“Many Muses: A Multi-Media, Multi-Generational Exhibit and Performance of Poetry, Art and Music” will be co-sponsored by the Fort Lewis College Foundation, FLC Reed Library, Durango Public Library, and Maria’s Bookshop. Maria's Bookshop will provide books for sale at this off-site event, which takes place at the Durango Public Library.
The key performances will be presented by Esther Belin, Dine poet, artist, and professor of writing at Fort Lewis College, and Dr. Janice Gould, Concow/Maidu poet, musician, and Native American scholar/assistant professor in the Women and Ethnic Studies (WEST) program at the University of Colorado, in Colorado Springs. Belin’s four daughters, Ruthie, Sierra, Chamisa, and Santana, all of whom will have artwork exhibited on the walls of the library’s performance space that evening, will also participate. A discussion following the poets’ reading will focus on how different art forms inspire and influence artistic expression, as well as how different artists (whether in one’s family or one’s community) influence one another’s work.
The DPL event is scheduled to coincide with the celebration of the FLC Centennial Hozhoni Days, which will occur all that week on the FLC campus. “Hozhoni Days,” an annual event on the FLC campus since the 1960s, means “Days of Beauty,” and celebrates the cultural harmony of all the different tribes who have attended the college since its earliest Days as an Indian boarding school. The poets’ intention is to reach out to the community and invite members of the Durango audience to join them in a conversation about the creative inspiration and cultural impulses of the arts.
Esther G. Belin is a writer who was raised in Lynwood, California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2000 she won the American Book Award for her first book of poetry, From the Belly of My Beauty (University of Arizona Press, 1999.) Belin was one of the cofounders for the Women of Color Film and Video Collective. As a student at UC Berkeley, she produced five videos. Her first published work appeared in Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts. Other published works are included in the anthologies Neon Pow Wow, Song of the Turtle, Speaking for the Generations, Native American Voices, American Indian Urban Experience, Pride of Place, The Iowa Review, and Sister Nations. A few of her poems are featured on the Poetry Foundation Website: www.poetryfoundation.org, and her artwork can be viewed on her own website: http://bitterwater.weebly.com/index.html. Her daughter’s work can be viewed on their website, Edd Girl Art: http://eddgirlart.weebly.com/index.html. A second-generation, off-reservation Navajo (Diné), Esther Belin currently lives with her husband and family in Durango, Colorado, where she teaches in the Writing Program at Fort Lewis College.
Dr. Janice Gould is the author of three books of poetry: Beneath My Heart (Firebrand Press, 1991); Earthquake Weather (University of Arizona Press, 1996); and, most recently, Doubters and Dreamers, (University of Arizona Press, 2011). She is also the co-editor, with Dr. Dean Rader, of Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry (University of Arizona Press, 2003). Her poetry and prose has been collected in over fifty different anthologies, magazines, and journals, and is forthcoming in Sovereign Erot-ics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature, also with the University of Arizona Press. Other recent poetry publications by Dr. Gould can be found in Pilgrimage, Vol. 35, No. 1, and the online journals, Native American Literature: Gen-erations, Vol. 2 & 3, and Three Coyotes, Vol. 1, No. 1 (forthcoming).
Dr. Janice Gould recently presented “Bringing Native Ways of Knowing into the Classroom” at the Culturally Responsive Teaching, Leadership and Counseling Symposium, UCCS. Dr. Gould also received a grant from the Innovations in Scholarship for Inclusive Excellence (ISIE) Program for an “Ethics and Sustainability Symposium” she is planning for next October at UCCS.