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California Indian authors roundtable with Deborah Miranda, Ursula Pike, Cindi Alvitre, and Terria Smith

April 18, 2021 | 4:00 pm 5:00 pm

Join California Indian authors Deborah Miranda (Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen / Chumash), Ursula Pike (Karuk), Cindi Alvitre (Gabrieleno-Tongva), and Terria Smith (Torrez Martinez Desert Cahuilla) at this virtual reading/roundtable event.

Curated by Ruth Nolan, Professor at College of the Desert, in collaboration with Heyday, News from Native California, and the College of the Desert Communication Division’s Visiting Authors of Color Series.

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About the Speakers

Deborah A. Miranda

Deborah A. Miranda

Deborah A. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area in California. Deborah lives in Eugene, Oregon with her wife, writer Margo Solod, and a variety of rescue dogs. She is Professor of English emerita at Washington and Lee University, where she taught literature of the margins and creative writing as the Thomas H. Broadus, Jr. Endowed Chair.

Her mixed-genre memoir Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir received the 2015 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, and was short-listed for the William Saroyan Literary Award. She is also the author of four poetry collections: Indian Cartography, The Zen of La Llorona, Raised by Humans, and Altar for Broken Things. She is the co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature and contributing editor of When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through. Photo by Margo Solod.

Ursula Pike

Ursula Pike

Ursula Pike is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work won the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest in the memoir category, and her writing has appeared in Yellow Medicine ReviewWorld Literature Today, and Ligeia Magazine. She has an MA in economics, with a focus on community economic development, and was a Peace Corps fellow at Western Illinois University. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia from 1994 to 1996. An enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe, she was born in California and grew up in Daly City, California, and Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Cindi M. Alvitre

Cindi M. Alvitre

Cindi Alvitre is a mother and grandmother, and she has been an educator and artist-activist for over three decades. She is a descendant of the original inhabitants of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. In 1985, she and Lorene Sisquoc cofounded Mother Earth Clan, a collective of Indian women who created a model for cultural and environmental education. In the late 1980s she cofounded Ti’at Society, sharing in the renewal of ancient maritime practices of the coastal and island Tongva. She currently teaches American Indian Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Terria Smith

Terria Smith

Terria Smith is a tribal member of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. For more than five years she has been working as the editor of News From Native California, a quarterly magazine devoted to the vibrant cultures, art, languages, histories, social justice movements, and stories of California’s diverse Indian peoples. Terria is also the director of California Indian Publishing at Heyday. She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association and an alumna of the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.


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