Via an April 26 press release, the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center announced that it will highlight the work of Native American fiction writers at a reading and discussion on Tuesday, May 10, starting at 4 p.m.. The event will take place on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, in the Mumford Room. It is free and open to the public.
Featured writers for “Spotlight on Native Writers” will include: Eric Gansworth, Linda LeGarde Grover, and Stephen Graham Jones, in a reading and discussion moderated by Deborah Miranda. A book signing will follow.
The event precedes the launch of Louise Erdrich’s 15th novel, “LaRose.” Erdrich, the celebrated author of “Love Medicine” and many other novels, is the recipient of the 2015 Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction.
At 7:30 p.m. that evening, Erdrich will read from her new novel at a PEN/Faulkner event at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. N.E., Washington D.C. The reading is held in collaboration with the Library of Congress. More information on Erdrich’s reading is available through the PEN/Faulkner website.
About the “Spotlight” event at the Library of Congress, Erdrich commented:
“Bringing our contemporary Native stories to life in one of our country’s greatest institutions is a worthy and delightful enterprise.”
Rob Casper, head of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, said, “Erdrich is an inspiration as our newest Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction winner, and we’re honored to celebrate other essential Native writers on the date of Erdrich’s book launch.”
Gansworth is an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation. He was raised in the Tuscarora Nation Territories in Western New York and is a professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. In the fall of 2016, he will be NEH Visiting Professor of Native American Studies at Colgate University. His award-winning books include “Extra Indians” and “Mending Skins.”
Grover is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, a Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She is a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Her award-winning fiction includes “The Dance Boots” and “The Road Back to Sweetgrass.”
Jones is the author of 16 novels and six story collections. He teaches in the MFA programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of California Riverside-Palm Desert. His current novel is the award-winning “Mongrels.”
Miranda is is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of California and is the John Lucian Smith Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University. She is the author of “Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir” as well as works of poetry.
Erdrich has won several awards for her work, including the National Book Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is “committed to building audiences for literature and bringing writers together with their readers.” Likewise, The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress “fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature.” For more information on the LOC’s Poetry and Literature Center, visit the center’s page on the Library of Congress website.