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Horsefly Dress: Poetry and Paintings by Heather Cahoon

  • Richmond Art Collective 228 West Sprague Avenue Spokane, WA, 99201 United States (map)

At Richmond Art Collective (228 W Sprague Ave)

Please join Scablands Lit and Richmond Art Collective for a poetry reading and art show by Heather Cahoon. Grab a coffee at Spaceman Coffee and head on back to the gallery, where poet and scholar Heather Cahoon will read poems from a manuscript-in-progress and show paintings that depict characters and text from the poems. Says Cahoon, “the poems are about the ways we deal with grief in general but specifically within my tribal community now and in the past.  The poems also work to relate what life looks like today--they chronicle history through storytelling. There are lots and lots of very old Coyote stories in my tribe--including ones going back to the creation of the world--but there are only a few stories about Coyote's children so I'm using his children (mostly Horsefly Dress) to tell the stories of our more recent history, of today.  There are also poems that don't really address humans but sort of report on place, the landscapes we (or I) frequent today.”

Heather Cahoon grew up on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana and is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.  She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana and was the recipient of a 2015 Montana Arts Council Artist Innovation Award, the 2000 Richard Hugo Memorial Scholarship, and the 2005 Merriam-Frontier Award for publication of her chapbook, Elk Thirst.  Her writing has appeared in numerous publications. Besides being a poet, Heather is also a policy scholar with PhD research on the evolution of tribal sovereignty in the U.S. as impacted by major pieces of federal Indian policy and subsequent interpretations by the U.S. Supreme Court.  She has worked with numerous tribal, state and non-profit organizations to address socioeconomic issues facing American Indians in Montana and, in general, seeks to further decolonization as it relates to rebuilding indigenous governments, economies and other social institutions.  She lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband and sons and after teaching Native American Studies and poetry at the University of Montana for several years, she now works as the State-Tribal Policy Analyst for the MT Budget and Policy Center.