Things to read, and look at, and listen to:
Please don't miss The Turquoise Ledge, a new memoir by the award-winning Tucson writer Leslie Marmon Silko. It's an unusual book: richly mythic and symbolic, engrossing, surprising, harrowing, and deeply moving. Lordy, can this woman write! I particularly love Silko's evocation of the desert flora and fauna of southern Arizona; I can practically smell that creosote-and-sage scented air. (Many thanks to Carolyn Dunn, no slouch of a writer herself, for the heads-up on Silko's latest.)
Reading (on the web)
Monique Poirier has written an interesting post on the Steampunk movement and Native American indentity over at the Beyond Victoriana blog (with thanks to Amal El-Mohtar for the link). "Part of the fun of Steampunk is the aspect of alternate history," she says, "of deliberate anachronism and the application of alternate timelines and technological developments and the ration of ‘Steam’ to ‘Punk’. It means having the chance to create alternate histories in which Native Americans maintain sociological primacy and control over the North and South American landmass, if we so choose. . . ." Read the whole post here.
My fairy-goddaughter, photographer Guarina Lopez-Davis, was awarded a 'Young Artist Grant' by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities this year to create "Modern Natives//Personal Regalia": a multimedia photographic project consisting of large format photographs (silver toned and hand printed), audio interviews and an accompanying website. The project is Guarina's creative response to the controversial Edward Curtis' photographs of Native Americans taken in the early years of the 20th century. "This is a project that I have been thinking about conceptually for almost 15 years" she says. "As a Native person, I am acutely aware of the historical misrepresentation of all Native tribes. I am also aware that the Native voice in the Contemporary Art world is almost non-existent on a grand scale. With this project my hope is to give a voice to Native peoples, so that our presence can be known as modern as well as traditional."
You can see Guarina's gorgeous photographs on her "Modern Natives//Personal Regalia" website.
In the video below, shot at the Botanic Gardens in Tucson (one of my favorite places there), R. Carlos Nakai (Native American flute), William Eaton (harp guitar), and Will Clipman (percussion) perform "My Wild Heart Sings," from their CD A Distant Place (Canyon Records). I have the album on my CD player right now -- and it's a song that fills my own wild heart with desert rhythms on a mist-shrouded morning at the edge of Dartmoor.