“Native Voice: A Female Perspective” [video]

Hello all. Just a quick post and video from the SD Festival of Books. Included is a video of “Native Voice: A Female Perspective” – featuring Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Larissa FastHorse, Diane Glancy, Allison Hedge Coke, Susan Power and Delphine Red Shirt.

Ms. Red Shirt and Ms. Power had particularly stirring talks. I would very much recommend Ms. Power’s speech as it speaks of the co-optation (Co-optation refers to the tactic of neutralizing a minority voice by assimilating them into the established group or culture) of the Native American religion by a materialistic and drowning European culture. She was loud, expressive and honest. It spoke to the silly Western Buddhist in me and marginization of Asian Buddhists. Her talk starts at 26:40 and she brings an already elevated conversation up a level.

Each of these writers express a voice that is usually not heard. Guilty of some amount of co-option myself, my poetry has small tendrils of inspiration from some of the works listed below (The Reason for Crows and Bead on an Anthill are two of my favorites).

So, while I sit here in the Deadwood Grand eating my lunch and waiting for the keynote speaker to start, enjoy the talk and check out the bios below. 

Bios are from the South Dakota Humanities Council. 

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  Virginia received her B.S. and M.Ed. in 1954 and 1969, respectively, and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters 2008 from South Dakota State University. Her first book was released in 1972 and since then she has published 26 books, numerous short stories, articles and poems. She is married to Vance M. Sneve. They have three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Larissa FastHorse is a playwright from Sicangu Lakota Nation. In 2010 she recieved the National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished New Play Development Grant for FANCY DANCER with the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis.

Diane Glancy is professor emeritus at Macalester College.  She was the 2008-09 Visiting Richard Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College.  Her latest collection of nonfiction, The Dream of a Broken Field, was published in 2011 by the University of Nebraska Press.  In 2011, two of her plays, The Bird House and The Reason for Crows, were given developmental readings at the La Jolla in San Diego and the American Indian Community House in NYC.  Her latest collection of poetry, Stories of the Driven World, was published by Mammoth Press in Lawrence, Kansas, 2010.  In 2010, she also made her first independent film, The Dome of Heaven, which won the Best Native American Film at the 2011 Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, Oklahoma.  She currently lives in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Recent/notable work:

  • The Reason for Crows
  • Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears
  • The Dream of a Broken Field

Allison Hedge Coke has been an invitational featured performer in international poetry festivals in Medellin, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada, and Jordan and foreign professional in poetry and writing for Shandong University in Wei Hai, China. An Award-winning American Book author, she currently holds the Reynolds Chair of Poetry and Writing at the University of Nebraska, Kearney where she directs the Reynolds Series and Sandhill Crane Migration Retreat, and was recently awarded a Lannan Writing Residency at Marfa.  Hedge Coke has edited five additional collections and is editing two new book series of emerging Indigenous writing. Hedge Coke has continually taught various creative writing, literature, cultural philosophy, Native American Studies, education, and other courses for pre-school, K-12, college, university, and professional institutions since 1979.

Recent/notable work:

  • Blood Run
  • Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas
  • Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer
  • Off-Season City Pipe

Susan Power is a Standing Rock Sioux author from Chicago. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School. After a short career in law, she decided to become a writer, starting her career by earning an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her 1995 novel, The Grass Dancer, received the 1995 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction. Power has written several other books as well. Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Voice Literary Supplement, Ploughshares, Story, and The Best American Short Stories of 1993. She teaches at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Recent/notable work:

  • The Grass Dancer
  • Roofwalker

Delphine Red Shirt spent her earliest years off the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in a small town in northern Nebraska where she attended public school, learning to speak English for the first time. Redshirt has been a freelance writer and syndicated columnist for Indian Country Today, the Lakota Nation Journal of Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Hartford Courant newspaper in Hartford, Connecticut. She is now a student in the doctoral program in Native American Studies at the University of Arizona and also has 2 daughters: Kirsten, Megan & 1 son named Justin and has a husband named Richard who is the dean of Stanford

Recent/notable work:

  • Turtle Lung Woman’s Granddaughter
  • Bead on an Anthill: A Lakota Childhood