Through the Eye of the Deer Contributors
Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna Pueblo/Lakota) was born in Cubero, New Mexico, in 1939. Her mother was of Laguna Pueblo, Sioux, and Scottish descent, while her father is Lebanese American. She was raised in a New Mexico village bounded by a Laguna Pueblo reservation on one side and an Acoma reservation on the other. One of the foremost scholars and critics in Native American literature, Allen is professor emerita of English at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Her poetry and prose appear widely in anthologies, journals, and scholarly publications. A recipient of numerous awards, including the 1990 Native American Prize for Literature, she is the author of seven volumes of poetry, including Shadow Country, Skin and Bones, and Life is A Fatal Disease: Collected Poems; a novel, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows (Aunt Lute); and a ground-breaking collection of essays, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. She edited the anthologies Studies in American Indian Literature and the highly acclaimed Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women. Her most recent book, Off the Reservation: Reflections of Boundary Busting, Border Crossing Loose Canons, is a collection of previously unpublished essays and rants.
Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is a poet and novelist and perhaps one of the most successful contemporary Native American writers. The daughter of a Chippewa Indian mother and a German-American father, Louise is the author of the poetry volumes Jacklight, Baptism of Desire, and Blue Jay’s Dance as well as the novels Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, Tracks, The Bingo Palace, Tales of Burning Love and The Antelope Wife. She also co-authored The Crown of Columbus with her late husband, Michael Dorris. She received her BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and lives with her children in Minnesota.
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm (Nawash Ojibway/Chippewa) is a band member of the Chippewas of Nawash, on the Cape Croker Reserve in southwestern Ontario. The author of the volume of poetry, My Heart Is A Stray Bullet, she is living in Ottawa and completing her master’s degree in English literature.
Joy Harjo (Creek/Cherokee) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is an enrolled member of the Creek Tribe. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 1978 from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. She has published four books of poetry and the award winning In Mad Love and War. She has received a number of prestigious awards, including the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, the American Book Award and two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. She regularly performs with her band, Poetic Justice, whose first CD Letter from the End of the 20th Century, was released on Silverwave records.
Linda Hogan (Chickasaw) is widely recognized as one of the most prolific contemporary Native American writers. She has published several books of poetry, including The Book of Medicines and is the author of many works including the novels Mean Spirit and Power, as well as the collection of essays Dwellings. Widely anthologized, Linda’s work has appeared in Reinventing the Enemy’s Language, Spider Woman’s Granddaughters, The Harper’s Anthology of Native American Poetry, and Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals, which she co-edited. She continues to write fiction and essays on environmental issues.
LeAnne Howe (Choctaw) is an author, playwright, and poet. Her research and personal experience has led her to research and write on Choctaw women. She received an NEH grant to research a novel called The Bone Picker. Her other novels include Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute) and Miko Kings (Aunt Lute). She has also co-produced albums, including Hawk in Hand.
Georgiana Valoyce-Sanchez (Tohono O’odham—Pima/Chumash) teaches American Indian Literature and Native American Women’s Literature at California State University, Long Beach. Her works have been published in a number of texts, including The Stories We Hold, Invocation L.A, and Tucson Press.
Roberta Hill (Oneida), previously published as Roberta Hill Whiteman, is a poet, fiction writer, scholar and author of The Star Quilt, a collection of poems. Holy Cow! published her second collection of poems, titled Philadelphia Flowers. Her fiction appears in Talking Leaves, edited by Craig Leslie.
Gloria Bird (Spokane) grew up on the Spokane Reservation, surviving both reservation mission schools and BIA boarding schools. She received an M.A. in literature from the University of Arizona, and is the author of Full Moon on the Reservation and is co-editor of Reinventing the Enemy’s Language. She received her M.A. in literature from the University of Arizona. Currently, she is working on a new manuscript of poetry and teaching creative writing and literature at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Beth Brant (Mohawk) is the author of Mohawk Trail and Food and Spirits and the editor of A Gathering of Spirit, an anthology of native women’s art and writing. She writes about, among other things, land and spirit. She is a lesbian mother and grandmother. She garnered acclaim in the 1980s for the distinctive voice presented in her fiction and poetry. Beth is of Mohawk ancestry and openly lesbian, two elements that play an important thematic role in her body of work. Widely anthologized, she was born in suburban Detroit and raised both there and in Canada. She continues to live part-time in each country with her partner Denise Dorz.
Cheryl Savageau (Abenaki) is the author of Home Country and Dirt Road Home. She has received fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. Her poetry has appeared in a number of anthologies and literary journals, including Returning the Gift, Durable Breath, Through the Kitchen
Window, Two Worlds Walking, Poetry Like Bread, and An Ear to the Ground, and has appeared in Agni, The Indiana Review, the Nebraska English Journal, The Boston Review, The Massachusetts Review, River Styx, Peregrine, and others. She teaches in the Native American Studies department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Luci Tapahonso (Navajo) is from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. She is an assistant professor at the University of Kansas. She has authored a number of books of poetry, including Saanii Dahataa , A Breeze Swept Through, and Blue Horses Rush In.
Dawn Karima Pettigrew (Cherokee/Creek/Chickasaw/Choctaw) and other native descent, is an ordained minister and president of Wells of Victory Ministries, Inc., which serves the Qualla boundary reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. She received an MFA from Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. Her work has appeared in many journals including Red Ink, Oklahoma Indian Times and Wicazo Sa. Her fiction has appeared in the anthologies The Mythic Midwest, The Urban Midwest, Gatherings, and Twenty Five and Under: Fiction.
MariJo Moore (Cherokee,) is the author of Spirit Voices of Bones, Crow Quotes, Tree Quotes and the editor of Feeding The Ancient Fires: A Collection of Writings by North Carolina American Indians. In 1998, she was chosen as North Carolina’s Woman of the Year in the Arts by the Dept. of Administration Council for Women. Her weekly columns on American Indian issues appear in the Great Falls Tribune (Montana) and the Asheville Citizen Times (NC). She resides in the mountains of Western NC.
Deborah Miranda (Chumash/Ohlone-Costanoan Esslen) is the author of Indian Cartography, which won the Diane Decorah Memorial First Book Award for Poetry from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas in 1997, and was published in 1999. Deborah’s poetry, essays and articles have appeared in Calyx, Callaloo, The Cimarron Review and Sojourner, as well as the anthologies Bad Girls/Good Girls: Women, Sex and Power in
the Nineties, Wildsong, and Durable Breath. She received her MA in English Literature at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is working toward a Ph.D from the University of Washington, where she is the Assistant Director of the Educational Opportunity Writing Program.
Karen Lynn Wallace (Osage/Cherokee) received her PhD in English from UCLA and is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Osk Kosh. Her work appeared in Song of the Turtle, editing by Paula Gunn Allen, and the literary journal Pulse.
Mary TallMountain (Koyukon Athabascan) was born in Alaska and raised in California. She was the author of many books of poetry, including The Light on the Tent Wall, There is No Word for Goodbye, and Listen to the Night, which was published posthumously by Freedom Voices Press. A member of a lay community of Franciscans, Mary devoted her time in ministry to the poor and elderly living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. At the time of her death in 1993, Mary was working on her autobiographical novel, Doyon, of which several pieces have been anthologized.
Judith K. Witherow (Cherokee/Seminole), is a widely published essayist and poet. Her work has appeared in, among many, the anthologies Sparrowgrass: Ten Years of Excellence, My Lover Is A Woman: Lesbian Love Poems, Sinister Wisdom and Native American Mother: Families, Kinship, and Domestic Politics in the U.S. Judith was recognized in 1994 as the winner of the Audre Lorde Memorial Prose Contest for Non-Fiction.
Stephanie Sellers (Shawnee/Cherokee) received an MFA in writing and teaches at Pennsylvania State University and Harrisburg Community College. Her Coyote stories have appeared in several literary journals, including FEMSPEC. She lives with her family in Pennsylvania.
Carmen Buchanan (Navajo/Cherokee) was born in South Eastern Kentucky in 1963 and grew up in the kind of abject poverty that rural Appalachia was prone to at the time. She began writing at the age of 6 and never stopped. A regular contributor to the online magazine “Native American Village”, Carmen lives with her husband in southern Indiana.
Lynda Martinez Foley (Zapotec) was born in East Lost Angeles, California to parents of Polish and Zapotec Indian heritage. After receiving a degree from the University of Southern California and successfully pursing careers in Risk Management and motherhood, she was inspired by the 1994 Northridge earthquake to continue the story-telling traditions of her great-grandparents from Oaxaca, Mexico. She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband, two sons and a menagerie of pets.
Linda Boyden (United Lumbee/Cherokee) taught in elementary schools for twenty six years before moving to Hawaii. She is currently a writer, writing for both children and adults, and an American Indian storyteller, specializing in stories for children. She also writes, illustrates, and produces a line of books, Keiki Coloring-Story Books for ages 3-8.
Griselda Suarez (Tarascan/Chicana) was born in East Los Angeles and has a double degree in Spanish literature and art from Pitzer College. Her work has appeared in the jounrals Outspoken and The Other Side. As an artist, Griselda’s work has appeared in shows across Southern California. A tireless activist, she is an educational advisor for the high school program at AACE Educational Talent Search in San Francisco.
Lela Northcross Wakely (Potawatami/Kickapoo) is 43 Winters old and works as a pediatric home health nurse and writes short stories and poetry in her spare time. She is proud of her membership in Wordcraft Circle and has several poems published in their issues of Native Writers & Storytellers (formerly Moccasin Telegraph).
Catherine Ruiz (Cree)
Jody Nokwisa Peiffer-Willett (Echota Cherokee) is a contributing editor and writer for an on-line minority site and has previously published poetry in the American Poetry Anthology (’83) and recent issues of Eyapaha, as well as extensively on the web. She is a new(er) grandmother to a child born with disabilities and the proud mother of two daughters. With daughters grown, she keeps the company of wolves.
Suzanne Rancourt (Abenaki/Les Montaignes) was born and raised in West Central Maine. She is an internationally published writer, a mentor for Wordcraft Writers’ Circle, a singer-songwriter who has performed nationally, and an independent education consultant. Suzanne holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from Vermont College and a Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology from SUNY, Albany, NY. She is the Parent Education Specialist for a Head Start program in Northern NY. As diverse as the Natural world itself, Suzanne is also a certified personal fitness trainer, percussionist, herbal educator, and not too shabby dancer.
Ines Hernandez-Avila (Nimipu/Chicana) is Nimipu (Nez Perce) of Chief Joseph’s band on her mother’s side and Tejana on her father’s. A poet who has been writing for 25 years, Ines has started writing fiction in the last few years. An Associate Professor and former Chair of the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, Ines says, “Our program is distinguished by our hemispheric approach to the study of Native peoples and Native intelligence of the Americas. I continue to be a cultural worker, and to develop new ways of expression.” An artist as well, Ines has begun working with relief printing, monoprint and intaglio, although she says she is still a novice at these forms. A long time advocate of freedom of Native spiritual beliefs, she lives with her compañero querido, Juan Ávila Hernández, in Woodland, CA.
Shaunna McCovey (Karuk/Yurok) is a graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calfironia, and received an MSW from Arizona State University. She has worked as a political activist and organizer for many years, and her work has appeared in News From Native California.
Judith Minty (Mohawk) is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Yellow Dog Journal and Dancing the Fault Line. Her work has appeared in the anthologies Talking Leaves and Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Animals and Women. A retired professor of English at Humboldt State University in Northern California, Judith now lives in Michigan.
Elizabeth Ali (Yupik) was born in Bethel, Alaska, and is a poet, short fiction writer, and essayist. Fluent in her Yupik langauge, Liz is a research translator at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Monelle Boyett Holley (Cherokee) is a former editor/columnist of the North Texas Writer. Her work has appeared in the journals Crone Chronicles, Mangrove, El Locofoco, Nebo, and the Green Hills Literary Lantern.
Ella Cara Deloria (Lakota/Dakota) was one of the first American Indian anthropologists who devoted her life to recording the legends of her Sioux people. Trained by the world renowned anthropologist Franz Boas, much of Ella’s work was dismissed by academics due to her lack of “formal” educational training. She was the author of the novel Waterlily, as well as of the folklore texts Dakota Texts and The Buffalo People. She was also the author of an early work of critical essays, Speaking of Indians.
Mourning Dove (Colville/Salishan), also known as Christine Quintasket Galler, was the author of Cogewa the Half Blood, the first novel written by an American Indian woman, published in 1927. In addition to being a teacher, Mourning Dove was an early advocate for Indian land rights and the first woman elected to the Salishan tribal government, as well as a folklorist, who documented her people’s legends in the books Coyote Stories and Mourning Dove: A Salishan Autobiography. Mourning Dove died in 1936.
Anita Endrezze (Yaqui) has had 7 books published , including at the helm of twilight, which won both the Washington State Governor’s Writers Award and the Bumbershoot-Weyerhaeuser Award. A collection of poetry and short stories, The Humming of Stars and Waves and Bees, precedes a new collection of family and tribal history told in poems, myths, journal extracts, paintings, and fiction entitled Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon. Anita is an artist as well as a writer and has exhibited in the US, Finland, Denmark, Wales, and England.
Georgia Orcutt (Karuk) was born and raised in the traditional Karuk village of Panamenik, slightly downstream from the modern town of Orleans, Humboldt County, on the Klamath River. At the time this Coyote tale was recorded, Mrs. Orcutt was around seventy years old. According to Dr. Kroeber, in his introduction of Karuk Myths, Mrs. Orcutt, “…though living in a very comfortable modern house, was a firm believer in the ‘good old days’ and frequently bemoaned the spoiling of the old way of life, especially by the products of miscenegenation.”
Mary Ike (Karuk/Yurok) was born at the site of the former village of Ashanamkarak, downstream from the post office of Somes Bar, Siskiyou County. A skilled basketweaver, both she and her husband, Little Ike, were Alfred Kroeber’s informants in 1902, and Kroeber said of her, “I consider her, like her husband, superior in general scope of personality” (Kroeber and Gifford, World Renewal, UC-AR 13:[no.1]:134), and often spoke of Mrs. Ike’s “mischevious” personality. She died in January, 1946, at the age of ninety-four.
Janice Gould (Konkow Maidu) was born in San Diego, and grew up in Berkeley, California. She received degrees in linguistics and English from UC Berkeley and is currently pursuing a PhD from the University of New Mexico. A recipient of an NEA grant, Janice is the author of two books of poetry, Beneath My Heart and Earthquake Weather.
Salli Kawennotakie Benedict (Mohawk) is the editor of Akwesasne Notes, one of Indian country’s leading newspapers. Her work has appeared in Reinventing the Enemy’s Language, and is developing Mohawk language materials based upon traditional tales. She lives in New York.
Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo) is the author of several novels and books of poetry including the groundbreaking Ceremony, Almanac of the Dead, and Gardens in the Dunes. In addition to her creative work, Leslie is an essayist whose collection Yellow Woman and A Beauty of the Spirit: Essays on Native American Life Today explored the relationship between Native peoples and the earth. An acclaimed poet, she is also an artist and publisher who lives in Tucson, Arizona.