115 N Main Avenue
Indigenous People’s Day ~ Honoring Women’s Voices
Native Nations poets Laura Da’, Ruby Hansen Murray, Leah Altman, Alise Sanchez and a youth poet
October 14, 2019 from 4pm to 6pm
Old Liberty Theater, 115 N Main Avenue, Ridgefield, WA 98642
The public is invited to join us at the Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield, Washington to celebrate our First Nations People through poetry, prose and music. As a community we will gather to honor the Indigenous People on whose traditional and ancestral land we sit and in acknowledgment that many Indigenous Nations of the Columbia River have connections to this place and their descendants live on. Our honored guests will include Tanna Engdahl, Spiritual Leader of the Cowlitz Tribe. She will offer a blessing for the gathering, which will honor Indigenous Women.
Native Nations women poets Laura Da’, Ruby Hansen Murray, Leah Altman, Alise Sanchez and a youth poet will read their work. Traveling Day Society, an inter-tribal and multi-cultural blend of musicians utilizing the voices of the Drum and the Native American Flute will join community members to drum at the event. This celebration is free and open to the public of all ages.
A poet and a public-school teacher, Laura Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is the author of the collections Instruments of the True Measure (University of Arizona Press, 2018), winner of the 2019 Washington Book Award and Tributaries (University of Arizona Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 American Book Award as well as the chapbook The Tecumseh Motel. Her work has appeared in the anthologies New Poets of Native Nations (Graywolf Press, 2018) and Effigies II (Salt Publishing, 2014). A member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, she received a Native American Arts and Cultures Fellowship in Literature. Da’ has also been a Made at Hugo House fellow and a Jack Straw fellow. She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her family.
Ruby Hansen Murray is a citizen of the Osage Nation, who lives downriver on Puget Island. She’s an award-winning columnist for the Osage News, and has offered writing workshops at the Port Townsend Writers Conference, Mt. Edgecumbe Boarding School in Sitka, Alaska and the American Indian Center in Chicago. She writes about the idiosyncrasies of Osage family life and confronts stereotypes that render Natives invisible. Her work appears in Exquisite Vessel: Shapes of Native Nonfiction by Elissa Washuta & Terese Warburton (2019), and World Literature Today, CutBank and The Rumpus. She received an MFA from The Institute of American Indian Arts.
Leah Altman (Oglala Lakota/Persian) is a Native writer and poet from the Portland area. She has been writing and performing poetry since she was 8 years old. Leah was most recently published in an anthology of local Portland writers entitled Where the Roses Grow Best, and she has performed most recently on KBOO with local Native writers Trevino Brings Plenty and Eva Joy. Leah has two daughters, and her poetry addresses family, love, identity, and her experience as a Native American adoptee and second-generation immigrant. She currently works at the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation and is a board member of Advancing Gender Equity in the Arts.
Alise Sanchez is a member of the Little Shell Band of Ojibwe, raised on the cold, clear nights of western Montana, and transplanted to the Pacific NW to flourish. She is a community-centered social services provider, currently serving as the director of the Multnomah County Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordination Office. She makes her home in queer and indigenous community, is a proud parent to two children, and is finally starting to self-identify as a writer.