Dr. Theo Van Alst is cool and smart and ready to fight if he has to. I like this about him and his writing. Sacred Smokes is confidently unapologetic. It smokes in the apartment. It doesn’t do the dishes. Native Lakota kid Theo survives in Chicago and Chicago survives in Dr. Van Alst. Theo has a distinctive voice and you can hear a bit of it in Theodore Van Alst – Reading Fall 2016 where he reads some of “Push It,” a story included towards the end of Sacred Smokes. What I enjoy is how different his work is from a lot of the work I read by native writers. Theo’s work is just Indians being Indians in the world.
My introduction to Theo’s work was in the Summer of 2016, a Fall craft talk in the Low Rez program at IAIA. Craft Talk–“No More Navajo Joes.”
Theo is funny.
He is also a supporter of other Indian writers. I doubt anyone has done more to spread the gospel of the greatness of writer Dr. Stephen Graham Jones. Check out “The Faster Redder Road” for a few bites. (Website http://www.demontheory.net/ or Twitter @SGJ72).
Also, Theo knows his way around a photograph. Check out his instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tvayyyz or the Website of Theodore Van Alst I also follow Theo on Twitter @TVAyyyy
Dr. Theo Van Alst is an Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University. Theo is of Lakota descent. He is an editor of Transmotion, a very cool online journal that is “inspired by the work of Gerald Vizenor. Transmotion will publish new scholarship focused on theoretical, experimental, postmodernist, and avant-garde writing produced by Native American and First Nations authors, as well as book reviews on relevant work in Indigenous Studies, and new creative work that seeks to push boundaries.” (Full disclosure, I have a short piece in the current issue.) Theo has done a whole lot of cool stuff. Sacred Smokes is a good start if you want to check out who Dr. Van Alst is…