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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 17, 2003 - Issue 87


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First Book Award for 2003 Recipients Selected

by Wordcraft Circle

The Native Writers' Circle of the Americas (NWCA) announces the recipients of the literature awards in poetry and prose.

MARLON D. SHERMAN (Oglala Lakota) of Eureka, California, is the recipient of the 2003 First Book Award competition in poetry sponsored by NWCA. Mr. Sherman won the award for his book-length manuscript of poetry, Wild Plums, a series of poems depicting growing up on a Lakota (Sioux) reservation, as well as showing many features of the modern-day urban Indian world. He will receive a cash award and a plaque from NWCA.

Mr. Sherman was born in Kyle, on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. He was relocated to California as a young man by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and worked for many years as a roofer. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of California - Santa Cruz,and a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder. Sherman manages his own consulting business, a firm specializing in not only peacemaking, but also in conducting focus groups, as well as workplace diversity training, workshops on Native American legal, social, and historical issues, and writing government and private foundation grant proposals. He has also taught courses in Indian education and Native poetry at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.

SUSAN SUPERNAW (Creek/Munsee)a of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the recipient of the 2003 First Book Award competition in poetry sponsored by NWCa. Ms. Supernaw won the award for her autobiography, The Power of a Name, a chronicle of the first twenty-one years of her life -- a time of poverty, domestic strife, and racial prejudice in eastern Oklahoma, and culminating with her winning of the Miss Oklahoma competition in 1971 and her involvement in the Miss America pageant the following year.

Ms. Supernaw was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is of Creek (or Muscogee) and Munsee (Delaware) tribal ancestry. She has a bachelor's degree from Tulsa University. She went on to do graduate work in anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. Supernaw is president and owner of BearHawk, Inc., a firm which provides computer consulting, networking, programming, database development, computer-based learning, and web design. She is also active in numerous Indian cultural organizations, including the Native American Church.

The 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas (formerly Returning The Gift), an international Native American writers organization, is being given to Geary Hobson (Cherokee/Arkansas Quapaw) of Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Hobson, a novelist, poet, literary critic, editor, and university professor, is the thirteenth recipient of the award.

Geary Hobson was born in Chicot county, Arkansas in 1941. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Arizona State University after having served four years in the United States Marine Corps. He has a Ph.D from the University of New Mexico. As an educator, he has taught at the University of New Mexico (where he served as the director of the Native American Studies program), the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Central Arkansas University, and the University of Oklahoma, where he is currently a professor of Native American literature and creative writing. Dr. Hobson has been involved in the Native American literary scene for more than thirty years, developing and teaching classes, editing journals, writing books, and publishing more than a hundred articles, as well as many short stories and poems. He has been involved in the establishment and maintenance of two Native American Studies programs --- at the University of New Mexico and the University of Oklahoma --- during his academic career. He is the author of Deer Hunting and Other Poems(1990), The Last of the Ofos(2000), a novel, The Rise of the White Shaman: Essays and Reviews, 1970-2000(in press), and the editor of The Remembered Earth: An Anthology of Contemporary Native American Literature(1979). As an editor and critic, he has assisted nearly a hundred writers in getting their works published in journals and accepted by book publishers, though his work as a professor, scholar, and particularly with his work as the director to the First Books Award competition that is sponsored annually by the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.

Dr. Hobson will be honored, along with the winners of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas' First Book Award for Poetry (Marlon D. Sherman) and Prose (Susan Supernaw), and the Theresa Palmer Memorial Scholarship Award winner (given to an Oklahoma Native American graduating high school senior, to be announced), at a banquet at the University of Oklahoma, in Norman, Oklahoma, in October of 2003. Specific places and times for all accompanying events --- book signings, readings, banquet, etc. --- will be announced.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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