Illuminations Spring Reading Series of Native American Writers

March 03, 2014

March 3, 2014
Contact: Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5528
Becca Biggs, Director of Communications
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5511

Illuminations Spring Reading Series of Native American Writers PORTLAND, OR – March 3, 2014 – Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in collaboration with Museum of Contemporary Craft presents the Illuminations Spring Reading Series in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition This Is Not A Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists. The series of readings at the Museum features Native American poets and writers, including Elizabeth Woody, Trevino Brings Plenty, and Stephen Graham Jones. In a related event, the Alfred Edelman Lecture at PNCA will feature poet and activist Joy Harjo.

Harjo will speak on her life and work March 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm in PNCA’s Swigert Commons. Organized by Monica Drake, head of PNCA’s Writing program, the Illuminations Spring Reading Series is supported by the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation. The impetus, This is Not a Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists at Museum of Contemporary Craft, is an exhibition organized by The Craft & Folk Art Museum in collaboration with Anchorage Museum. This programming is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust and Native Arts & Cultures Foundation.

EVENTS March 12, 2014

Alfred Edelman Lecture: Joy Harjo
Swigert Commons at PNCA, 6:30 pm April 10, 2014

Trevino Brings Plenty Elizabeth Woody
The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft, 6:30 pm April 17, 2014

Stephen Graham Jones
The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft, 6:30 pm

Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. She just published her memoir, Crazy Brave, detailing her journey to becoming a poet. Harjo’s seven books of poetry, which include such well-known titles as How We Became Human-New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses, have garnered many awards. These include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 2009, For A Girl Becoming was published. She has released four award-winning CD’s of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year for Winding Through the Milky Way. Her most recent CD release is a traditional flute album: Red Dreams, a Trail Beyond Tears. She performs nationally and internationally with her band, the Arrow Dynamics.

She also performs her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, which premiered at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles in 2009 with recent performances at the Public Theater in NYC and LaJolla Playhouse as part of the Native Voices at the Autry. She has received a Rasmuson: US Artists Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo writes a column “Comings and Goings” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Stephen Graham Jones
Stephen Graham Jones is the author of 18 books. Most recent are the detective novel Not for Nothing, the flash fiction collection States of Grace, and the zombie novel The Gospel of Z. Coming soon is a young-adult novel and another collection of horror stories. Jones has been a Shirley Jackson Award finalist three times, a Bram Stoker Award finalist, a Black Quill Award finalist, an International Horror Guild finalist, a Colorado Book Award Finalist, a Texas Monthly Book Selection, and has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction and the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction. He's also been a Texas Writers League Fellow and an NEA fellow in fiction.

His short fiction has been in Cemetery Dance, Asimov's, Weird Tales, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, and journals including Open City, Black Warrior Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Literal Latte, and Cutbank. Jones, a Blackfeet, was born in 1972 in West Texas. He is a professor of humanities at The University of Colorado at Boulder, having received his PhD from Florida State University in 2000.

Trevino Brings Plenty
Trevino L. Brings Plenty is an American and Native American; a Lakota Indian born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, South Dakota, USA. Currently, Plenty is a poet and musician based in Portland, Oregon. He is singer/songwriter/guitarist for the musical ensemble Ballads of Larry Drake. He has read/performed his work at poetry festivals as far away as Amman, Jordan and close to his home base at Portland’s Wordstock Festival. In college, Plenty worked with Primus St. John and Henry Carlile for this poetry work, studied with Tomas Svoboda for music composition, and Jerry Hahn for Jazz guitar. His books include Real Indian Junk Jewelry (2012) and Shedding Skins: Four Sioux Poets (2008).

Elizabeth Woody
Elizabeth Woody is an enrolled member of the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon. She was born in Ganado, Arizona, and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, earning a BA in the humanities from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, in 1991. Her collections of poetry include Hand into Stone (1988) (reprinted as Seven Hands, Seven Hearts), winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and Luminaries of the Humble (1994). Woody received the William Stafford Memorial Prize for Poetry from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association in 1994. She has also been the recipient of Hedgebrook’s J.T. Stewart Award for transformational work and a “Medicine Pathways for the Future” Fellowship/Kellogg Fellowship.

Woody works as a program coordinator for the National Science Foundation’s Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction. She is a founding member of the Northwest Native American Writers Association and a board member of Soapstone, a writing retreat for women.

About the Writing Program at PNCA
The author Margaret Atwood writes, “A word after a word/after a word is power.” At PNCA we believe there is a power in learning to craft self expression through considered use of language. To study writing is to study the very act of thinking and articulating ideas and feelings. Writing can find form in novels, poems and scholarly work, as well as in scripts, graphic novels, performance, reviews, the digital realm and other mediums. The Writing concentration within the Liberal Arts major is designed to help student writers find their voice and reach their potential, while offering a strong visual arts component alongside writing classes. Solving creative problems in parallel mediums develops an incisive relationship to audience, and an expansive, informed point of entry into the ongoing creative conversations.

In this program writing is taught through a variety of classes: workshops, literature seminars, writing studio courses, interdisciplinary studios like the graphic novel, and others, which grant students one-on-one time with faculty as well as exchanges within communities inside and outside the school. The program begins broadly, encouraging the study of short and long forms, poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction, and both narrative and associative work. This allows room for the developing writer to find his or her focus, which may be, in a genre, or across genres, blending forms. As the student gains footing, there is increased room for the student to direct his or her own content under the guidance of faculty.

Portland is a great literary city producing writers as diverse as Ursula Le Guin, Chuck Palahniuk, Matt Groening, and lead faculty of the PNCA writing program, Monica Drake. Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the United States is within walking distance of the school and PNCA students benefit from national and international visitors drawn to Portland because of the many resources available. In addition, many aspiring writers will welcome the proximity to the artists, designers, musicians and scholars who make up the faculty and student body at PNCA.

Native Arts & Cultures Foundation
The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation (NACF) is a 501 (c) 3 philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the revitalization, appreciation, and perpetuation of indigenous arts and cultures. The Native-led national foundation supports American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists and communities.

About Museum of Contemporary Craft
Committed to the advancement of craft since 1937, Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art is one of Oregon’s oldest cultural institutions. Centrally located in Portland’s Pearl District, the Museum is nationally acclaimed for its curatorial program and is a vibrant center for investigation and dialogue, expanding the definition of craft and the way audiences experience it.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
As Oregon’s flagship college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art has helped shape Oregon’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. PNCA students study with award-winning faculty in small classes. In the last seven years, PNCA has doubled both the student body and full-time faculty, quadrupled its endowment, and added innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. PNCA is now embarking on its boldest venture yet by establishing the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design as an anchor for the College’s vision of a new campus home on Portland’s North Park Blocks. Focusing on the transformative power of creativity, the capital campaign, Creativity Works Here, was launched in June 2012 with a lead gift from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation of $5 million. PNCA’s new home will be a bustling hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, reflecting the influential role of art and design in our 21st century economy – both in Portland and beyond.

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