Resources & Updates
Scroll down for Native News and Culture Resources; Support for Artists and Native Communities during the Pandemic; and more Poetry and Educational Resources
A Message from the Poet Laureate:
Like everyone else, a few weeks ago, a month ago, I was thick in the buoyant story of my life. I was traveling from one end of the country to the other, out of the country, sharing poetry, music, and meeting with many communities and other poets. I had a full spring schedule. Every week was booked. And when I was not unpacking, packing, doing laundry, and having time with my family, I was writing on a new memoir, new lyrics and music. In the middle of it I felt the tense rise of an immense wave, as we began to hear the news about a new virus with high fatalities in Wuhan, China. Every season there is a new flu strain. This appeared to be the same. Only this story grew and grew, and now here we are, the whole country, every place in the world, on lockdown, hiding out from each other in suspicious pockets of isolation, so this virus can be contained. It is killing people, especially of my generation and older.
My response has been similar to the classic grief response. I denied it, I got angry, and then somewhere in the future of the progression is acceptance. I’m stuck in reflection and loneliness, far from the territory of acceptance and hope. I’ve always sensed “hope” as water filling up a dam in some unreachable location. Everyone is happy there. “Acceptance” makes more sense. “There’s not a damn thing you can do about it.” Maybe I am closer than I think. Surely my questioning will lead me to poetry. It always does, eventually, after I have fought my way through to the inevitable, to whatever inescapable truth that might be.
I wonder at the metaphor of an entity that when magnified by a microscope is quite beautiful with its crown protrusions, hence: “corona”virus. Michael Pollan asserted in The Botany of Desire that corn plants, like many other plants, have their own volition. I wonder at the apparent sudden flurry of the coronavirus with its powerful surge to rule the world. What gave it muscle? What ancestry of thought motivated it, gave it impetus?
I can wander along the reasoning channels ad infimum and wind up back in my apartment, the restaurants shut down except for carry-out, and a grandson in the hospital two states away that I can’t get to because I just returned from being out of the country. Then, I turn to what is unspeakable, that which is beneath the underneath that is clothed in fear and fury--and has been opening the door of my sleep every night at three and four to torment me with questions. I have no answer that satisfies them, or me. Though when I open up Carolyn Forché’s new collection In the Lateness of the World and read this poem, I find it.
“Towards the End”
In this archipelago of thought a fog descends, horns of ships to unseen
ships, a year
passing overhead, the cry of a year, no knowing where, someone standing
in the aftermath
who once you knew, the one you were then, a little frisson of recognition,
and then just like that—gone, and no one for hours, a sound you thought
but in the waking darkness is not heard again, two sharp knocks on the
it was, you said, but now nothing, the islands, places you have been, the sea
full of ghosts calling out, lost as they are, no one you knew in your life, the
the whole of it, like the light at the bottom of a well opening in iced air
where you have gone under and come back, light, no longer tethered
to your own past, and were it not for the weather of a trance, of haze and
murk, you could see
everything at once: all the islands, every moment you have lived or place
you have been,
without confusion or bafflement, and you would be one person. You would
be one person again.
From In the Lateness of the World: Poems by Carolyn Forché, published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Forché
NATIVE WELLNESS, ARTS & CULTURE
Native Wellness Institute: The Native Wellness Institute created an online opportunity for everyone to virtually come together online through a Facebook group, Native Power Hour, as well as downloadable guides for wellness.
Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions. Reclaiming Native Truth is a national effort to foster cultural, social and policy change by empowering Native Americans to counter discrimination, invisibility and the dominant narratives that limit Native opportunity, access to justice, health and self-determination. Reclaiming Native Truth’s goal is to move hearts and minds toward greater respect, inclusion and social justice for Native Americans.
#HONORNATIVELAND offers an introduction to the practice of land acknowledgement, with a downloadable guide and teaching resources regarding land acknowledgement.
Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) - Visit IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts for a Virtual Reality Tour of the most current exhibition, Indigenous Futurisms: Transcending Past/Present/Future.
Visit Facebook’s Native Artist Marketplace to support Native artists promoting and selling their work online.
Explore and subscribe to First American Art, a quarterly journal of art by Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Connecting the global art world with Indigenous communities since 2013
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is offering free K‑12 curriculum and thoughtful unit plans on the complex political, social, cultural, and economic history of the Pueblo Indian Nations of New Mexico, between 1912 and 2012.
#NativeReads: Great Books from Indigenous Communities – Stories of the Oceti SakowinIn 2020, First Nations partnered with the Oak Lake Writers’ Society to increase knowledge and appreciation of Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota and Nakota) literatures. They selected 10 recommended books and created a storykeeping timeline, which takes the reader on a journey to better understand early and contemporary Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people and communities.
American Indians in Children’s Literature — This site, established by Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo), provides a critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books. You can also download a children’s book guide created by Dr. Reese.
Molly of Denali - This show follows the daily adventures of 10-year-old Alaska native Molly Mabray, her family, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini.
Learn How COVID-19 is impacting Native Communities:
National Indian Health Board: https://www.nihb.org/covid-19/
National Council of Urban Indian Health: https://www.ncuih.org/coronavirus
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Want to support Indian Country? A short list of NATIVE-RUN Organization & Non-Profits
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples — Seventh Generation Fund is mobilizing resources for crisis-impacted Indigenous Communities throughout the world in rapid response to COVID-19. Your support makes a difference. Learn more and donate here
NDN Collective — NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms. Learn more and donate here
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). IEN is an alliance of Indigenous peoples whose mission it is to protect the sacredness of Earth Mother from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws.
Native Ways Federation. As the Indigenous people of this country, we are all too familiar with the challenges of facing a public health crisis like COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). However, this current crisis is at a scale we haven’t seen in recent history, and it is already having deep impacts on and potentially catastrophic results for our communities. Native Ways Federation, an organization comprised of seven national non-profits led by and serving Native people through the United States, along with multiple other Native non-profits across the country, are calling upon the philanthropic community to support both Tribes and Native non-profits as they work diligently to meet the needs of our communities in rural and urban settings.
Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA) MFA in Creative Writing Program — Support scholarships for students at the Institute of American Indian Arts. To earmark your donation for the MFA in Creative Writing, select scholarship designation to “IAIA Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Scholarship.”
American Indian College Fund: Native students and communities are struggling to overcome new challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, but the American Indian College Fund and our friends and donors are here to help. Learn more and donate here
Mvskoke Nation Youth Services - To empower Mvskoke youth by connecting to culture, community and resources.
NATIVE RADIO, NEWS & PODCASTS
Native Voice One — The Native American Radio Network Native Voice One — NV1: Native Voice One (NV1) educates, advocates, and celebrates Indigenous life and culture by providing a radio programs from a Native point of view.
Native America Calling: Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities.
Indian Country Today: https://indiancountrytoday.com/coronavirus/
Native News Online: Celebrating Native Voices: http://nativenewsonline.net/
All My Relations: All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another.
Toasted Sister Podcast: Multimedia journalist Andi Murphy turned her passion for food into a podcast talking about Indigenous foodways, knowledge and Indigenous cuisine.
Think Indigenous: Think Indigenous is a podcast that highlights its yearly conference keynotes & “Red Talk” presentations sharing best practices, innovation and delivery models of Indigenous education.
The Joe Rogan Experience #1442 – An interview with Shannon O’Loughlin, Executive Director and attorney for the Association on American Indian Affairs, and she is also a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Coffee & Quaq: Host: Alice Qannik Glenn, Iñupiaq“The mission of Coffee & Quaq is to celebrate, share, and explore the collective experience of contemporary Native life in urban Alaska.
The Talking Stick: Produced by: Indian Legal Program at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the National Congress of American Indians. A Native American Law and Policy Podcast.
More Podcasts …
Indian Country Today has compiled a list of podcasts by Indigenous people.
Flare has also posted “9 Great Podcasts Hosted By Indigenous Women.”
Creative Capital: List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak: In times of crisis, artists are often among those most affected. In addition to health concerns, this is a challenging moment for many in our community as we deal with cancelled income and trying to make plans during uncertain times. Creative Capital has always been anchored by a rich spirit of community and mutual generosity, and we believe that continuing communication and exchange are crucial for all of us. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, we have created a list of resources for artists working in all disciplines, as well as arts philanthropists, and arts professionals.
COVID-19 & Freelance Artist Resources: This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.
Funding and Support for Native Nations communities, non-profits, and individuals — Tools and Resources from FIRST NATIONS DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE. The COVID-19 pandemic and international response have created grave implications, especially for those in Indian Country. To support Native communities, First Nations has collected and reviewed the following tools and resources focusing on five key areas:
The NDN Collective COVID-19 Response Project The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15 – 45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis. Apply
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples has established a Rapid Response to Indigenous Communities in Times of Crisis fund providing $5,000 in grant support to Indigenous community-generated and ‑led initiatives, supporting: Basic and urgent health and wellness needs of the most vulnerable with a focus on elders and multi-generational households and families with children under the age of 5 years old; Traditional healing practices and remedies, food systems, and immune support; and Historic and cultural teachings, stories, and lifeways that advance traditional knowledge systems that inform community members on health, healing, and moving forward.
Native Women Lead — Matriarch Response Loan Fund: Accepting applications through May 15 — Available for Native Women enterprises in NM, AZ, UT and CO
Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative
More than 200 U.S. community foundations in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, have created relief funds to support those affected by COVID-19 directing critical relief to local nonprofits and partnering with local governments and health organizations to help contain its spread.
Giving Compass and National Center for Family Philanthropy have collaborated to create a comprehensive list of vetted COVID-19 relief funds. While this site is set up to enlist funds, it is helpful in identifying funds as well. You can also see an interactive map here.
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Together Toward Tomorrow T3 Fund
Native American/Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive a one-time scholarship of $500. Scholarships are provided based on available funding.
Grantspace by Candid
Grantspace has developed an extensive list of resources and emergency grants available, including emergency grants to individuals and small businesses.
Otto Bremmer Trust Emergency Fund
In response to COVID-19, the Otto Bremer Trust has established a $50 million emergency fund through its Community Benefit Financial Company subsidiary to provide financial support to Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic.
New York Community Trust
The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of Coronavirus. It will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture.
Peace First’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants for Youth
These grants are designed to help young people ages 13 to 25 lead projects that address community impacts of COVID-19, from providing meals to elderly neighbors to launching digital mental health campaigns to support youth feeling isolated.
Emergent Fund – COVID-19 Response in Communities of Color
The Emergent Fund is focusing grantmaking on organizations that are mobilizing to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities; are utilizing power-building strategies including but not limited to digital organizing, membership development and outreach, narrative development, direct action; and are led by communities of color.
Supporting Tribal Public Health Capacity in Coronavirus Preparedness & Response
This CDC emergency funding opportunity is designed to fund federally recognized tribes that contract or compact with the Indian Health Service under Title I and Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, or consortia of these tribes, or their bonafide agents. The application deadline is May 31, 2020, by 11:59 pm (EDT).
Indigenous Environmental Network — The Indigenous Environmental Network is offering Mutual Aid funding relief in the form of small grants. Due to overwhelming response, the organization has recently updated its grant guidelines and is prioritizing groups and organizations that are offering mutual aid as part of community-organized efforts.
The following are just a few of the countless websites and online resources for accessing, teaching, reading about, and engaging with poetry.
Academy of American Poets
From the Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Holzer: Teachers, as classrooms across the country move online during this time of uncertainty, we wanted to remind you of the free education resources available to you at Poets.org.We’ve curated a selection of materials that are easily adaptable for your digital classroom. From Dear Poet, which can help bring living poets and poetry into your students’ homes, to lesson plans about poetry that engage their creativity as well as their physical energy, we hope these resources will aid your teaching and inspire your students.
Produced for K‑12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom or home. The series is produced with the guidance of our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.
Dear Poet, a multimedia education project that invites young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by award-winning poets
Find unique and adaptable lesson plans for teaching or learning about poetry that you can share with your families, students, or children.
In this time of uncertainty and great concern, many people are turning to poems to seek words of wisdom, uplifting ideas, and language that prompts reflection and centers us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In response to this need and to help our readers stay connected in the weeks ahead, the Academy of American Poets invites the public to join in a new initiative called Shelter in Poems.
To participate, select a poem that gives you hope from the Poets.org collection and post a sentence or two about why the poem inspires you on social media with the hashtag #ShelterinPoems. Beginning next week, the Academy will be considering responses and gathering the poems and testimonials in a special newsletter and sharing it online each week. The Academy will not be able to use all submissions and will be editing for house style and length.
If you are moved to record a one minute video of yourself offering the name of the poem and your statement, the Academy will also be selecting videos to share.
We also encourage you to join Shelter in Poems by emailing [email protected]poets.org.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.
The Poetry Foundation works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in our culture. The Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry.
Teaching Poetry Online: This comprehensive guide from Poetry Foundation offers resources for teaching poetry online for Kids ages 2 – 10, Middle School, and High School, with articles for teachers, students, and parents.
The Poetry Society of America’s mission is to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, to support poets through an array of programs and awards, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life. Explore the website for special features, interviews, and more!
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and the state and jurisdictional arts agencies.
Poetry: Everyone Should Try It: Here is a short article for young writers that was just shared with me by one particular young writer: Sit Down and Write: Poetry Resources. It’s a good reminder that all you need to write poetry is your imagination!
POEMTALK is a collaboration of the Kelly Writers House, PennSound, and the Poetry Foundation. PoemTalk’s producer and host is Al Filreis, our engineer is Zach Carduner, and our editor is the same talented Zach Carduner (whose predecessors were Amaris Cuchanski, Allison Harris, and for most of the early episodes, Steve McLaughlin)
Poetry Unbound, a series of the On Being Podcast
Immerse yourself in a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Short and unhurried; contemplative and energizing. Anchor your week by listening to the everyday poetry of your life, with new episodes on Monday and Friday during the season. Learn More at Poetry Unbound.
Poetry Foundation offers a range of podcasts, including:
Poetry Magazine Podcast: The editors go inside the pages of Poetry, talking to poets and critics, debating the issues, and sharing their poem selections with listeners.
Poetry Off the Shelf: Producer Helena de Groot explores the diverse world of contemporary poetry with readings by poets, interviews with critics, and short poetry documentaries. Nothing is off limits, and nobody is taken too seriously.
You can find all the podcasts here
WNYC produces PoetryNow, a series of short radio pieces co-produced with the WFMT Radio Network and featuring some of today’s most innovative poets reading and sharing insights on a new poem.
THE NEW YORKER: POETRY
The New Yorker: Poetry, produced by The New Yorker and WNYC. Readings and conversation with The New Yorker’s poetry editor, Paul Muldoon.
PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania: PennSound is an ongoing project, committed to producing new audio recordings and preserving existing audio archives. Explore the website and archives, as well as find a list of recorded Reading Series.
PEN America: Into the Streets — Writers Recommend Books of Protest: As protest rights are threatened around the country, we turn to books that demonstrate the power and importance of taking action and speaking out against racism, oppression, censorship, and injustice. We asked authors, historians, and scholars to share one book that has inspired and informed them as they write, create, and dissent.
From the NY Times: The Poems That Poets Turn To in Times of Strife: Sixteen poets tell us about the verses and books they are reading, or that they hope others seek out.
American Indians in Children’ s Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/
9 Diverse Books Set in the American West: From electricliterature.com, Lauren Francis-Sharma recommends poetry, novels, and memoirs that challenge the perception of the frontier
Reading in the Dark: From the Poetry Society of America, Reading in the Dark features poets reflecting on the poems they return to in difficult times
MEDIA: Follow Joy through her most recent interviews and podcasts
Dear friends, While Joy’s reading events through most of the Summer are cancelled, we want to assure you that most are simply being postponed and many efforts are being made to find alternative dates for these events. In the meantime, you can follow Joy through her most recent interviews and podcasts, posted here and updated weekly.
Read Joy’s recommended readings for speaking out against racism, oppression and injustices on the PEN America “Into the Streets” and the NY Times, “The Poems that Poets Turn To in Times of Strife.”
Listen to Joy’s 10-minute reading for Poets House online program.
What poem does Joy return to in difficult times? Find out on Poetry Society of America’s Reading in the Dark.
Joy Harjo records herself reading her poem, “For Calling the Spirit Back From Wandering the Earth on Its Human Feet,” for Bill Moyers
Joy Harjo: “What joins us together is poetry.” Listen to on the Washington Post’s “The Poetry of Home”: As America confronts coronavirus, four U.S. poets laureate explore the theme of home.