Thursday, August 30, 2012

Robert Day Publishes Story in NUMERO CINQ MAGAZINE

Robert Day has been my mentor and friend many decades. He is a terrific guide to the joys of living a literate life. This story shows his accessible narrator--I always enter his stories effortlessly, and then don't want them to end. Ed Ruhe used to compare reading his stories to eating candy. Pure pleasure.

I'm pleased to see my photo of Bob Day hunting in the layout here. It was late fall just outside of Bly, Kansas, pleasant weather but snow still on the ground, the dog kept chasing birds and leaves, and we went home empty handed but happy. Along the way, we met Mr. Bison, part of a local herd. We had bison meatloaf for dinner with the rancher who raised it. Memorable.
Even better news is New Letters of the University of Missour-Kansas City is publishing his new book of short stories in September! They have published a number of short stories in their journal in recent years.

Monday, August 20, 2012

USA Artists LENAPE CODE Project Ends Today! Please Donate!

Please consider donations! for this project, which ends at midnight today. Only a few hours remain. This is an all-or-nothing fundraising model, so we need one last push to keep all funds raised to date.

The project, about Lenape (Delaware) heritage, is a collaboration of artists, musician, and my text. I found that my family tombstones in the Flint Hills are engraved with Algonquin beadwork designs! Since then I have found specifically the medicine wheel, or "Ojibwa Rose" design, has a history that extends back to 17th century treaty signatures and petroglyphs in Central Park, NYC. All these are part of the multi-layered project.

This visual and creative text will include my text, artists’ prints by Paul Hotvedt and Clare Doveton, music by Stephen Howard (he does the video soundtrack), an electronic version, and further expressions. Perks include print and electronic access to these creations.

Roger Shimomura nominated me for USA Artists, the fundraising organization that backsprojects across the country, and I appreciate his faith in me. Thanks to more than 50 people who have donated.

With much appreciation,


Saturday, August 18, 2012

PAUL HOTVEDT & CLARE DOVETON are artists for Lenape Code Project. 2 Days Left!

Paul Hotvedt 2006
Good news--Paul Hotvedt and Clare Doveton have agreed to be artists working with the Lenape Code project. See Paul's work at He and I have collaborated on the From the Ground Up project, , and he has work in collections from Baltimore to Santa Fe. He has degrees from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and the Maryland Institute. Clare Doveton received her BFA in Fine Arts Painting at Parsons School of Art and Design. Over the last 18 years, she has shown in galleries throughout New York City, San Francisco, and the Midwest. In 2004 she moved her studio to Kansas. She has a site on FaceBook and also  Perks for this project will include signed work by the artists as well as text and sound by Stephen Howard. Time is short. Please help the Lenape Code collaborative project become a reality. 100% of the funding must be achieved by Aug. 20, midnight. A donor’s button is on the site: ttp://
Clare Doveton "While You Were Sleeping" 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lenape Codes: Explorations in Delaware Arts

Lenape Codes: Explorations in Delaware Arts: <p>This project evolved through a memoir I began writing on my grandfather, a Lenape(Delaware) American Indian, in an attempt to explore my personal heritage andthe facets of his American indigenous identity. These were suppressed by thesocio-political pressures of his lifetime. My research uncovered an unknownglyphic language that expanded the scope of my memoir into a multi-media piecethat explores graveyard symbolism. Algonquian people like the Lenape usedimages that preserved clues to their tribal identities and historical eventsnot otherwise documented.&nbsp;</p><p>I isolated the marble tombstones, ornamented with woodland motifs and specifically the &ldquo;Ojibway Rose&rdquo; as the primary source to explore the imagery and significance of this glyphic language.&nbsp; The tombstones also mark the path of the Algonquian Indians from Great Plains back to the place of contact betweenEuropeans and Algonquian bands on the East Coast. The connotative symbolism of the Rose represents everything from the spiritual and ceremonial tradition to prayer, healing, Earth, and plant life. I refer to the format of this piece as a &ldquo;creative text&rdquo; because it is composed of assembled photographs, maps, documents, and my own response in the

Thursday, August 2, 2012

AWP 2013 Conference Features Nobelists Walcott and Heaney

Seamus Heaney
The 2013 AWP Annual Conference and Bookfair will be in Boston March 6-9, 2013, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel & Hynes Convention Center. Keynote speakers will be Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney, both of whom have won Nobel Prizes in poetry. For more information, see the AWP link:

I have followed both of their works since the 1980s. Both are incredible, but I had the pleasure of spending time with Heaney years ago.
Derek Walcott

 In 1985, I had the pleasure to be at a very small conference that featured Seamus Heaney as keynote. I took a van full of Haskell Indian Nations University, then Haskell Indian Junior College, students to Pittsburg State in southeast Kansas to be part of the Kansas Writers Association, a state group of college creative writing departments and independent writers. Most of us were AWP members also. Michael Heffernan was one of the organizers, as well as Stephen Meats, poetry editor of Midwest Quarterly, and the special collections librarian, Gene DeGruson. Altogether maybe there were 75 attendees. This background helps to explain the intimacy of the event.

Heaney did his keynote, and I remember his chattiness and charm. His poems had sounds I had not heard arranged so densely in a poem. His poems taught me about country life in Ireland and those politics as well. He was companionable, comfortable, and engaging as a reader. But also, despite his reputation, even then, he participated and seemed to enjoy all the events. He did not present his talk, collect a check, and speed away to the airport.

For me the greatest moment came during the open mic. All the visiting program directors read, and he paid rapt attention. Although I was dry-mouthed, I stood up at my turn, read a few poems, and got caught up in the words; I hammed it up a bit. I had the sense he was encouraging some of the local texture I was adding to the poems. Heaney applauded and congratulated me afterwards. Perhaps he was just being polite, but I was thrilled. It buoyed me through the next years of learning the craft. I will never forget his kindness at that time, when he was prominent but not yet a superstar. His hair was coal black, his words apt, his heart kind.