is first Sherman Alexie Scholarship recipient at the Institute of
American Indian Arts
Natonabah, Diné, has been chosen as the first recipient
of the Sherman Alexie Scholarship for the Low Residency MFA
in Creative Writing at IAIA. (photo courtesy Institute of
American Indian Arts)
The first recipient of the Sherman Alexie Scholarship for the
Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American
Indian Arts has been named.
Jamie Natonabah, Diné, will receive $7,500 each semester
for four semesters, for a total of $30,000, $24,000 of which will
apply to tuition. The remaining $6,000 will help her to pay for
travel, books, lodging, and meals during the five residencies in
Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Natonabah, an alumni of the Institute of American Indian Arts,
is from Fort Defiance, Arizona. She has been embracing her love
of writing for 28 years, and it has evolved into a thirst for personal
truth created mostly through poetry. She won first place in the
New Mexico Slam Poetry Competition, and for two years participated
in performances of her poetry through funding from the Witter Bynner
Foundation. Her work has been published in "Red Ink: An International
Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts & Humanities" as well
as the Institute of American Indian Arts Literary Anthologies "Bone
Light" and "Fourth World Rising."
Natonabah currently lives in Santa Fe with her partner Paul
and daughter Anastasia Moriarty.
Chelsea Hicks Bryan, Osage, was chosen as a runner-up for the
Sherman Alexie Scholarship at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Third Place was awarded to Grace Randolph, Wampanoag. Both will
receive significant scholarships as well.
"This year the MFA program will give away over $200,000 in scholarships,
including significant scholarships from the Beverly and Michael
Morris Foundation and the Truman Capote Trust. The Sherman Alexie
Scholarship is the most generous of these awards and will provide
Jamie Natonabah a chance to focus on her writing for two years.
We look forward to reading what she and her classmates produce as
we continue our quest to rewrite the literary landscape," said Jon
Davis, director of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program,
in a press release.
Those applying for the Sherman Alexie Scholarship must be enrolled
members of a Native American tribe or First Nation, and must also
submit a creative writing sample.
Initial screening of the scholarship entries was done by IAIA
MFA Native faculty, but the final selection was personally made
by Sherman Alexie, Spokane/Coeur d'Alene.