LeAnne Howe – Eidson Distinguished Professor, Department of English – University of Georgia, Athens
LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays and scholarship that primarily deal with American Indian experiences. Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Fiction International, Callaloo, Story, Yalobusha Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere, and has been translated in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Writers Residency, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Her first novel Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, 2001) received an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation. The novel was a finalist for the 2003 Oklahoma Book Award, and awarded Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year, 2002. Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger, one of France’s top literary awards. Evidence of Red (Salt Publishing, UK, 2005) won the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry in 2006, and the Wordcraft Circle Award for 2006. Miko Kings: An American Indian Baseball Story (Aunt Lute Books, 2007) is the story of a Choctaw baseball pitcher Hope Little Leader, Justina Maurepas, his black-Indian lover, an all-Indian baseball team, and Ezol Day, a Choctaw postal worker who comes back across time to tell her story to a woman who should have been her granddaughter. Set in 1907 and 2006, the novel spans nearly 100 years and examines the roots of American baseball. In 2014, Howe’s memoir Choctalking on Other Realities, Aunt Lute Books, 2013, won the first MLA prize for Studies in Native American Literature, Cultures, and Languages.
LeAnne was the screenwriter and on-camera narrator for the 90-minute PBS documentary Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire that aired nationally in 2006. Part memoir, part tribal history the film takes Howe (Choctaw) to the North Carolina homelands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to discover how their fusion of tourism, community, and cultural preservation is the key to the tribe’s health in the twenty-first century. Along the way Howe seeks to reconcile her own identity as the daughter of a Cherokee father she never knew.