Indigenous Writers Symposium Authors — October 14, 2017


Erik Bitsui is a Navajo writer from Blue Gap, Arizona. In 2014, he received an MFA in Creative Writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetic at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Bitsui is also a founding member of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. He is currently a DJ for Radio Sunnyside located on 4th Street in East Flagstaff.

Sherwin Bitsui, a Diné from the Navajo Reservation in White Cone, Arizona, Bitsui received an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program. He is the author of the poetry collections Shapeshift (2003) and Flood Song (2009). Steeped in Native American hausarbeit ghostwriter gesucht culture, mythology, and history, Bitsui’s poems reveal the tensions in the intersection of Native American and contemporary urban culture. His poems are imagistic, surreal, and rich with details of the landscape of the Southwest. Flood Song is a book-length lyric sequence that explores the traditions of Native American writing through postmodern fragment and stream of consciousness. Bitsui has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, a grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Vernon Begay is Bįį bitó ní. He was raised on the Western Navajo reservation. He shares his love for horses as his dad once did, a Tó’ aheedlííníí man. His Kinłichíi’ nii chei gave him voice, that intrigues him, from the root of naming what a man can’t understand to the feather edge sound of sad that he exists in. Tsé deeshgizhníí are his nails. As all rez boys do, they follow their brother’s footsteps and he did this. Imagine from the time they gain balance on two feet, they race everywhere which carried into football to drawing and finally welding, it turns out these rez boys were good at necklacing a pipe by stacking metal puddles. All things do come to an end as we all know, and a beginning happens, and that day was Aug. 4, 2004. The old Kinłichii’ nii man left to finally be with his mother, whom he never meant, whom only horse people can identify with as a seat saved by a mother’s lap for her infant. So this was how it began for him, and he finally wandered into and received a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Danielle Geller was born to the Tsi’naajinii, born for the bilagáana. She is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Arizona and is also a grateful recipient of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards. Her work has appeared in Silk Road Review and Brevity and is forthcoming in two anthologies: This Is the Place (Seal Press, 2017) and Diné Reader: an Anthology of Navajo Literature.
Kyle Grant Wilson is Diné from Fort Defiance, Arizona, and is the Indigenous Rhetoric Coordinator in the Department of English at Arizona State University. He is also Affiliated Faculty in American Indian Studies and Honors Faculty in the Barrett Honors College. He received his Bachelor’s in English Education and his Master’s in Creative Writing (poetry). Indigenous Rhetoric at ASU traverses issues such as decolonization, self-identification, acculturation, and voices from the periphery for empowerment. Texts feature writers from a diverse Indigenous spectrum and authors with comparative ethos but from different backgrounds. He started and directs Project Communal Effort at ASU, a student-run group that organizes fundraisers to benefit local Indigenous families facing disparities. He publishes poetry centralized on the themes of “Indigenous Identities” and “Decolonization.” His poems have been published in Rattle, Arizona Highways, Arizona Republic, Red Ink and he has been featured in Poet Lore.
Kristiana Kahakauwila (kanaka maoli) is the author of This is Paradise: Stories (Hogarth, 2013), which takes as its heart the people and landscapes of contemporary Hawaii. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University and was the 2015-16 Lisa Goldberg Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study. Recent work has appeared in Red InkKartika ReviewMistake House Magazine, and Off the Path Vol 2: An Anthology of 21st Century American Indian and Indigenous Writers. She is currently at work on a historical novel set on the island of Maui.
Joan Naviyuk Kane has authored The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, Hyperboreal, The Straits and Milk Black Carbon. Her awards include the Whiting Writer’s Award, the Donald Hall Prize, and the United States Artists Foundation Creative Vision Award, and fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and the Aninstantia Foundation. Kane was a Harvard National Scholar as an undergraduate and the recipient of a graduate Writing Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She is Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, and teaches in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Shishonia Livingston is a Los Angeles-based writer, actress, and comedian who just had her laptop stolen so she had to whip up this bio quickly. I wish I was joking but I’m not. Anyone have a used Apple I can buy from ya? So anywho …

She is the author of two novels. An Artist Lexicon: A Peculiar View of the World, is a collection of flash fiction vignettes in which stories of chaotic human behavior are used to illustrate a range of heteroclite terms, such as Anger, Killjoy, and Timeless. Her second novel, I Hate My Shit Fuck Life Road to God, is a dark comedic anti-pastoral about a wounded young woman whose introspection and obsessions lead to breakdown and a breakthrough..

She grew up in and around the Diné reservation in a complex and highly charged environment. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Performativity from CalArts, and a BA in Creative Writing from Antioch University.

Bojan Louis is a member of the Navajo Nation—Naakai Dine’é; Ashiihí; Ta’neezahnii; Bilgáana. His first collection of poems, Currents, is forthcoming from BkMk Press in 2017. He is the author of the nonfiction chapbook, Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona (Guillotine Series, 2012). He is currently Poetry Editor at Red Ink: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, and Humanities.

  Tanner Menard is a poet and composer whose current work embodies his mestizo Indigenous and French lineage. Poems are his method of survival, a linguistic medicine of ambiguity which is certain that love prevails. His poetry is the DNA of his queer hybridity, a double helix of gender and identity. As a composer of experimental music, Menard has been published and anthologized in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan on labels and netlabels such as Full Spectrum Records, Rural Colours, Tokyo Droning, Install, Slow Flow Rec, H.L.M., Archaic Horizon, Kafua Records and Milieu Music. Menard’s poetry has been published in The Squawkback and Rabbit and Rose online journals. He currently serves the Snake Band Tribal Councilman for the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.
Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo Nation poet-writer and former Regents Professor at Arizona State University, author of from Sand Creek, After and Before the Lightning, The People Shall Continue, Woven Stone, and many other books of poetry and fiction, is an Advisor-Mentor of Red Ink: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Humanities.
  Henry Quintero is an assistant professor at Arizona State University in the Department of English and affiliated with American Indian Studies. Combining an interdisciplinary approach to Indigenous ethnography and peyote music, Quintero untangles the intersections of a greater voice and consciousness in Ameri/Canadi/Mexicana by investigating the origin of songs language and stories. Professor Quintero is also the director of Red Ink, and facilitates the Red Ink initiative.
  Allison Ramirez is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation from the Wa:k community of southern Arizona. She holds a BA from the University of Arizona in Sociology and is a doctoral student at UCLA where she is a Cota-Robles Fellow. She is a scholar of race, culture, and colonialism. She is also the book review editor for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Her current research focuses on resistance to racial boundaries and transnational Indigeneity in Los Angeles. She has publications in Berkeley’s Eleven and Literary Orphans.

Bill Wetzel is an emissary of the masses who has been interviewed on political and cultural topics by the Washington Post, Esquire, Indian Country Media Today, and other outlets. His writing has appeared in the American Indian Culture & Research Journal, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts (2017 Pushcart Prize nominee), Yellow Medicine Review, Spiral Orb, Studies In Indian Literatures (SAIL), Waxwing magazine, Hinchas de Poesia, Red Ink, Literary Orphans, Speculative 66, and Off The Path: An Anthology of 21st Century American Indian Writers Vol.2. He is the curator of the Good Oak Bar Reading Series and founder of the Stjukshon Indigenous Reading Series both in Tucson, Arizona. Wetzel is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, and a 2016 Peripheral Poet. He claims to be the first Blackfeet to ever summit Mount Lemmon, and is the November 2016 Seven Cups Tea House Customer of the Month. In his spare time he is Joan Kane’s joke writer, and the world’s foremost Sherwin Bitsui scholar.

  Orlando White is a poet from Tółikan, Arizona. He is Diné of the Naaneesht’ézhi Tábaahí and born for the Naakai Diné’e. White is the author of two books of poetry, Bone Light (Red Hen Press), which Kazim Ali described as a “careful excavation on language and letters and the physical body” and LETTERRS (Nightboat Books) which received the Poetry Center Book Award. His work has appeared in such journals as PloughsharesKenyon Review, Salt Hill Journal, and elsewhere. The recipient of a residency from the Lannan Foundation, White teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.