LeAnne Howe

LeAnne Howe

LeAnne Howe is an enrolled Choctaw citizen.  She is the on-camera narrator, and writer for the 90-minute PBS film, Indian Country Diaries Spiral of Fire, 2006, set in North Carolina homelands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The film is a journey of discovery to understand the mix of tourism, community, and cultural preservation on the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Along the way, Howe reconciles her own complex identity as the illegitimate daughter of a Choctaw mother, fathered by a Cherokee man she never knew, and raised by an adopted Cherokee family in Oklahoma.  She is also the co-producer, writer, and on-camera narrator for the half hour film Playing Pastime, American Indians, Softball and Survival, 2007 which has screened at film festivals across the U.S.    

Howe writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, scholarship, and plays that deal with Native experiences.  Her first novel Shell Shaker, 2001 received an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation. The French translation Equinoxes Rouge 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. Howe’s second novel, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story, Aunt Lute Books, 2007 was chosen by Hampton University in Virginia as their 2009-2010 Read-in Selection.  In 2013 she published two books, Seeing Red, Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film, co-authored with Harvey Markowitz and Denise Cummings; and the award winning Choctalking on Other Realities, a memoir.

Her recent awards include: the 2015 MLA prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages; and the 2015 Western Literature Association award for the Distinguished Achievement Award co-recipient for creative and critical work.  (Award ceremony in October 2015.)  She is the recipient of the 2012 USA Ford Fellowship a $50,000 grant from United States Artists, a not for profit organization. Howe joins a class of 2012 awardees that includes Annie Proulx, Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, David Henry Hwang, Edgar Heap of Birds, Adrienne Kennedy, and many others.  During the Arab Spring, 2010-2011, she was a Fulbright Scholar at University of Jordan. 

Other awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, the 2011, Tulsa Library Trust’s “American Indian Author Award,” at the Central Library in Tulsa, OK.  Currently Professor Howe is the Eidson Distinguished Chair in American Literature at the University of Georgia, Athens.

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