Grantee: Susan Power
Native Ancestry: Yanktonai Dakota
Location: St. Paul, Minn.
Award: 2016 National Artist Fellowship
Power received an MFA in creative writing at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop; she also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Power has a long list of accomplishments including countless awards, publications and professorships. In 2007, she received a USA Artist Fellowship and in 1995 she received the PEN/Hemmingway Award for Best First Fiction. Her creative short fictions and non-fiction essays are widely anthologized in the United States and European countries.
Power sees herself at a juncture in time where indigenous perspectives from the past are being brought forward by indigenous voices of the present. This allows her to draw on Native history in her writings and enables her to create a fictional inclusiveness in her work.
Power grew up in a household of voracious readers and political activists, which provides inspiration to her diverse character development. Her writings and cultural portrayals of characters and stories exquisitely unite into an intertribal mix. She is currently writing a novel that focuses on the lives of five Native American students at Harvard University.
During her fellowship, Power will continue completing her novel that centers on the lives of her five Native American student characters at Harvard (class of 2013), each from a different tribal nation. The friends seek to raise ancestor spirits and bring to light what many seek to keep hidden. They are preparing to turn the tables and do some teaching of their own.
I’m in service to voices who gift me with their stories.
~ Susan Power