Native Heritage Tribute Event
Thurs, November 18th • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online
Featuring Calvin Crosby, Denise Low, Georgina Marie, Kim Shuck, Martin Smith & David Weiden
Moderated by Paula Farmer
November is National Native American Heritage Month. Throughout November, we should all celebrate those of indigenous heritage, embrace the cultures they embody and educate the public about tribal communities. For its part, Book Passage is honoring the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples in the way we do best … with a special author/book-related event! This tribute event will be in two parts. First we will feature thoughtful commemorative written pieces from Native authors, poets and book industry professionals. Look for these essays and poems to be accessed below on this specially dedicated website page.
Then on November 18 at 5:30pm PST, we will have a online event with some of those participants presenting their writings, as well as a brief live discussion about the importance of the designation of the month, how Thanksgiving factors in, and few suggestions for books by Native authors- past and present. We hope you, our literary community, will partake in this special presentation (free). As always, we encourage you to bring along your thoughtful comments and questions.
Speakers (in alphebetical order)
Calvin Crosby’s roots in the book industry are deep in varied, including several years wearing several hats at Book Passage. Until recently, he was the Executive Director of the California Independent Bookstores Allianc (CALIBA) before taking over co-ownership of the King’s English Bookshop. He is also the co-chair of the Mosaic Community, the DEI arm of CALIBA. As a Native American he committed to uplifting Indigenous authors, stories and issues.
Denise Low is the former Kansas poet laureate and the author of twelve books of poetry, including Mélange Block and Ghost Stories of the New West, a Kansas Notable Book Award and recognized by The Circle of Minneapolis as among the best Native American Books of 2010. She is a fifth generation Kansan of mixed British Isles, German, and unaffiliated Delaware (Lenape and Munsee) and Cherokee heritage.
Georgina Marie was raised in Lakeport, California. As part of the Broken Nose Collective, an annual handmade chapbook exchange, she created her first poetry chapbook, Finding the Roots of Water, in 2018 and her second chapbook,Tree Speak, in 2019. In 2020, she was an Anne G. Locasio scholar for the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference poetry workshop. The Literary Coordinator and Poetry Out Loud Coordinator for the Lake County Arts Council, she served as co-editor for the Middletown Art Center’s RESILIENCE and RESTORE collections of written word and visual arts funded by the California Arts Council. She is the current Lake County Poet Laureate for 2020-2022.
Kim Shuck is a Tsalagi (Cherokee)/Euro-American poet, author, weaver, and bead work artist who draws from Southeastern Native American culture and tradition as well as contemporary urban Indian life. She was born in San Francisco and belongs to the northern California Cherokee diaspora. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She has taught American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and was an artist in residence at the De Young Museum in June 2010, and in 2017, then Mayor, Ed Lee named Shuck as the 7th poet Laureate of San Francisco.
Martin Cruz Smith (read by Luisa Smith), whose novels include Gorky Park, Stallion Gate, Nightwing, Polar Star, Stalin’s Ghost, Rose, December 6, Tatiana, The Girl from Venice, and The Siberian Dilemma. He is a two-time winner of the Hammett Prize, a recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award and Britain’s Golden Dagger Award, and a winner of the Premio Piemonte Giallo Internazionale. He lives in California.
David Weiden is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation, is the author of the novel Winter Counts and the children’s book Spotted Tail. His work appears in the Yellow Medicine Review, Transmotion, Criminal Class Review, and other magazines. He’s the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Ragdale Foundation residency, the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, and was a Tin House Scholar.
Madelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. Her work reflects her love of childhood. She holds a degree from Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Brooklyn. She is the illustrator of The Pear Tree; Look, Grandma!/Ni, Elisi!; and the upcoming book, Powwow Day.
Former Ukiah poet laureate Linda Noel is of the Koyungkowi tribe, the Konkow, and knows that her people were herded from Chico to Covelo. Her mother was born near Willow Creek, near Bucks Lake, and her father grew up around Yuba City in the remnants of mining towns.
Moderating the event is Book Passage’s Paula Farmer. In addition to curating events for social discourse and change, Paula is a features writer, and hosts the “Speaking Of” interview series on Instagram in which she regularly talks with BIPOC authors, artists, and activists on topical issues. She is the Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee of CALIBA and was recently selected for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee for the American Booksellers Association.
All photos courtesy of the authors