First Native Prose Writers Event in Seattle to Take Place at Hugo House
A Reading With Erika Wurth, Casandra Lopez, and Elissa Washuta
Oct. 3, 2014
1634 11th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
SEATTLE, WA—Seattle writers Elissa Washuta (Cowlitz) and Casandra Lopez (Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseno, and Tongva) will read in support of visiting Colorado novelist Erika T. Wurth (Apache, Chicksaw, Cherokee), who will present her new book Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend. Washuta will read a selection from Starvation Mode, her second memoir-in-progress, supported by 4Culture and the Made at Hugo House program. Lopez will read selections from her own prose.
This is the first literary event in Seattle to solely feature Native American writers. As part of her 2013 4Culture grant, Washuta, member of the Cowlitz Tribe and author of the memoir My Body Is a Book of Rules, dreamed up the event to bring together the Native community and support Native writers.
“Native people were the first storytellers in the Puget Sound region, and I’m excited to be a part of the ten-thousand-year tradition of storytelling in the Northwest while featuring indigenous writers who call other places home,” Washuta said.
This event is an opportunity to experience the storytelling tradition continue as members of the Native literary community redefine cultural preconceptions of what it means to be Native American today.
Books are for sale by Elliott Bay Book Company, and Hugo House’s bar is open serving beer, wine, and cocktails. The reading is free.
About Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend
Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in Idaho Springs, Colorado—a town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and is determined to create a different future with her unreliable new boyfriend. Fighting against her surroundings, she dreams of moving far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive. Filled with complex characters overcoming and being overcome by circumstances of their surroundings, this novel thoroughly shakes up cultural preconceptions of what it means to be Native American today.
About the Writers
Erika T. Wurth is an Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee raised on the outskirts of Denver, which she describes as crossroads for many Native Americans. She holds an MA in English from University of Toledo and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from University of Colorado. She is currently the writer-in-residence at the Institute of American Indian Arts and teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University. Her work is published in numerous journals, including Boulevard, Fiction, Florida Review, Southern California Review, and Drunken Boat. Her debut poetry collection, Indian Trains, was published by the University of New Mexico’s West End Press.
Casandra Lopez was raised in Southern California’s Inland Empire and is Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseno and Tongva. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has been selected as the 2013 Indigenous Writer in Residence at the School of Advanced Research. Casandra has also been selected for a residency with the Sante Fe Art Institute, is an alumna of VONA, and a member of PoetrIE. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, High Desert Journal, Acentos Review, Casesura, McNeese Review, and Unmanned Press. She is an editor and founding member of As/Us.
Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is the author of My Body Is a Book of Rules, a memoir forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Filter Literary Journal, and Third Coast. She recently received a Potlatch Fund Native Arts Grant, an Artist Trust GAP Award, and a 4Culture Grant. In 2012, she was named an inaugural fellow in the Made at Hugo House program. She serves as adviser and lecturer for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and teaches in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
About Hugo House
Hugo House is for writers—from their first words to their last. It’s a place to read words, hear words, and make your own words better.
HH is a center for and ally to writers providing creative-writing classes, residencies, and events.
Open hours: Monday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.