Free and open to the public.
Award-winning author Sherman Alexie will host a scholarship fundraiser August 2 to benefit the Institute of American Indian Arts' new Masters in Fine Arts Creative Writing Program. The fundraiser is part of the IAIA Writers Festival, a week of free campus readings by other award-winning authors and instructors from the MFA program.
Author of 20 books, Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene) is also a performer, screenwriter and filmmaker. He is the winner of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry, the PEN/Faulkner Award, National Book Award, PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and the American Book Award. He was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction. Named by Granta in 1996 as one of the 20 Best American Novelists Under the Age of 40 and selected by The New Yorker as one of its "20 Writers for the 21st Century," Alexie will read from his collection, including Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories (Grove Press, 2012).
Alexie will join other visiting MFA faculty at IAIA in mentoring incoming graduate students. Approved by the Commission on Higher Education earlier this year, IAIA's new low residency MFA program, which begins July 28, allows students to work and live in their hometowns while working toward a Creative Writing degree. They will also be mentored by other MFA faculty, including award-winning writers Sherwin Bitsui (Navajo), Joseph Boyden (Metis/Ojibwe), Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek), Natalie Diaz (Mohave/Pima) and Eden Robinson (Haisla/Heiltsuk).
As part of this inaugural class' first week of studies, the MFA students, faculty and other distinguished authors, including N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), will reading their work during the IAIA Writers Festival from July 28 - August 3. Members of Harjo's group, The 1941s, will also perform.
Photo credit: Chase Jarvis