Jennifer Elise Foerster and Layli Long Soldier are among the writers on tap for the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Summer Readers Gathering, a week of public presentations that heralds the start of a new semester at IAIA’s low-residency master of fine arts in creative writing program. Now in its seventh year, the MFA program welcomes a new director, Santee Frazier, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who has served as a poetry mentor in the program since 2013. Frazier’s first book, Dark Thirty, came out in 2009. His second, Aurum, is forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press in September 2019. Aurum is a distillation of 10 years of writing and revision. “Many of the poems were written in the Southwest Chief, a train that runs from Chicago to L.A.,” he said. “I created small writing rituals along the rail line, writing two to three lines per stop.” The poems are set in different eras of Native American life, though Frazier never explicitly states this in the collection. He reads from Aurum on Thursday, July 25.
The IAIA Summer Readers Gathering begins Saturday, July 20, and runs nightly through July 27 (no reading on Wednesday, July 24). All readings are free of charge, begin at 6 p.m., and are held in the auditorium of the Library and Technology Center at IAIA (83 Avan Nu Po Road). For a complete schedule of readers and directions to campus, call 505-424-2365 or go to iaia.edu/2019-iaia-summer-readers-gathering.