On a rainy Sunday afternoon, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the Portland Art Museum co-presented “Voices Like Thunder: An Afternoon of Poetry with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.” The gathering was held to launch the release of The Larger Voice: Celebrating Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellows.
The program was moderated by author Trevino Brings Plenty (Minneconjou Lakota) with poetry readings by Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest (Lummi Nation), previous Oregon State Poet Laureate (2016-18) Liz Woody [Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, of Yakama Nation Wasco descent, and is “born for” the Tódích’íinii (Bitter Water clan) of the Navajo Nation], Laura Da’ (Eastern Shawnee/Seneca/Miami), and emerging local Native poets: Ei-Shah Pirtle-Wright (Warm Springs, Siletz, Klamath & Modoc), Alma Tapio (Mexican Indigenous), and Brenna Two Bears.
A Q&A followed with questions for the poets, and a BIPOC open mic poetry reading for those in attendance. It was an uplifting celebration of Indigenous voices. For 15-year-old Alma Tapio it was her first time doing a public reading of her works. From elder to youth, perspectives from varying generations and Native Nations were represented.
Written documentation provided by Mandy Yeahpau and photography by Robert Franklin.