PLAYA to host indigenous writers at virtual conference


Almost two years since PLAYA Summer Lake was awarded a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation, the organization will be presenting a virtual workshop with several Native American writers on Sunday, Dec. 12. Pre-registration is required.

PLAYA Summer Lake was awarded a $20,000 grant by the Oregon Community Foundation in January 2020. The grant was to bring in a cohort of indigenous writers to the PLAYA campus in May for a week long residency and then have an in-person reading and presentation at the High Desert Museum south of Bend.

COVID quickly changed those plans and the planned cohort did not go through. Instead the cohort of native and indigenous writers will hold a virtual reading and presentation for people to interact from across Oregon and the United States.

This is just one of the many events which have gone virtual as PLAYA pivoted from in-person events to virtual events during COVID. The artists’ residency based in Summer Lake still plans to host in-person events, but views the virtual events as a way to reach audiences who are interested in being involved with the PLAYA programming, but are unable to make the trip to the campus.

Six poets and authors will be present during the virtual reading and each of them will read from the selections they have in the forthcoming anthology “Echoes” from PLAYA Summer Lake. The anthology focuses on the future as a way to keep hope alive in those to whom we will be ancestors.

One of the main panelists will be CMarie Fuhrman, who is the author of “Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems” and is the co-editor of “Native Voices.” She has published poetry and nonfiction in multiple journals and anthologies. She is the director of the Elk River Writers Workshop and resides in central Idaho.

Ruby Hansen Murry is a writer and photographer who lives along the lower Columbia River. Her work has appeared in a number of fiction journals and anthologies. She is the winner of the Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She received a master in fine arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Deborah Miranda is a writer, poet, and professor of English at Washington and Lee University. Miranda earned her masters and doctorate from the University of Washington. She is the author of several books, including “Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir.” Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals.

Kimberly Blaeser is a writer, photographer and scholar. Blaeser has been the Wisconsin poet laureate and is the author of five poetry collections and has edited several other collections. She is a professor at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She is the founding director of In-Na-Po – Indigenous Nations Poets. She lives in rural Wisconsin.

Dawn Pichon Barron is a writer and educator. She earned her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and is currently working on her dissertation. She is the director of the Native Pathways Program. Her work has appeared in poetry journals and anthologies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Allison Hedge Coke is a poet, writer and educator. She attended free community college classes at North Carolina State University while she worked in the farm fields. She eventually moved to the west coast and earned a degree in creative writing at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. She earned her MFA from Vermont College. She is the author of numerous poetry books and the memoir “Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer.” She was awarded the Sioux Falls Mayor’s Award for Literary Excellence in 2003. She has taught at a number of colleges and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2019. She is currently distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of California Riverside.

To register for the virtual event visit

For more information about PLAYA Summer Lake visit

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