Into the mainstream
House Made of Dawn, the 1968 novel of Jemez Pueblo life and Los Angeles urban Indians by N. Scott Momaday, is widely credited with bringing Native American literature into the American mainstream. More than 40 years after its publication, the 76-year-old Kiowa-Cherokee writer is still at it, having recently received an honorary doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In An Evening of Native
Literary Arts, part of the events surrounding Indian Market, Momaday speaks in Santa Fe on Thursday, Aug. 19, courtesy of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts.
Also speaking is Luci Tapahonso, a Navajo poet and professor at the University of Arizona. As a child, the Shiprock native spoke Diné before she learned English; she crafts her poems in the Navajo language and then translates them into English — a rarity among Native American writers — thus preserving the rhythms of her native tongue. Her 1997 book Blue Horses Rush
In gained an international reputation for its vivid depictions of contemporary Native life.
Both writers will be interviewed by James Thomas Stevens, an Akwesasne Mohawk poet who teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The writers speak at 6 p.m. at Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo St. For more information, call SWAIA at 983-5220.
— Casey Sanchez
N. Scott Momaday