Heid E. Erdrich – “Poetry, Performance, and Indigenous Citizenship”
Faculty sponsor: Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor (College of Education)
This event explores the connections between African-American citizenship, Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric, and the indigenous poet’s experiences and reflections. It is presented by Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature LeAnne Howe.
Featured speaker Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media (2017). Erdich’s nonfiction work, Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes from the Upper Midwest, earned a City Pages Best Food Book of 2014 designation. Her writing has won awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Bush Foundation, The Loft Literary Center, and First People’s Fund. Her book National Monuments won the 2009 Minnesota Book Award. In 2013 she was named a City PagesArtists of the Year. Erdich’s poem films have been screened at festivals and have won Best of Fest and a Best Experimental Short awards. She is an independent scholar and curator, a playwright, and founding publisher of Wiigwaas Press, an Ojibwe-language publisher. She teaches in the MFA in creative writing program of Augsburg College. Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain.
The event will open with a reading by Josina Guess, who writes poetry, essays and reviews that explore intersections of faith, race, family and home rooted in the rural and urban landscapes of her life and memory. Her recent work as appeared in The Christian Century, Crop Stories, Communities, Sojourners, and Geez Magazine. She has two poems in the Anthology Fight Evil with Poetry Volume 1 edited by Micah Bournes and Chris Cambell. Her essay “Putting Our Lives on the Line” is in The Wisdom of Communities Volume 4: Sustainability in Community. She is also a contributor to the forthcoming Rally: Litanies for the Lovers of God and Neighbor (Upper Room Press 2019). She lives in an old farmhouse on four acres in Comer, Georgia, with her husband Michael, and their four children. They lived for six and a half years at Jubilee Partners, an intentional Christian community that works with refugees.
This event is part of This is (Not) What I Expected: Difference and Dignity Through Literature and the Arts, a series of events centered around and inspired by Citizen by Claudia Rankine.
Events in the series have been supported by funds from the Willson Center, the Leighton M. Ballew Lecture Series in English, Verse magazine, and Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development through funding from the Georgia General Assembly.