AMRA’s Authors Program supports all aspects of the development of Native authors in genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and children’s and young adult fiction. Through a cohort model, 10 to 12 Native authors will benefit from the mentorship and facilitation by celebrated author Diane Wilson (author of Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past and Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life). Wilson along with AMRA’s Director Angela Two Stars (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) curates and develops the 12-month intensive focusing on professional development topics including preparing a manuscript, working with an editor, approaching a publisher, the business of writing, and more. AMRA’s Authors Program creates a much-needed brave space for Native authors to learn and flourish.
The program creates a path for an increase in published Native American authors with sage guidance, advice, and mentoring from published authors Diane Wilson, Heid Erdrich, Marcie Rendon, Thomas Peacock, Kimberly Blaeser, Rebecca Roanhorse. AMRA cohort members participate in monthly writing workshops held at All My Relations Arts gallery.
Diane Wilson is a Dakota writer who uses personal experience to illustrate broader social and historical context. Her new novel, The Seed Keeper, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring, 2021. Her memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, won a 2006 Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the 2012 One Minneapolis One Read program. Her nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, was awarded the 2012 Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. Her work has been featured in many publications, including the anthology A Good Time for the Truth. She has served as a Mentor for the Loft Emerging Artist program as well as Intermedia’s Beyond the Pale. Awards include the Minnesota State Arts Board, a 2013 Bush Foundation Fellowship, a 2018 AARP/Pollen 50 Over 50 Leadership Award, and the Jerome Foundation. She is a descendent of the Mdewakanton Oyate and enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation. Wilson currently serves as the Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Tashia Hart (Red Lake Anishinaabe) is an award-winning author and illustrator of Gidjie and the Wolves (Not Too Far Removed Press, 2020) and Girl Unreserved (2015). Forthcoming works include a cookbook, The Good Berry: Harvesting and Preparing Wild Rice and Other Wild Foods (Minnesota Historical Society Press 2021), Native Love Jams, a romantic comedy with a pub date tba, and a comic book, Kid Epicurious (tba). She’s the illustrator of 3 books in the Minnesota Native American Lives Series (Wise Ink Creative Publishing, 2020), and her short works include recipes/essays for PBS, First Nations Development Institute and others.
Teresa Peterson, Utuhu Cistinna Win, is Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and member of the Upper Sioux Community. She is the author of Grasshopper Girl, a children’s book published by Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing. Her poetry has appeared in “The Racism Issue” of the Yellow Medicine Review. Teresa and her uncle, Super LaBatte, co-wrote their forthcoming book, Voices from Pejuhutazizi: Dakota Stories and Storytellers, Minnesota Historical Society Press, that will be out late 2021. Additionally published in the academic world, her true passion is digging in her garden that overlooks the Mni Sota River valley and feeding friends and family.
Evelyn Bellanger lives at and is an enrolled member of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation. She is an environmental activist and has actively supported stopping DAPL (Standing Rock), Stop Line 3 (Palisade, MN) and recently published a blog in Environmental Working Group (EWG) Pineland Sands and is a member of The Rights of Manoomin (Wild Rice) Committee. She is a member of White Earth Elders Indian Affairs Commission, a consultant for Historical Trauma presentations and publishes articles in the White Earth tribal newspaper, Anishinaabeg Today. She is currently working on a memoir of living on the reservation and how historical trauma touched her life. She has a masters’ degree in American Indian Studies.
Janice Bad Moccasin is a Dakota/Lakota Spiritual Advisor who has shared ceremonial based healing work with individuals, families and communities who have been impacted by trauma. She is a visionary thinker, eloquent speaker and has been writing a collection called Java Reflections on social media for the past 6 years and has empowered an audience. Janice is part of the Native American Women’s Writing Cohort. She is writing a memoir which takes you on a journey of transforming trauma to awakening an inner freedom voice who carries forward her ancestor’s resilience, teachings, and personal ceremonial healing.
Annastacia Cardon is an Ojibwe woman enrolled in Leech Lake. She is eighteen years old, began writing at thirteen, and published a poem in Yellow Medicine Review 2020. Her writing ranges from poetry to creative fiction. She is currently working on a fantasy novel for publication. Passionate hobbies include beekeeping, dancing, and being an active member in the Native community.
Gabrielle Wynde Tateyuskanskan lives in the rural community of Enemy Swim on the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. She is a visual artist, writer and poet. Gabrielle is a long-time member of the Oak Lake Writers. Her work has been published in The American Indian Quarterly, The Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Dakota Commemorative Marches of the 21st Century, This Stretch of the River, He Sapa Woihanble: Black Hills Dream, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, What Makes a South Dakotan and The Yellow Medicine Review.
Ruth Denny is Potawatomi (People of the Fire) and Ho-Chunk (People of the Sacred Voice) originally from the great lakes and woodlands of Wisconsin. She is a storyteller—telling stories that educate, preserve history and culture, and hopefully inspire. Former editor of The Circle newspaper and Executive Director of the Native American Journalists Association, she is currently writing creative non-fiction. She recently guest-edited the Yellow Medicine Review, Spring 2020 issue. Ruth has received writing grants from The Tiwahe Foundation; The Loft; the Jerome Foundation and others. She is currently writing a memoir.
Rosetta Peters is a poet, an author, a public speaker, and an activist. She is of Yankton, Crow Creek, and Oglala descent. A procrastinator to the point of detriment and lover of the natural world.
Becky Wolf is a Community Embedded Librarian with the Hennepin County Library located on Dakota homeland in Mni Sota Makoce. Her work focuses on building relationships, connecting people with resources, and empowering people through access to information. Actively prioritizing reconciliation efforts within libraries, she works closely with the Native community in Minneapolis to develop public library services, policies, and spaces. Born in rural MN, Ms. Wolf grew up without libraries and now brings library services into communities every day through her work.