Thursday, October 08, 2020

Highly Recommended: APPLE (SKIN TO THE CORE) by Eric Gansworth

Monday, October 12 is Indigenous Peoples' Day. There will be many virtual events taking place. Top of my list is the one from Arizona State University. Eric Gansworth will open their day of events. When you click on through to register for his lecture (at noon, Central Time) you will see that Gansworth was selected to deliver the 2020 lecture in the prestigious Simon Ortiz Red Ink Indigenous Speaker Series. People in Native studies or who study the writing and scholarship of Native people will recognize names of people who have given that lecture. In the field, being selected to give that lecture has tremendous significance. Videos for most of the talks are available at the site. If you are new to your work in learning about Native writing, make time to watch and study all of them! 

Gansworth will be talking about his new book, Apple (Skin to the Core). Across the hundreds of  Native Nations, our life experiences differ. Census information has shown that about half of us grow up in suburban or urban areas. I'm glad to see books set in those spaces. 

Some of us grew up on our homelands or on reservations. Native-authored books for children and young adults that reflect a reservation sense-of-place with the integrity that Gansworth brings to his writing, are rare. On Indigenous Peoples Day, I'll be giving a talk, too. My audience will be Pueblo peoples. I expect a large segment of the audience to be people who are living on their Pueblo homelands. And so, I'm emphasizing books like Apple (Skin to the Core) that will speak directly to a reservation-based experience. Of course, everyone should read it and Gansworth's other two books, If I Ever Get Out of Here and Give Me Some Truth. 

As I read through his memoir, I linger over some of what I read... I want to tell you about this poem, or what I see on that page, but that's not the thrust of this post. A review is forthcoming. Today, I celebrate the gifts that Eric Gansworth gives to us, in every word he writes, in each poem, story, and book. 

Bio from Gansworth's website:
Eric Gansworth (Sˑha-weñ na-saeˀ), a writer and visual artist, is an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation.  He was raised at the Tuscarora Nation, near Niagara Falls, New York.  Currently, he is a Professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

And a video about the book and the word "apple":