Feb. 11 Reading by MariJo Moore, author who draws on her Cherokee heritage

Author MariJo Moore will read at Writers in the Library on Monday, February 11, at 7 pm in the Hodges Library auditorium.

Moore wears several literary hats — author, editor, publisher. A North Carolina resident of Cherokee, Irish and Dutch ancestry, she channels the voices of her Native American ancestors through several genres — fiction, essays, poetry.

She has published collections of Native American tales, an award-winning collection of her own short stories with a focus on Cherokee women (Red Woman with Backward Eyes and Other Stories), and her first novel (The Diamond Doorknob).

The most recent collection of her poetry is Confessions of a Madwoman. Her earlier Spirit Voices of Bones includes one poem that is translated into eleven different native languages.

Moore has edited several anthologies of essays by and about Native Americans, including Eating Fire, Tasting Blood: Breaking the Great Silence of the American Indian Holocaust and Genocide of the Mind: An Anthology of Native American Writing. Eating Fire, Tasting Blood includes essays with such poignant titles as “Manifest Destiny: Greed Disguised as God” and “A Flood of Tears and Blood: And Yet the Pope Said Indians Had Souls.”

Moore was chosen as Wordcrafter of the Year (2003-2004) by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. She was honored with the prestigious award of North Carolina’s Distinguished Woman of the Year in the Arts in 1998, and chosen by Native Peoples magazine as one of the top five American Indian writers of the new century (June/July 2000 issue). Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers chose her as creative prose fiction Writer of the Year in 2002 for her book Red Woman with Backward Eyes and Other Stories. She is founder of rENEGADE pLANETS pUBLISHING, which was chosen as Publisher of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers in 2001.

The Writers in the Library series is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the Creative Writing Program of the UT English Department. For further information, please contact Jo Anne Deeken, head of technical services, UT Libraries, at 974-6905 or jdeeken@utk.edu, or R.B. Morris, Jack E. Reese writer in residence, UT Libraries, at 974-3004 or rbmorris@utk.edu.

Granddaddy stood five feet four inches and was slight of stature. “Paper-sack brown” was how my family described his coloring. Shiny, crow-black hair and eyes, he called himself a “full-blooded Cherokee.” Many times people mistook him for one of the Mexicans who came to the rich bottomlands of western Tennessee every fall to pick cotton. He never bothered to correct them.

When I was growing up in the fifties, it wasn’t as acceptable to be American Indian as it is now. There was no Dances With Wolves over which non-Indians romanticized. No rebellious young people totally distraught over the Vietnam War, looking for answers to society’s ills through spiritual teachings…

–from “Everyone Needs Someone” by MariJo Moore, in Genocide of the Mind: An Anthology of Native American Writing