Friday, April 19, 2013

Regenerations: Indigenous Poetry Series

 Lost Horse Press Adds New Poetry Book Series: Regenerations: Indigenous Poetry Series

Lost Horse Press is pleased to announce a new poetry book series entitled, Regenerations: Indigenous Poetry Series. The unique series will present inspiring and thought-provoking Native American voices in their original indigenous languages, providing an artistic, cultural and linguistic gateway towards language revitalization efforts in the Americas.

According to the organization Heart of the Earth—the national leader in Native language renaissance—advocating for realization of the Native American Languages Act, “there are approximately 225 Native American languages still spoken in the United States, 60 in Canada, and 125 in Central America. In South America, the number of Indigenous languages numbers in the range of 300 to 400. The majority of these languages are endangered or threatened. If these languages go silent, all the thousands of years of human knowledge—pharmaceutical plants, ceremonial knowledge, astronomical knowledge, cultural history, interpretation of treaties—this knowledge will be lost. It is like the burning of the Library at Alexandria taking place hundreds of times over.”

Regenerations: Indigenous Poetry Series will promote Native poetry which has always provided a vibrant source of artistic and community outreach while also combining the efforts of initiating endangered language preservation, education and research.

The series is currently accepting queries from emerging and established Indigenous poets who speak their tribal language or have resources to a tribal language speaker who can provide translation for their work. Please email queries to or mail to:  ”Regenerations”  •   Lost Horse Press  •  105 Lost Horse Lane  •  Sandpoint  •  Idaho  •  83864

Hunkpapa Sioux poet Tiffany Midge serves as the Series Editor, and Christine Holbert is the publisher.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FRESH! "Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir" by Deborah Miranda

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir

“If we allow the pieces of our culture to lie scattered in the dust of history, trampled on by racism and grief, then yes, we are irreparably damaged. But if we pick up the pieces and use them in new ways that honor their integrity, their colors, textures, stories—then we do those pieces justice, no matter how sharp they are, no matter how much handling them slices our fingers and makes us bleed.” Link to Heyday site here

From the Heyday website:  Deborah A. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation of California, and is also of Chumash and Jewish ancestry. The author of two poetry collections—Indian Cartography, which won the Diane Decorah Award for First Book from the Native Writer’s Circle of the Americas, and The Zen of La Llorona, nominated for the Lambda Literary Award—she also has a collection of essays, The Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and Other California Indian Lacunae, forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press. Miranda is an associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University and says reading lists for her students include as many books by “bad Indians” as possible. Visit Deborah Miranda"s blog: When Turtles Fly

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

 As Us is a literary space for women of the world.

 Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers:
We are excited to bring to you our inaugural issue of As/Us:A Literary Space for Women of the World. The seed for As/Us was planted in Boulder, Co while three Indigenous women writers were discussing writing, the challenges of publishing, and the lack of diversity within the literary world. We came up with the idea of starting our own journal, specifically for Indigenous women. We became excited about the possibility of publishing established writers, like Joy Harjo who are taught in classrooms alongside  emerging writers, some of whom have published, but have not yet received much recognition. By bringing writers in different stages of their careers together we were interested in the conversations that would arise between subject matter, craft and aesthetics. We envisioned a space where readers could find fiction, poetry, spoken word, and art  in dialogue with scholarly works, along with interviews from some of our contributors. We hope to continue the journal for many years to come and want to seek out more international voices and youth features as well.
While Casandra and Tanaya were curating this issue their vision for As/Us expanded to include writers from other underrepresented communities. Just as we were able to see the intersections between the themes and subject matter of all of our contributors’ voices and experiences it is our hope that our readers will contemplate those connections as well. Tanaya and Casandra purposely selected pieces with diverse styles and intentions. In our first issue we have twenty-two contributors, two interviews, and two (forthcoming) reviews. Our Indigenous contributors represent different tribal nations within the U.S. and Canada. We also feature Latina, African-American, and Asian-American writers. Tanaya, Casandra, and Christine believe that showing a pipeline of possibilities for  underrepresented writers is not only needed for our own communities, but for the larger society as well.
With so many stories, words, and visions represented, it felt natural to begin the journal with a creative work that resembled a prayer. Osborn writes “this is how all stories begin,” in her poem about emergence and the importance of story. In the pieces to follow women write about different subjects such as about finding the beauty in your surroundings. Johnson’s spokenword piece “Dawn,” expresses this sentiment well, “show me something unbeautiful,’ she says, /  ‘and I will show you the veil over your eyes and take it away. / And you will see hozho all around you, inside of you.”
Just as the landscape is integral to “Dawn,” we have included other pieces that are firmly grounded in specific geographies. In Kao’s creative non-fiction essay “Roots and Leaves” personal history is interlinked with culture and place. She writes, “I am unearthing a foreign culture with my own language, digging up characters that lived through the characters they wrote.”  A similar sense of familial history occurs in “Winter Garden” where we are presented with a complex sense of family, one that is struggling with loss, but also thriving by cultivating the family they have by preparing to bring in a new life. In these two pieces we see how landscapes express the changes of not only seasons, but also relationships.
“Movie Time,” an excerpt from Mantz memoir, subtly renders tension as if watching a film, with moments in scene slowing unfolding to reveal family dysfunction. Unlike Mantz, Givhan’s short story directly tackles relationships by focusing on the unhealthy aspects of romantic partnership and the complexity of desire. This type of addictive love is also seen in the poem, “Women the Usual Way,” which explores abuse through observation.
We were interested in our contributors’ use of observation as a tool to expound upon stereotypes and roles women are sometimes forced into. Broyles’ “Summer Camp 1978” contrasts the innocence of first gaining awareness of the body to the harsh reality where women’s bodies can also be threatened. Wurth’s poems continue with these themes of the female body as it is understood in relation to the male body, “I came to understand what those hands wanted of me.” Ideas between body and identity intersect. This connection was demonstrated well in “A Day At The Races,” a poem told in seven voices, which utilizes hair as a motif to discuss race, self-perception, and outsider perceptions among other topics from different vantage points. Just as Lythcott-Haims shows the pressure placed on women in terms of expectations and appearances, Simpson addresses a consciousness about how white people perceive Indigenous people. Simpson’s poem incorporates speech acts such as “wear a skirt that covers your knees and spice nylon stockings,” using directives to tell the speaker how to act.
Because the the female body is often politicized these works take on political connotation. In Long Soldier’s poem we see the body, its strength, power, the ability to harm, but also lament and question all of its capabilities. In “Doll Making” the body is rendered political as we are shown children in the Philippines laboring in industrial schools. Andrews writes about the harsh conditions of child labor, “Our first initiation our fingers bled / red rosebud drops. Sucking thumbs.” Other voices write about political subjects, identity, and history. A powerful example is “Sons of Carlisle.” In it Atsitty examines the aftermath of boarding schools, “new marks: Abraham, Albert, Edward, George, / Joseph, Isaac. And these are they who were / once taught to look, to pray    with eyes / open. Boys – shed our childhood names…” Ancestral connection is passed along through story, giving the speaker a specific sense of identity. In “The Tipping Point” Najmi writes, “my stories are served to me on small plates / my stories are only half of yours.”
Artists and writers have responsibilities to address historical issues, but also contemporary issues, which we see in Belleau’s poetry written in response the Idle No More movement and First Nations rights. Others pieces tackle ongoing subjects like poverty facing Indigenous peoples. In “walmart,” northSun writes, “she smiles at me  and / says ‘ welcome to walmart’ / minimum wage is / better than nothing.”
All of these stories share common threads, demonstrating not only what it means to be a woman, but also human in this world. The voices weave together the individual and collective experience, serving their words to us on plates to feed each other.
Casandra and Tanaya

About Us

We seek to publish both emerging and established women writers. It is our hope that As/Us will be a convergence of international voices that speak to both diverse and shared experiences. We are open to works that span a variety of topics – work that challenges conventions and aesthetics either on a narrative or formal level, work with purpose, vision, and something at stake. Send us work that you think deserves a space in the world!
As/Us is published twice a year online with a yearly “Best Of” print issue.

Please visit AS US at

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Native American Women's Poetry

Great Lakes Girls by Teri Greeves
Drunken Boat No. 15 features several Native women poets including Natalie Diaz, Natanya Ann Pulley, Joan Kane, dg okpik, Jennifer Foerster, Diane Glancey, Erika Wurth, Erin Bad Hand,Kateri Menominee  and Kimberly Becker, among others.  Layli Long Soldier, who edited the portfolio, writes in her introduction:   

Working with the poems in this folio, I remembered the introduction to Reinventing the Enemy’s Language—an anthology of contemporary Native women’s writings of North America. There, Joy Harjo wrote, “The literature of the aboriginal people of North America defines America. It is not exotic. The concerns are particular, yet often universal. Anyone of these lands shares in the making of this literature, this history, these connections, these songs. It is a connection […] constructed of the very earth on which we stand.” Harjo wrote this in the 90s and I mused on how to introduce the works in this, Drunken Boat’s collection, nowRead the rest here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas


LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), author of fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays, and scholarly articles, is the winner of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. A well respected and honored author, LeAnne Howe’s books include Shell Shaker (2001), winner of an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation; Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation of Shell Shaker, a 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger, (one of France’s top literary awards); Evidence of Red (2005), winner of an Oklahoma Book Award in Poetry and Wordcraft Circle Award in 2006; and Howe’s most recent novel, the acclaimed Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (2007) was the 2009-2010 Read-In Selection at Hampton University in Hampton Virginia.

Howe is screenwriter and on-camera narrator for the 90-minute PBS documentary Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire (2006); she is also writer/co-producer of Playing Pastime: American Indian Fast-Pitch Softball and Survival, both documentaries with James Fortier (a three-time Emmy award winner filmmaker). Her scholarly work has appeared in Clearing a Path: Theorizing the Past in Native American Studies (2001), Pre-removal Choctaw History: Exploring New Paths (2008) and Reasoning Together: Native Critics Collective (2008), for which Howe is listed as a co-author. Reasoning Together was named one of the most influential Native texts of the first decade of the 21st century.

In 2010-11, Howe was a J. William Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jordan, Amman, where she taught in the graduate program as well as conducted research for a new novel. In March 2011, she was awarded the Tulsa Library Trust’s “American Indian Author Award” in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education named Howe one of 30 American Indians authors to celebrate during Native American Heritage Month, November 2011. Additionally, Howe’s multi-genre autobiographical and scholarly prose essay, “My Mothers, My Uncles, Myself” appears in Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers (2001), and her scholarly work on Tribalography[1] (a term she coined) has found traction with other literary critics in the field such as professors Dean Rader, Jill Doerfler, Joseph Bauerkemper, among others. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Red Riot: Emerging Native American Voices and Poetics by Natanya Ann Pulley

Bunky Echo Hawk 'Colonizer Bunny'
Natanya Ann Pulley guest blogs on 'Girls in a Tight Place.'  Read all about it HERE

Excerpt:  I began to write non-fiction without the pressure to speak to/for a people held in, between or from tradition. I wrote for me: the me that threw my arms up and said, I don’t know how to do any of it! How to recover a heritage—how to speak to a past time—how to hold it all together. My mother left the Navajo reservation when she was five to live with an LDS family in the Indian Placement Program.  There is too much in that one line for any one story, for one book, for one life. There is too much in it and I have learned to respect it. To respect that it is a still-beating thing. That my heritage shifts in color, size, texture. It sings many songs and continually cuts its own legs off to start again. It boils to steam and drifts to airs and comes back to me in rain, wind, in breath. In smog.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Today I was thrilled (trill-worthy!) to see Dine author and fellow co-editor Natanya Ann Pulley's "An Open Letter to Johnny Depp's Tonto" published in McSweeney's Internet Tendency. This is major coup (yes, a pun!) for Native writers; we don't often see our names published in mainstream publications and most certainly not in this context--a letter of protest, but a really scathingly funny, clever and dare I say, non-confrontational, letter of protest.

For any of you just tuning in Natanya and I have been compiling submissions for "Good Medicine: A Native Anthology of Humor" to be published by Lost Horse Press. This is a photo of me posing next to my inner bitch, and this is a photo of Baby Natanya posing with a glob of green
slime, or maybe her lunch? Who am I to question the traditional Navajo cuisine.