Reading List: Native American Heritage Month

As part of our calendar celebrating national heritage months and observances, explore these selected works that speak to Native American history and heritage.


A landscape of West Texas, showing a creek running through a field with small trees on a bright, clear day. A plateau looms in the distance


  • Explore the poetry of longtime contributor Ron Welburn (Gingaskin Cherokee and Assateague descendant), including “Seeing in the Dark” from Issue 06, “Always Know” from Issue 19, and our November 2019 poetry feature, as well as an interview with Welburn on the emergence of Native American literature.
  • In “A Ceremony for Yellow House,” Kabl Wilkerson (Citizen Band Potawatomi) embarks on a journey in West Texas to honor twenty-one Comanche-Apache who were murdered by settlers in 1877.
  • Cherokee writer and novelist Brandon Hobson writes about cycles of addiction, violence, and the complexities of finding home in an excerpt from his book, Where the Dead Sit Talking, a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction. 
  • Poems by Humberto Ak’abal (1952 – 2019), a poet of K’iche’ Maya ethnicity, who was born in Momostenango, Guatemala (translated by Loren Goodman).
  • Poems from Spawn by Marie-Andrée Gill; translator Kristen Renee Miller notes, “In Gill’s Mashteuiatsh community in Quebec, the native language of Ilnu-aimun is spoken as a first language by about seventeen percent of residents, French by eighty percent. It’s no surprise, then, that Spawn, published originally in French, is a text acutely aware of its existence discomfort within a settler language.” 
  • Princess Ixkik’ by Ilan Stavans is a retelling from the Popol Vuh, a popular creation story in indigenous Latin America, rooted in Mayan oral tradition.
  • Through the archival images in “On and Off the Map” (Issue 03), Michael Kelly examines whose stories are told – and by whom – and how Native peoples were erased from early colonial maps.
  • In the studio feature “Words Often Unheard,” Stephanie Sosa interviews archivist Michael Kelly and scholars Lisa Brooks and Kiara Vigil about a collection of books by Native American Indian authors at Frost Library.
Reading List: Native American Heritage Month