This celebration of Indigenous writing featuring both established and emerging voices in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Featured reader, Jennifer Elise Foerster, is joined by Craig Womack, Deborah Miranda, Rosemary McCombs Maxey, Stacy Pratt, Blue Tarpalechee, and Regina Brink. This incredible line-up of authors shares their own work as well as work by other writers who have influenced them, including Janice Gould and Durango Mendoza. We are delighted to bring so many powerful Indigenous voices to Emory University. We offer a special welcome to Foerster, Womack, Maxey, Pratt, and Tarpalechee, all Muscogee Creek, along with Muscogee guests in attendance, as we host this event from our Atlanta campus in the Muscogee Creek homeland. Learn more about Emory’s history in relation to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Emory’s Native American Indigenous Studies Initiative’s Land Acknowledgement and History Statement written by Emory professors Craig Womack and Debra Vidali by visiting This event is sponsored by The Hightower Fund, The Department of English, The Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative, and the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University.

More about the readers and participants: 

Jennifer Elise Foerster is the author of Leaving Tulsa (2013) and Bright Raft in the Afterweather (2018), both published by the University of Arizona Press, and associate editor of When The Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020). She received her PhD in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver and her MFA from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts, and she is an alumna of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). Foerster currently teaches at The Rainier Writing Workshop and serves as the Literary Assistant to U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She is of German, Dutch, and Mvskoke descent, and is a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.

Craig Womack is the author of Red on Red and Drowning in Fire, and co-director, with Steve Bransford, of Hearing the Call. He teaches in the English Department at Emory University.

Deborah Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area in California, with Chumash ancestry. Her mixed-genre book Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (Heyday 2013), received the 2015 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. The author of four poetry collections, Deborah currently lives in Lexington, Virginia with her wife Margo Solod, where she is the Thomas H. Broadus, Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, teaching Native American literature, the literature of poverty, and creative writing. In May 2021 she will retire and return to the west coast

Rosemary McCombs Maxey is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, retired clergy from the United Church of Christ, and life-long instructor of the Mvskoke language.

Stacy Pratt, Ph.D., is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is a musician, poet, book reviewer, and art writer specializing in Indigenous art.

Blue Tarpalechee is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and a PhD Student studying Native American Literature at the University of Oklahoma.

Regina Brink, blind since the age of two, has been immersed in the performing and literary arts since she first appeared in an episode of the TV show, Lassie, called “More Than Meets the Eye.” Throughout her student life, She made TV and personal appearances promoting disability awareness for the Braille Institute and the Foundation for the Junior Blind. She obtained two degrees from California State University at Fullerton in Sociology and Ethnic Studies. Ms. Brink has a considerable resume with social service and cultural organizations: working for Head Start, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, and the Society for the Blind; participating on many community boards, including Directors of Volunteers in Agencies and The Crocker Art Museum’s Art Access Committee; and serving as the current Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs, President of the Inclusive Diversity Affiliate, and President of her local Capital Chapter of the California Council of the Blind. She has appeared in over a dozen Community Theater productions as an actor and now is co-facilitating and directing workshops and productions with actors who are disabled, including a company of actors who all have low vision or are blind, entitled Inner Vision.