Friday, February 10, 2012


In Tahlequah at the Cherokee Nation Arts Center gift shop I found a copy of a book I have been looking for, this 350-plus-page collection of historic and contemporary fiction, essays, and poetry by Cherokee writers. Some of the entries are bi-lingual, in syllabary. All is readily accessible. The editors write: "This is the first comprehensive anthology of contemporary Oklahoma writers." Cherokee Nation has over 200,000 enrolled members plus many others with documented heritage. Many writers refer to the environment of "foothills of the Ozarks environment, the social and politival actiities of the state of Oklahoma, and our adjacency to the Great Plains." They reference Eastern Cherokee Band relatives, as well. This is an ambitious publication, and it succeeds in showing a cultural and historic context along with contemporary issues in one volume. Some names are familiar--Robert Conley, author of 80 books; Geary Hobson, author, editor, and OU professor; Eddie Chuculate Penn/O.Henry prize winner for short story in 2007; Roy Boney, artist; Kathleen Johnson, Kansas Notable Book winner and editor or New Mexico Poetry Review. Others are elders: Benny Smith, Sequoyah Guess, and others. Editors are Roy Hamilton and Karen Coody Cooper. The book was first published in September, 2011 and a second edition was published in December, 2011, so this is new. Copies are available at Indigitronic Publishing House, Cherokee Nation, , R.R. 4, Box 692, Stillwell, OK 74960.