National Museum of the American Indian Celebrates Fifth Season of the Vine Deloria, Jr. Native Writers Series

October 15, 2008
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Vine Deloria Jr. Native Writers Series celebrates its fifth season with four more exceptional Native writers. The series, named after the legendary Native scholar and writer Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux), has become an essential part of the museum’s public program schedule.

Native writers, historians, philosophers, journalists, poets and playwrights have been featured throughout the past four seasons. “The National Museum of the American Indian is honored to garner awareness about the Native presence in today’s literary world,” said Museum Director Kevin Gover (Pawnee/Comanche). Each program features a Native writer and engages visitors in a lively, moderated discussion. Programs are held in the Rasmuson Theater and are free and open to the public. Season five offers a diverse array of literary programs and continues through May 2009.

  • On Oct. 15, the museum welcomes poet Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O’odham), a Regent’s professor of linguistics at Arizona State University and MacArthur Fellow. Zepeda will read from her latest book, “Where Clouds Are Formed” (University of Arizona, October 2008).
  • On Jan. 17, author William Iggiagruk Hensley (Inupiaq) will share his autobiography, “Fifty Miles from Tomorrow” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, January 2009), which discusses growing up in a fishing and hunting village, and his experiences working for Native Alaskan rights as president of the Alaska Federation of Natives.
  • Novelist, journalist, playwright and filmmaker Drew Hayden Taylor (Ojibway, Curve Lake First Nations) will discuss his most recent novel, “A Night Wanderer” (Annick Press, 2007) and present a ticketed Valentine’s Day-themed program for adults, with available dessert menu from the museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, Feb. 12 that will explore “Me Sexy,” a book about Native sexuality.
  • The final program May 13 features playwright Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl (Native Hawaiian/Samoan). Kneubuhl is a recipient of the Hawai’i Award for Literature and producer of 12 plays. She will read from her recent publications, including “Hawai’i Nei,” an anthology of three plays, and “Murder Casts a Shadow,” a murder mystery set in 1930s Honolulu.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is committed to presenting the most prestigious contemporary American Indian authors and upholding the museum’s mission to provide an opportunity for visitors to experience the living arts of Native peoples. Please visit for the complete writer’s series’ schedule.

Located on the National Mall at 4th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., between the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol Building, the National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Eileen Maxwell

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