You received a post from me today that had some old postings and some odd web formatting. My apologies. At least it was proof that I’m still out here. And thank you all for responding to those old posts, even though they were out of date.
More important, the year is starting on a good note. I’m going to try to do better to keep you all in the loop. As of this moment — and things could change — I have made the hard decision to turn down a chance to be part of the Jaipur, India, literary festival, which is one of the largest in the world. I hope to be able to attend next year. But there is wonderful news, also, in that Neither Wolf nor Dog, that old warhorse of mine, has been chosen as the selection for One Book South Dakota. This means that I will be able to travel the length and breadth of one of my favorite states, continuing my efforts to bring the Native experience more fully into our national historical narrative. South Dakota is truly the canary in the coal mine in a good sense of the term, because it is arguably the place in our nation where the cultural encounter between the Native and non-Native peoples is most immediately present in day to day life. If healing and understanding can take place here, the ripples can spread outward in all directions. I am thrilled and honored to be able to play my part in this effort.
I will also be speaking to the annual conference of a Franciscan health care system that serves 14 counties in Wisconsin and Illinois. It is a chance to use a different voice — the one that has always loved, and one time written about, the prayer of St. Francis.
I may also be speaking in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and Missoula, Montana, though these engagements are far from certain.
And then there is the slow, steady unrolling of Dancing with the Gods, my book on the hidden joys and unseen challenges of a life in the arts. This book will take root slowly, because it needs to find its way into colleges, high schools, and art schools. That will happen more easily when it goes into paperback. For now, it continues to find favor with artists and teachers around the country and in the U.K. I love this book and think it has much to offer. It will be a true pleasure to watch it find its way in the world.
Meanwhile, the German edition of Neither Wolf nor Dog has come out, and it is a thing of beauty. And if you are a person who prefers listening over reading, Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce, The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo, Dancing with the Gods, and Neither Wolf nor Dog are now all available on audio. Tim Conner, man who narrated Neither Wolf nor Dog, should get some kind of voice Emmy. He doesn’t read it so much as perform it. It is well worth a listen.
Well, posts like this are, I suppose, necessary, but they feel more like announcements than letters to written to you, my faithful readers. We can count this as a catch-up posting and a harbinger of things to come. I promise you more intimate and thoughtful posts in the future. You deserve them. Thanks, as always, for sticking with me. I appreciate your patience and cyber-friendship.
I will be reading from my new book, Dancing with the Gods: Reflections on Life and Art, at the South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings, South Dakota, on the 22nd of September, at 10 a.m. Dancing with the Gods is a series of thoughts and reflections on the inner life of the artist, written for anyone who practices an art form or wants to understand some of the often unseen joys and challenges of the creative life. I might also read one of my favorite pieces from my recently published book, Native Echoes: Listening to the Spirit of the Land. I encourage you to show up. The South Dakota Festival of Books is a wonderful venue — very intimate and convivial. You can usually get a few words with any of your favorite authors and have a chance to brush shoulders with a good group of readers and all around friendly people. Here’s a link to the website: http://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/. See you there.