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Writing with our Ancestors, with Chelsea Hicks — begins
June 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm$350
WHAT: A four-week generative online collaboration
WHEN: Begins Friday, June 18th, 2021. This class is hosted on our rich interactive online platform, WetInk. The class is broken into four weeks, and within those weeks you go at your own pace. In addition, Chelsea will host five weekly Zoom session on Fridays from 4-5pm PST. The final Zoom session will be a group reading/celebration. (Zoom dates: 6/18, 6/25, 7/2, 7/9, 7/16)
ACCESS: While able to be purchased directly from this site at our standard rate of $350, this offering is available at a sliding scale rate to anyone who inquires. Please reach out to Daniel Elder at email@example.com. Payment plans are also available.
In Chiapas and Oaxaca, writers center Indigenous literature with translation across languages, sometimes including three translations. In the northern part of Turtle Island, or this land on which we reside called the Americas, English is too often the sole tongue of literary writing. Inés Hernández-Avila, a poet and artist of Nez Perce/Nimiipuu & Tejana origin, translates Mayan & Zoque poetry into Spanish and English. Inés inspired Chelsea Hicks to begin writing in her ancestral language of Wahzhazhe ie.
Writers like Jamil Jan Kochai and Elaine Castillo include languages like Pakto and Tagalog in their respective novels, 99 Nights in Logar and America Is Not the Heart. Poets like Layli Long Soldier and Sherwin Bitsui write in Lakota and Diné, alongside and beside English. The global contemporary Indigenous art movement is opening awareness of the multiplicity of cultures, from Taiwan to Australia to Canada and globally. Our ancestors spoke in various languages & to bring the thought structures and knowledge of these into our writing, we respect those who came before us. We will write in our heritage languages, and in English, seeking to gain insight from dreams, meditation, and all of our ancestors.
This offering is also suitable for those without former contact to their heritage languages. The class will provide an option of some support for the process of beginning to learn heritage languages.
Week One: Locations and Identities
Week Two: Listening Within Language/s
Week Three: Interpreting Inheritances/Disinheritances
Week Four: Integrating Messages
Chelsea T. Hicks (Osage, Pawhuska District) is a writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area and a recent graduate from the Institute of American Indian Arts’ MFA program. She is a 2020 finalist for the Eliza So Fellowship for Native American women writers and co-composer of the sound art piece “Onomatopoeias For Wrangell-St. Elias.” She teaches language and literature classes at the Institute of American Indian Arts as well as for Indigenous community centers throughout the SF Bay Area. Chelsea developed heritage and language writing classes like “Writing with our Ancestors” while teaching second-language acquisition courses at UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and Daposka Ahnkodapi, the Osage Nation’s immersion school. A 2016 and 2017 Writing By Writers Fellow and a 2016 Wah-Zha-Zhi Woman Artist of the Osage Nation Museum, Chelsea writes stories and essays incorporating Wahzhazhe ie, or the Osage language. She has published work in McSweeney’s, Indian Country Today, The Rumpus, Yellow Medicine Review, the Believer, and elsewhere.