The Institute of American Indian Arts

Sunday, January 1, 12:00 am

The Institute of American Indian Arts

83 Avan Nu Po Road Santa Fe, Santa Fe NM 87501


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Phone | 505.424.2365

Noted Authors 
Andre Dubus III and Ross Gay
along with 
Filmmakers Sterlin Harjo and Sydney Freeland
Featured in 
The IAIA Winter Readers Gathering:  
January 7 - 14, 2017
Public Invited to Free Nightly Readings on the IAIA campus

SANTA FE, NM - November 21, 2016 - The Institute of American Indian Arts' (IAIA) Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing program presents The 2017 Winter Readers Gathering -- January 7-14, 2017. Readings will take place each night beginning at 6:00 pm in the Auditorium in the Library and Technology Center (LTC) on the IAIA campus -- located at 83 Avan Nu Po Road, eight minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue, on the south side of Santa Fe.  For directions and a map of the campus, please visit  Film screenings and student readings will be presented at 7:15 pm.  

Participating in the gathering this year are noted authors Andre Dubus III, Ross Gay, Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/ Muskogee) and Syreeta McFadden -- as well as IAIA MFA faculty writers Ramona Ausubel, Marie-Helene Bertino,  Sherwin Bitsui (Diné), Kimberly Blaeser (Anishinaabe), Melissa Febos, Sydney Freeland (Diné), Santee Frazier (Cherokee), Manuel Gonzales, Pam Houston, Toni Jensen (Métis),Joan Naviyuk Kane (Iñupiaq), Chip Livingston (Creek), Migizi Pensoneau (Ponca), Ismet Prcic, James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), Elissa Washuta (Cowlitz), Claire Vaye Watkins, Ken White, andLidia Yuknavitch.  

MFA Director Jon Davis says of this year's Winter Readers Gathering: "We're pleased this winter to havebestselling author and National Book Award finalist Andre Dubus III; Ross Gay, a National Book Award winning poet; and prominent political and cultural commentator Syreeta McFadden. We'll be celebrating the imminent release of nonfiction faculty mentor Melissa Febos' second book, Abandon Me, as well as nonfiction mentor Chip Livingston's novel, Owls Don't Have to Mean Death, screenwriting mentor and poet Ken White's The Getty Fiend, and poetry mentor Joan Naviyuk Kane's Milk Black Carbon. We'll have after-reading film screenings of Sterlin Harjo's Mekko and works by Sydney Freeland, director of the Emmy-nominated web series Her Story. The always popular Student Showcases will happen on Wednesday and Friday this time." 

Schedule of Readings - 6:00 pm

Saturday, January 7:  Melissa Febos, James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), Ramona Ausubel
Sunday, January 8:  Syreeta McFadden, Santee Frazier (Cherokee), Manuel Gonzales

Monday, January 9: Chip Livingston (Creek), Marie-Helene Bertino, Ismet Prcic

Tuesday, January 10:  Elissa Washuta (Cowlitz), Claire Vaye Watkins, Ken White

Wednesday, January 11: Migizi Pensoneau (Ponca), Joan Naviyuk Kane (Iñupiaq), Andre Dubus III

     7:15 pm - First Year Student Showcase

Thursday, January 12:  Lidia Yuknavitch, Kimberly Blaeser (Anishinaabe)

     7:15 pm - Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muskogee) Film Screening 

Friday, January 13:  Ross Gay, Toni Jensen (Métis)

    7:15 pm -  Second Year Student Showcase

Saturday, January 14:    Sherwin Bitsui (Diné), Pam Houston      

     7:15 pm - Sydney Freeland (Diné) Film Screening


Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including the New York Times' bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, published in the fall of 2013, was a New York Times "Notable Book" selection, a New York Times "Editors' Choice," a 2013 "Notable Fiction" choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus "Starred Best Book of 2013." Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry.  He is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, "River."  He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.  Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University. 

Sterlin Harjo, a member of the Seminole Nation with Muskogee heritage, was raised in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he studied art and film. In 2004, he received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute. His short film, Goodnight, Irene, premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and received a special jury award at the Aspen Shortfest. In 2006, he received a fellowship from the newly formed United States Artists foundation. Harjo's first feature film, Four Sheets to the Wind, premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the grand jury prize. Harjo was named best director at the 2007 American Indian Film Festival. Harjo's second feature, Barking Water, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Barking Water was named best dramatic film at the 2009 American Indian Film Festival. Harjo's first feature documentary, This May Be the Last Time,premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. His third feature film, Mekko, a thriller set in Tulsa, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2015. He was a member of the 2010 Sundance shorts competition jury. Harjo is a founding member of the five-member Native American comedy group, The 1491s.

Syreeta McFadden is a writer, photographer and professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City. Syreeta's work deals largely with gender, politics, race and culture, and explores the cultural narratives of communities. Her work has been featured in a range of publications which include the New York Times Magazine, The Nation, BuzzFeed News, NPR, Brooklyn Magazine, Feministing and The Guardian US, where she has been a regular contributor. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station. A former urban planner and housing development specialist, she holds degrees from Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently working on a collection of essays.
Ramona Ausubel is the author, most recently, of the novel Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty(Penguin 2016). Her first novel, No One is Here Except All of Us, won of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and was a Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Her collection of stories, A Guide to Being Born, was one the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of the year and a San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, One Story, Salon (online), The Best American Fantasy and was shortlisted in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading. A new collection of stories, Awayland, is forthcoming.

Marie-Helene Bertino's debut novel 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas was a Barnes & Noble Fall '14 Discover Great New Writers pick. Her collection of short stories Safe as Houses received The 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award, The Pushcart Prize, and was long-listed for The Story Prize and The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize. Her stories have appeared in The Pushcart Prize Anthology XXXIII, Granta,, North American Review, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and Mississippi Review's Anthology 30. She teaches at NYU and lives in Brooklyn, where she is an Editor-at-large for Catapult Magazine.

Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich'ii'nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl'izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is the author of Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003) and Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009). His recent honors include a 2011 Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a 2011 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of a 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award.

Kimberly Blaeser is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches Creative Writing and Native American Literatures. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Apprenticed to Justice, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Trailing You. Blaeser is Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, and grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. She is the editor of Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose and Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. Blaeser is currently at work on a collection of "Picto-Poems" combining her photographs and poetry. Her creative nonfiction, short stories, and scholarship have appeared widely in journals and anthologies.

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin's Press 2010), and the forthcoming essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Salon, New York Times, Guernica, Dissent, Poets & Writers, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, and elsewhere. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers. She is a three-time MacDowell Colony fellow, and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). She serves on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for nine years. The daughter of a sea captain and a psychotherapist, she was raised on Cape Cod and lives in Brooklyn.
Sydney Freeland (Diné) is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker. Her debut feature film, Drunktown's Finest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win a number of awards, including the Grand Jury Prize and HBO Outstanding First Feature awards at LA Outfest 2014, as well as a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Feature. In 2016, she directed the web series Her Story, which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Drama. Sydney is also a recipient of the 2015 Fox Global Director's Initiative, 2015 Sundance Women's Fellowship, 2015 Ford Fellowship, 2014 Time Warner Fellowship, and a 2004 Fulbright Scholarship. She was selected to participate in both the 2010 Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Labs and the 2009 Sundance Native Lab. Upcoming projects include the Netflix original film Deidra and Laney Rob a Train, which is due for release in 2017. Sydney currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Santee Frazier is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Syracuse University. He is the recipient of various awards including: a Syracuse University Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, The School for Advanced Research Indigenous Writer in Residence, and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship. His poems have appeared in American Poet, Narrative Magazine, Ontario Review, Ploughshares, and other literary journals. His first collection of poetry, Dark Thirty, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2009.
Manuel Gonzales is the author of the collection, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Riverhead Books) and the novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack! (Riverhead Books). He was awarded the 2014 Academy of Arts & Letters Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the 2014 Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award. His fiction and essays have been published in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Tin House Magazine, Fence Magazine, Open City Magazine, One Story, Esquire, and The Believer Magazine. He was the co-owner and baker for the Clarksville Pie Company in Austin, Texas, founded the writing workshop, Austin Writer's Lab, was the director of Austin Bat Cave, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids. He teaches creative writing at the University of Kentucky.
Pam Houston's most recent book is Contents May Have Shifted, published by W.W. Norton in 2012. She is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The 2013 Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, The Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards. She is Professor of English at UC Davis, directs the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers and teaches in The Pacific University low residency MFA program. and at writer's conferences around the country and the world. She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
Toni Jensen (Métis) is the author of From the Hilltop, a collection of linked stories published through the Native Storiers Series at the University of Nebraska Press. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2007; Best of the West: Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, 2011; and Denver Quarterly, among others. She holds a PhD from Texas Tech University and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arkansas.

Joan Naviyuk Kane was born in Anchorage, Alaska, where she lives with her husband and sons. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University's School of the Arts.  She won a 2009 Whiting Writer's Award for her first book, The Cormorant Hunter's Wife (NorthShore Press / Alaska Literary Series), and the 2012 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and a 2014 American Book Award for her second book, Hyperboreal (Pittsburgh Press). She is also the author of The Straits (Voices from the American Land) and the forthcoming Milk Black Carbon (Pittsburgh Press). She has been the recipient of Individual Artist Awards and an Artist Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Literary Award, and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship, as well as residencies at the School for Advanced Research, Haverford College, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Her work has recently appeared in The Best American Poetry, Boston Review, and South.
Chip Livingston is the mixed-blood Creek author of four books: two collections of poetry, Crow-Blue, Crow-Black (2012) and Museum of False Starts (2010); a collection of short stories and creative nonfiction, Naming Ceremony (2014); and a novel, Owls Don't Have to Mean Death (2017). His writing has received awards from Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and the AABB Foundation. Chip's writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, Cincinnati Review, and on 
the Academy of American Poets' and Poetry Foundation's websites. He has taught at the University of Colorado, University of the Virgin Islands, Brooklyn College, and Regis University.

Migizi Pensoneau (Ponca) was born and raised in Minnesota, and attended Wesleyan University. Pensoneau has worked for several Hollywood studios and independent companies as a writer and a producer for film and television. He is the recipient of awards, commissions, fellowships, and grants from ABC/Disney, The Institute of American Indian Arts, the Sundance Institute, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others. Migizi has published several pieces on the interaction of American Indians and popular culture. He recently received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts  and is a co-founder and writer for the popular comic group the 1491s. 
Ismet Prcic was born in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina and immigrated to the United States in 1996. His debut novel Shards was published in 2011 by Black Cat, imprint of Grove Press to critical acclaim, winning the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for first fiction, the Writers Center First Novel Prize, the Oregon Book Award and many others. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and has been translated into nine languages. A recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts award for fiction he is also a Sundance and Jerusalem screenwriting lab fellow. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film Imperial Dreams which premiered in January at this year's Sundance Film Festival and won the audience award in its category. Prcic lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two annoying cats. 
James Thomas Stevens is the Chair of the BFA Creative Writing Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. A member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation in upstate New York, Stevens grew up between three reservations, the two where his grandparents came from, Akwesasne Territory and Six Nations Reserve, and the one where they settled, the Tuscarora Nation. Stevens earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. He has taught at Haskell Indian Nations University and the State University of New York at Fredonia. Stevens has published seven books of poetry, including Combing the Snakes from His Hair, for which he was awarded a 2000 Whiting Writer's Award, A Bridge Dead in the Water, Mohawk/Samoa: Transmigrations (with Caroline Sinavaiana), Bulle/Chimere, and Tokinish. His work has been anthologized in works such as Genocide of the Mind, Visit Teepee Town, and Sovereign Bones.
Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is the author of My Body Is a Book of Rules, a memoir from Red Hen Press. Her second book, Starvation Mode: A Memoir of Food, Consumption, and Control was published in June by Instant Futures, a micro press out of Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, As/Us, Filter Literary Journal, and Third Coast. She recently received a Potlatch Fund Native Arts Grant, an Artist Trust GAP Award, and a 4Culture Grant. In 2012, she was named an inaugural fellow in the Made at Hugo House program. She serves as adviser and lecturer for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington.
Claire Vaye Watkins was born and raised in the Mojave Desert. Her collection of short stories, Battleborn(Riverhead Books), won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35." Her first novel, Gold Fame Citrus, was published by Riverhead Books in 2015.A Guggenheim Fellow and an assistant professor in the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan, Claire is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
Ken White is a co-writer and co-producer of the feature film Winter in the Blood, adapted from James Welch's novel of the same name, and co-director and co-writer of the short film Universal VIP. He has written or co-written ten feature scripts.  His poetry has appeared in The Boston Review, The Tusculum Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Versal, Omniverse, Manor House Quarterly, Spork, Horsethief, and, among others. He is the author of the books of poems, Eidolon (Peel Press 2013), and The Getty Fiend (Les Figues Press 2017), as well as the chapbook Middlemost Constantine(Spork 2017). 
Lidia Yuknavitch is the National Bestselling author of the novels The Small Backs of Children (Harpers) and Dora: A Headcase (Hawthorne Books), and the memoir The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books), as well as three books of short fictions - Her Other Mouths, Liberty's Excess (FC2), and Real to Reel (FC2), and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories of Violence (Routledge). Her writing has appeared in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyva, Another Chicago Magazine, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It (City Lights), Wreckage of Reason (Spuytin Duyvil), Forms at War (FC2), Feminaissance (Les Figues Press), and Representing Bisexualities (SUNY), as well as online at The Rumpus. She writes, teaches and lives in Portland, Oregon, with the filmmaker Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son Miles. She is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award - Reader's Choice, a PNBA award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Pen Center creative nonfiction award.
To schedule an interview with Jon Davis, or any of the writers, please contact him at 505.424.2365, or  
Support for these events is provided by the Lannan Foundation.

Partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodgers Tax.

Ross Gay

Andre Dubus III

Sterlin Harjo

Syreeta McFadden
James Thomas Stevens

Elissa Washuta

Sydney Freedland

Chip Livingston

Toni Jensen

Pam Houston

Ismet Prcic

Melissa Febos

Joan Naviyuk Kane

Ramona Ausubel

Sherwin Bitsui

Santee Frazier

Kimberly Blaesser

Migizi Pensoneau

Manuel Gonzales

Santee Frazier

Claire Vaye Watkins

Marie-Helene Bertino

Ken White

Lidia Yuknavitch

About IAIA -- For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through the IAIA Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures and is committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  IAIA is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at