Native American poets will be in Lawrence this week as part of the "Celebration of Native American Literature" sponsored by Haskell Indian Junior College and the Kansas University English department.
The weeklong celebration will kick off Tuesday, said Denise Low, English instructor at Haskell. Low said that departments at KU and Haskell had been planning the celebration for about a year.
"One of our main goals is to promote cooperation between KU and Haskell," she said.
George Wedge, associate professor of English and linguistics at KU, originally planned the series at KU, Low said. The two worked together to make the program a collaboration. A similar program was conducted at Haskell in 1984, the college's centennial year.
Featured poets this week will be Charlotte De Clue, Osage Indian poet from Oklahoma; William Oandasan, Yuki Indian poet from California; and Luci Tapahonso, Navajo Indian poet from Lawrence. Low said that the poets were chosen because of the quality of their work.
"I've followed De Clue's work for many years," she said. "It's important for students to see visiting writers and scholars. It's a great opportunity for them."
The program opens at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with a film, "Another Wind is Moving: The Off-Reservation Boarding Schools," in Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union. Bernard Hirsch, KU associate professor of English, will lead a discussion after the film.
De Clue, author of "Without Warning," will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Stidham Union at Haskell. She was featured poet at the Modern Language Assn. meeting in December 1989 in Washington, D.C. During her presentation, the Native American Student Assn. singers will perform.
James Hoy, Emporia State University professor of English, will speak on "What's Native About American Literature," at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alderson Auditorium. Hoy is the author of "The Cattle Guard" and was an author of the two-volume book, "Plains Folk."
Oandasan, a visiting professor in the English department at the University of New Orleans, will read from his poetry at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Alderson Auditorium. Oandasan, a faculty member at the University of California-Los Angeles, has published several books of poetry. A senior editor of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal and the Journal of Contemporary Literature, Oandasan will lecture at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 122 Ross Hall, Haskell.
Tapahonso, who recently moved to Lawrence from New Mexico to join her husband, Bob Martin, president at Haskell, is the author of two poetry books, "Seasonal Woman" and "A Breeze Swept Through." She is a member of the local poetry group Nine Women Poets.
She will join the other poets at a symposium on Native American literature at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Big Eight Room, Kansas Union.