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Lannan Foundation brings acclaimed Native writers to IAIA in April

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Santa Fe, N.M. – The Lannan Foundation Writers in Residence program at the Institute of American Indian Arts has made an impact on the lives of creative writing students at IAIA, providing encouragement to aspiring poets and authors with each new visit. The 2009 program continues to provide inspiration as acclaimed American Indian writers Heid Erdrich and Eric Gansworth will be coming to IAIA this month.

The public is invited to a question and answer session with the writers Tuesday, April 14, at 4 p.m. at the Lucky Bean Coffee Shop, 55 Canada del Rancho in the Rancho Viejo neighborhood, and a poetry reading Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the Library and Technology Center Auditorium on the IAIA Campus, 83 Avan Nu Po Road. Both events are free.


Photo Courtesy Institute of American Indian Arts American Indian writer Heid Erdrich will hold a question and answer sessions April 14 and April 16.

Erdrich has authored three poetry collections including “National Monuments” and the recently re-issued “Fishing for Myth.” She also authored “The Mother’s Tongue” and co-edited “Sister Nations: Native American Women on Community.” Erdrich has been the recipient of numerous awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Loft Literary Center and the Archibald Bush Foundation. She is a three-time nominee for the Minnesota Book Award. A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway, Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, N.D. She earned degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. She and her sister, Louise Erdrich, recently co-founded Birchbark House, a nonprofit clearinghouse for indigenous language-centered literature.

Gansworth, an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, was born and raised at the Tuscarora Indian Nation in western New York. He is a professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. and received both a bachelor and a master of arts degree in English from Buffalo State College. Gansworth began his creative work as a visual artist, eventually expanding to narrative as a way of furthering the storytelling he had already developed as a painter. His books, including “Indian Summers,” “Smoke Dancing,” “Mending Skins,” “Nickel Eclipse,” “Iroquois Moon,” “A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function” and “Breathing the Monster Alive” all feature paintings as integral parts of the story lines. Gansworth has received many awards including a PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award in 2006 for his novel, “Mending Skins.”

For more information about this reading, contact IAIA creative writing faculty, Jon Davis at (505) 424-2365.