Dr. Theo Van Alst Writes a Book

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 hasContinue reading “Dr. Theo Van Alst Writes a Book”

There There by Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange’s polyphonic novel ties together the lives of several urban Indians as they gravitate towards The Big Oakland Pow Wow. It is beautiful and heartbreaking and funny and true and sad. It comes out on June 5. You should preorder it from your favorite indie bookstore. Nevertheless, here’s that super convenient non-indie bookstore link.Continue reading “There There by Tommy Orange”

KWELI, The 3rd Annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference

In early April I attended Kweli’s 3rd Annual Children’s Literature Conference.  KWELI is the creation of Laura Pegram. Laura has suffered as an artist in isolation. This experience led her to create KWELI-an online community for those writers of color working alone. http://www.kwelijournal.org/ Laura has also made it part of her work to create anContinue reading “KWELI, The 3rd Annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference”

Flashback to the Present

Native writers at Kweli’s Color of Children’s Literature Conference in April 2016 Front: L to R: Charlene Willing McManis (Grand Ronde); Andrea L. Rogers (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma); Marcie Rendon (White Earth (Anishinaabe) Nation) Back: L to R: Natalie Dana (Passamaquoddy); Laura Kaye Jagles (Tesuque Pueblo); Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation); Joseph Bruchac(Abenaki); and Kevin Maillard (Seminole) Two years ago, IContinue reading “Flashback to the Present”

Back Door Book Shop

This place had achieved urban myth status for me. I had heard it existed but no one could give me an address. “Hole in the wall.” “Hidden green door.” “Quaint.” “Fantastic used book store.” “Great prices.” When my work recently moved downtown, a Moroccan Coffee place within walking distance was recommended to me. Curious, IContinue reading “Back Door Book Shop”

Start a Book Club

You’ve devoured the book.  All done, right? Wrong.  A great meal tastes better when you tell someone about it. Books are the same way.  Talking about books allows you to experience the work in a different way.  It forces you to think harder.  You are no longer passively absorbing story.  You are interacting with theContinue reading “Start a Book Club”