COVER FEATURE

New Native Writing

Dyani White Hawk (Sicangu Lakota / German / Welsh), Self-Reflection (2011), oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist (dyaniwhitehawk.com)

The cover of this issue features the photo “No Spiritual Surrender,” by Alaska Native photographer Zoë Marieh Urness. About the photo, Zoë writes: “On December 5th, 2016, outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, military veterans march in support of the water protectors. As a native photographer from the Tlingit and Cherokee tribes, being able to witness history unfold an array of events only predicated through prophesy has left me Forever Changed and reunited with my cultural roots, like the ones that were instilled in me as a child. Power of prayer and council. Belief in the spiritual workings from ancient times is a weapon that doesn’t need violence to win. History has been made in the unity of us all, spreading healing all around” (December 5, 2016, #1/15, metallic print mounted with plexiglas, 40 x 32 in.).

Guest-edited & introduced by 

JEANETTA CALHOUN MISH

“Conceptualizing the explosion of Native literature since 1992, for the purposes of curating this issue, was a challenge. Efforts by scholars and writers to categorize Native writing after ‘the Renaissance’ vary in approach: some define aesthetics/thematics, some group writers by period or influence—or both.

  • Native Lit in Review
       By WLT
    Check out the following book reviews from our reviews section that feature new anthologies, poetry collections, and works of fiction by Native writers. For more reading ideas, check out our Native Li...
  • 12 Books for Further Reading
       By WLT
    Effigies II: An Anthology of New Indigenous Writing ed. Allison Hedge Coke  (Salt Publishing, 2014)   Christopher Felver Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits  (University o...
  • Photo courtesy of the author.
    Photo courtesy of the authorI.A mark across the body. The morning I watched my beloved uncle disappear down the alley. His car left sitting in our yard for thirty days. This tattoo we...
  • Norman Akers (Osage), The Gathering (2012), lithograph, 22 3/4 x 16 3/8 in / Courtesy of the artist (normanakers.com)
    Norman Akers (Osage), The Gathering (2012), lithograph, 22 3/4 x 16 3/8 in / Courtesy of the artist (normanakers.com) Summers we lie out on the hot porchpalms splayed— raising flames from r...
  • Julie Buffalohead (Ponca), The Trail (2015), acrylic, ink, graphite on Lokta paper, ca. 30 x 60 in / By permission of the Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis (bockleygallery.com)
    Julie Buffalohead (Ponca), The Trail (2015), acrylic, ink, graphite on Lokta paper, ca. 30 x 60 in / By permission of the Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis (bockleygallery.com) The author considers h...
  • Native Nations Rise protest. Photo by Victoria Pickering/Flickr
       By Susan Power
    Native Nations Rise protest. Photo by Victoria Pickering/Flickr I’m mixed but that doesn’t mean I’m mixed up—it just means my parents fell in love across a racial and cultural divide that split my b...
  • Tony Tiger (Sac & Fox / Muscogee), Intertribal / Courtesy of the artist (facebook.com/tony.tiger.5268)
    Tony Tiger (Sac & Fox / Muscogee),Intertribal / Courtesy of the artist(facebook.com/tony.tiger.5268) I Mix cultures of homeWest Africa West Indies disrupted along slave tradeFrench and...
  • Arigon Starr (Kickapoo), Running Trio, digital illustration, 11 × 17 in / Courtesy of the artist (www.arigonstarr.com)
       By Susan Bernardin
    Arigon Starr (Kickapoo), Running Trio, digital illustration, 11 × 17 in / Courtesy of the artist (www.arigonstarr.com) A central yet surprisingly undernoted facet of Native arts production...
  • Ice crystals on a car mirror
       By Linda Rodriguez
    Photo: Ruth Ellison/Flickr for someone who’s been delayedon a cold, gray, rainy daytakes me backto that little girl waiting in the cold car with the littler onesas the night took over the skywhile h...
  • Burning flame from a campfire
       By Tanaya Winder
    Photo: David Hepworth/Flickr i pull my brothers from words, stupid injun, shot like bullets. when people ask why my brothers hated school i say: the spirit remembers what it’s like to be le...
  • Mango. Photo by Jin Choi/Flickr.
    Photo: Jin Choi/Flickr All the mangoes I’ve tastedin California were imported and lost their true flavors in transit. And, even though all the mangoes I’ve enjoyed in Hawai’i were homegrown and ripe...
  • Jarrod Da’ (San Ildefonso Pueblo), Solar Winds (2016), soft pastel, 24 x 30 in / Courtesy of the artist (www.jarrodda.com)
    Jarrod Da’ (San Ildefonso Pueblo), Solar Winds (2016), soft pastel, 24 x 30 in / Courtesy of the artist (www.jarrodda.com) “Tuolumne River. My father took me there when I was a baby to show me ‘...
  • Red water droplet.
       By Heid E. Erdrich
    Photo: Jake Bellucci/Flickr What holds water in a droptension that holds humans in between their sweet skins water holds usher arms baystide of bloodbeat so close  just our skins  betweenhome and oc...
  • A lake reflecting moonlight at night
       By Sherwin Bitsui
    Photo: WerbeFabrik/Pixabay A bottom-lit sea ponders the lake’s questions,their secret conversations thatch howls to whimpers exhaled from an isthmus of drowned wolves.  Its glossary’s cataclysms smo...
  • Female silhouette, outside in mountain pose.
       By Shauna Osborn
    Photo: Mark Brodie/Pixabay between landscape and the female body:earth   sand   stones   plants   flowers   blood a silhouette  digging molding carving space  visible & tactile  between the body...
  • Lake Thunderbird in Oklahoma
       By Chip Livingston
    Photo: Granger Meador/Flickr Our stuck tongues screamed louder In Alabama, words hung in a rhythm  Reservation hands could basket Tied back rocks rose, picked  Tarnished cigarettes unsupervised Betw...
  • Cliff jumping at Tenkiller Lake, August 2011. Photo: Rachel Folmar
       By Eddie Chuculate
    Cliff jumping at Tenkiller Lake, August 2011. Photo: Rachel Folmar A teenager finds himself living in the shadow of his lover’s deceased boyfriend. Cordell stopped by the gallery to drop of...
  • Marwin Begaye (Diné), Riders of the Storm II, lithograph, 15 x 22 in / Courtesy of the artist (@m.begaye2015)
       By Sy Hoahwah
    Marwin Begaye (Diné), Riders of the Storm II, lithograph, 15 x 22 in / Courtesy of the artist (@m.begaye2015) That day my guardian angel was cast out,she responded, “Fine, your heaven is too bougie,...
  • Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo / Korean), There and Back Again (2012), digital image printed on antique ledger paper, 4 x 6 in / Courtesy of the artist
       By Tiffany Midge
    Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo / Korean), There and Back Again (2012), digital image printed on antique ledger paper, 4 x 6 in / Courtesy of the artist The day of my mother’s funeral service I sepa...
  • Sunrise with pinpoint of light through a tree
       By Elise Paschen
    Photo: HeinerTenz/Pixabay Daybreak After the watch, dorveille,pin-prick of stud in sky,before that six a.m.first warbler wake-up callfrom elm above the deck,in dream a wife no longeranswers...
  • Kim Shuck, Warrior Trout (2016), 15/0 glass seed beads on brain-tanned hide, 9 x 2.5 in / Courtesy of the artist and Doug Salin Photography
       By Kim Shuck
    Kim Shuck, Warrior Trout (2016), 15/0 glass seed beads on brain-tanned hide, 9 x 2.5 in / Courtesy of the artist and Doug Salin Photography Memory spirits give me days full of Words I’ve forgotten o...
  • Refugio Beach. Photo by David Cantu.
       By Casandra Lopez
    Photo: David Cantu/Flickr Brother piles sand on his pregnant girlfriend’s belly. On her sandy stomach I draw a belly button. Soon it will be dusk  and the last surfers in the distance will disappear...
  • Red and orange autumn leaves.
    Photo: Dan Zen/Flickr I think they know – about every leaf I’d catch to peel from my tongue. It spoke to how good I was at being alone. This morning I sit in the still kitchen, rued by autumn passin...
  • Orca diving out of the water
       By Laura Da’
    Photo: Mike Charest/Flickr That slick envelope of developed film is tumbled in a storage closet next to old seating charts and a stale granola bar in foil. In one of the frames, faces are locked in...
  • Photo: George Moga
    Photo: George Moga No. Nothing. Nothing on a really tall chair; a chair with very long legs; up to the sky, which was empty.   And down fell fragrance; fragrance of flowers, although there were no f...

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