December Poets Theater Jubilee March April -- Indigenous Writing Conference May  

April 2002 -- Coordinates 2002: Indigenous Writing Now

Friday through Sunday, April 5, 6, 7, 2002
Coordinates 2002: Indigenous Writing Now

Small Press Traffic presents Coordinates 2002: Indigenous Writing Now, a conference celebrating and discussing current practices in Native American literature(s), and patterns in writing by Native Americans, with Native American poets, writers and scholars representing nine Native nations: Laguna Pueblo, Navajo, Cherokee, Nez Perce, Suquamish, Mohawk, Dakota, Arapaho, and Chippewa. Our list of participants includes well established names as well as exciting newer ones. Biographies of conference participants -- Paula Gunn Allen, Esther Belin, Diane Glancy, Reid Gómez, Inés Hernández-Ávila, Cedar Sigo, James Thomas Stevens, Kimberly TallBear, Gerald Vizenor, and XCP:Cross Cultural Poetics editor Mark Nowak -- as well as details on conference events, appear below.

This conference is free and open to the public,
and held at:

Small Press Traffic
Literary Arts Center
at the California College of Arts and Crafts
1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco (just off the intersection of 16th & Wisconsin)
Click here for directions.

As the latest installment of SPT’s Series X, Coordinates 2002: Indigenous Writing Now will boldly continue to examine the uses of anarchy and tradition in literature and encourage the cross-pollination of creative thought and work across genre, media, and politically/culturally contested spaces of all sorts.
Coordinates 2002: Indigenous Writing Now
is supported by a generous grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, and additional support from the California College of Arts & Crafts, Poets & Writers, & our Members. We are very grateful for this support.

Conference Events

* Friday, April 5, 2002


by James Thomas Stevens, Inés Hernández-Ávila, Diane Glancy, & Paula Gunn Allen

* Saturday, April 6, 2002

Conjuring with the Hand of Language

How do you speak in a transcultural and/or intercultural voice? Panelists will discuss the uses of historical materials, multiple languages, and aspects of oral and written traditions.
Moderated by Diane Glancy, with Paula Gunn Allen, Esther Belin, Inés Hernández-Ávila.

3 PM - 5 PM: PANEL
Vocabularies of Contested Spaces

Panelists will discuss how the new vocabulary being developed by Gerald Vizenor in his recent critical books informs their own critical and creative work. Additionally, writers will address how their overall writing practice and current projects engage and articulate issues of identity, gender/sexuality, class, and related cultural concerns.
Moderated by Mark Nowak, with Diane Glancy, James Thomas Stevens, Gerald Vizenor.

7:30 PM: READING by Esther Belin, Kimberly TallBear, Reid Gómez, Cedar Sigo, & Gerald Vizenor

* Sunday, April 7, 2002

11 AM - 1 PM: PANEL
Choices & Practices for a New Generation

A discussion of the concerns, methods, desires, and strategies of a new generation of Native writers. A conversation about choices, practices, definitions, and inspirations at this particular point in time.
Moderated by Elizabeth Treadwell Jackson, with Reid Gómez, Cedar Sigo, Kimberly TallBear.


Participant Biographies

Paula Gunn Allen
‘s many books include the novel The Woman Who Owned the Shadows, the landmark critical work The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, and a new collection of essays, Off the Reservation. One of the foremost scholars of Native American Literature, her latest book is Hozho: Walking in Beauty, an anthology of historical and contemporary stories by Native authors which she coedited. Originally from New Mexico, Allen has lived in California for many years and is Professor Emerita of English at UCLA.

Esther Belin’s first collection of poetry, From the Belly of My Beauty (University of Arizona/Sun Tracks, 1999) won an American Book Award. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared in numerous publications, including the anthologies Neon Pow Wow, Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing, and Home is in the Blood. Born in 1968 and raised in Los Angeles, she asserts that the Navajo Nation has always been her homeland. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and UC Berkeley, Belin currently lives in Durango, Colorado.

Diane Glancy is Professor of English at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches Native American Literature and Creative Writing. Her latest novels are The Man Who Heard the Land (Minnesota Historical Society Press) and The Mask Maker (University of Oklahoma Press). Her recent collections of poetry include The Relief of America (Tia Chucha Press, 2000) and (Ado)ration (Chax Press, 1999). She received a Cherokee Medal of Honor in 2001 from the Cherokee Honor Society, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Reid Gómez is an urban raised Navajo from the rock formerly known as Potrero Hill, San Francisco. Excerpts from Reid's novel A Woman's Body Was Found There are being published in the forthcoming The Oxford Anthology of Contemporary Fiction by Native American Women. She is working on another novel, Cebolla, and a book about American Indian Education.

Inés Hernández-Ávila is a poet and scholar, currently teaching Native American women’s and Chicana literature at UC Davis. As Chair of the Department in the late 1990s, she was key in establishing the country’s first M.A. and Ph.D. program in Native American Studies. Hernández-Ávila is Nimipu/Nez Perce of Chief Joseph's band on her maternal side. She is an editor for the Wicazo Sa Review, a member of the board of directors of Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, and a member of the Advisory Council for Public Programming for the National Museum of the American Indian.

Mark Nowak's multidisciplinary work includes publications in anthropology, poetry/poetics, cultural studies, and photography. He is the author of a poetry collection, Revenants, co-editor with Diane Glancy of the acclaimed anthology Visit Teepee Town: Native Writings After the Detours (both from Coffee House Press), and editor of the journal Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics. Currently, Nowak is an Associate Professor of Humanities at the College of St. Catherine, where he teaches courses in Creative Writing, Folklore, and Documentary Studies.

Cedar Sigo, born 1978, was raised on the Suquamish Reservation near Seattle, Washington. He studied at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at The Naropa Institute then moved to San Francisco in 1999. His first book of poetry, Goodnight Nurse, was published in 2001 by Angry Dog Press. He has given readings all over including The St. Marks Poetry Project, Intersection for the Arts, and The San Francisco Art Institute. He is currently editing the premier issue of Old Gold magazine. Read some of his work in our New Writing section.

James Thomas Stevens is a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk tribe in upstate New York. Due to his family’s migration south, he was raised near his grandparents’ home on the Tuscarora Reservation. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa, and Brown University. Stevens is the author of Tokinish (First Intensity Press, 1994) and the forthcoming Combing the Snakes from His Hair (Michigan State University Press). He is a 2000 Whiting Writer’s Award winner and currently is Assistant Professor in English and American Indian Studies at the State University of New York College at Fredonia.

Kimberly TallBear is Dakota and Arapaho and is a member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. She is an environmental planning consultant to two South Dakota tribes, and also a graduate student in the History of Consciousness Program at UC Santa Cruz, where her research focuses on race and tribal governance and how contemporary Native American poetry reflects or challenges racialized images. Her work has appeared in The Wicazo Sa Review, Five Fingers Review, North American Ideophonics, and elsewhere. She has presented her poetry in the United States, Japan, Java, Australia, and for the United Nations in Paris.

Elizabeth Treadwell Jackson is the author, under her first two names, of a collection of prose poems, Populace (Avec, 1999), and a novel, Eleanor Ramsey: the Queen of Cups (SFSU, 1997). Her LILYFOIL (or Boy & Girl Tramps of America) is available as an ebook from; a collection of her poetry, Chantry, will be published by Chax Press. She lives with her husband in Oakland and is of Cherokee, Irish, and Oklahoman persuasion on her mother’s side. She has served as director of Small Press Traffic since 2000.

Gerald Vizenor is professor of Native American literature and American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of more than twenty books on native histories, literature, and critical studies, including The People Named the Chippewa and Manifest Manners. His most recent books are Hotline Healers: An Almost Browne Novel, and Fugitive Poses: Native American Scenes of Absence and Presence. Vizenor is series editor of American Indian Literature and Critical Studies at the University of Oklahoma Press.