F262. Weaving Stories from Strands of Truth: Native Writers on Nonfiction

Room 202, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 2
Friday, February 28, 2014
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Many Native American writers are currently working within the genres of poetry and fiction; fewer writers work in nonfiction. This panel considers the complicated history of Native self-telling alongside contemporary memoir, essay, and other forms in order to examine where nonfiction is situated among the recently published literary works by Native writers. The history of Euro-American influence on the oral storytelling tradition creates a distinct set of issues within Native nonfiction.


Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is the author of a forthcoming memoir, My Body Is a Book of Rules. Her work has appeared in Filter literary journal and Third Coast. She serves as adviser and lecturer for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington.

Debra Magpie Earling is the author of Perma Red. Her second book, The Lost Journals of Sacajewea, was published in collaboration with the master printer Peter Koch. She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Montana.

Deborah A. Miranda (Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation), is the author of Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir, Indian Cartography, The Zen of La Llorona, and she is co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literatures. She is full professor of English at Washington and Lee University.

Ernestine Hayes is a member of the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Tlingit. Her book, Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir, won an American Book Award and was finalist for a PEN Nonfiction Award and the Kiriyami Prize. She is assistant professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.