paperback. The book is intended to give a sense of variety, scope, excellence, and excitement of Native American literatures, scattering stereotypes, opening minds, expanding the meaning of "literature." It will be a tradebook aimed at a wide, general audience. Please send Swann your proposal in as much detail as possible, as soon as possible, and no later than February 1, 1992. The deadline for the completed contribution is October 31, 1992, with publication in 1993. (Pays 550 dollars upon acceptance.)

Brian Swann
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The Cooper Union
Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003-7183

From a press release, the following: "The Greenfield Literary Center announces two major grants totalling $215,000 awarded to support Returning the Gift: A Project for North American Native Writers sponsored by the Literary Center. The focal component of this project will be a Festival bringing together approximately 180 North American Native writers--both young authors at the start of their careers and established authors already well published--at the University of Oklahoma Campus at Norman, Oklahoma from July 7th through 10th 1992. One of the major missions of the Returning the Gift Project is to strengthen the role played by Native Writing and Native writers in educating and providing role models for Native youth. . . . Such projects as the compilation and distribution (to American Indian and other interested schools) of a first-ever Directory of North American Native Writers, the involvement of a large number of Native youth in the 1992 Festival in Oklahoma, the development of sample lesson plans using Native writing, and outreach programs in a number of schools around the nation bringing Native American writers into classrooms are among the ways Returning the Gift plans to accomplish its missions." The first two days of the Festival will be structured for Native writers only, the third for non-Native supporters of Native writing, and the last is open to the general public. For further information contact Barbra Hobson, Project Coordinator, 3015 72nd Street N.E., Norman, OK 73071. Phone: (405) 329-7729 or 325-2331

Responses from Readers

My call for bibliographies on children's literature by Native American writers has resulted in several responses. To date, I have received two complete bibliographies from very kind readers. One is an annotated bib, of books for young people by and about Native Americans that I received from Lisa A. Mitten, who is Secretary for the American Indian Library Association, a noteworthy organization. (Mitten is the Social Science Bibliographer in the Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh.) From Dona Hoilman, Assistant Director of Foreign Student Programs at Ball State University, I received a twenty-eight page bibliography covering both children's and adolescent's literatures by and about American Indians. In fact, this was the topic of her dissertation ten years ago, "which provides analyses, literary and political, of all the primary books in the bibliography." She would "be happy to send sections to anyone who might find it useful." And from John Bierhorst I have four other published sources: Folklore of the North American Indians: An Annotated Bibliography, compiled by Judith C. Ullom, Children's Book Section, General Reference and Bibliography Division. Washington: Library of Congress, 1969. 126 p. Byler, Mary Gloyne, comp. American Indian Authors for Young Readers: A Selected Bibliography. New York: Association on American Indian Affairs, 1973. 26 p. Crossland, Alan, comp. North American Indians. Pamphlet Number Sixteen. Birmingham, England: Youth Libraries Group, The Library Association, 1975. 28 p. (Copies available, price 70p from Miss L. Hopkins, Central Children's Library, Paradise, Birmingham, B3 3HQ.) And, Lass-Woodfin, Mary Jo, ed. Books on American Indians and Eskimos: A Selected Guide for Children and Young Adults. Chicago: American Library Association, 1978. 237 p. And as Bierhorst notes, the Summer 1991 issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures {13} (3:2) contains a review of Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale's edition, Books Without Bias: Through Indian Eyes. I am sure I speak for everyone interested in this area of study when I thank those who have so generously responded to the call.

On a similar note, I recently received a press release from Lee & Low Books, a new "children's book publisher that specializes in multicultural themes. The company plans to launch its first list with three books in fall 1992. They will include fiction and non-fiction, in hard-cover and paperback, written from pre\-school to young adults." Address all correspondence to Lee & Low Books, 228 East 45th Street, 14th floor, New York, NY 10017.

Bulletin Board

Colleagues overseas:
Professor Yuri A. Tambovtsev would appreciate correspondence, interaction in the study of Native American cultures and languages. Professor Tambovtsev is a long-standing subscriber to ASAIL Notes. Please share your interests with him:

Professor Yuri A. Tambovtsev
Chairman Foreign Languages and Linguistics
Lvov Leso-Technical Institute
P.O. Box 8834
Lvov-44, 290044 USSR

Another colleague interested in sharing an interest in Native Literatures is:

Franco Meli
12 Corso Porto Ticinese
20123 Milano  ITALY

Andrea Lerner has moved to:
English Department
California State Univ., Chico
Chico, CA 95928