Oscar Hokeah visits Elk River Books to discuss his debut novel, Calling for a Blanket Dance. This “electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family—part Mexican, part Native American—is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn.” The novel was recently nominated for a Pen/Hemingway Award and longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
Hokeah is a regionalist Native American writer of literary fiction, interested in capturing intertribal, transnational, and multicultural aspects within two tribally specific communities: Tahlequah and Lawton, Oklahoma. He was raised inside these tribal circles and continues to reside there today. He is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma from his mother (Hokeah and Stopp families), and he has Mexican heritage from his father (Chavez family) who emigrated from Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Hokeah holds an M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma, with a concentration in Native American Literature. He also holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), with a minor in Indigenous Liberal Studies. He is the recipient of many scholarships and awards, and has written for Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, World Literature Today, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.
“Oscar Hokeah is the real deal. A new voice with ancient music,” offers Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels.
In addition to writing, Hokeah has spent nearly 20 years empowering Native American communities. Currently, living in his home town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma (in the heart of Cherokee Nation), he works with Indian Child Welfare, where he gives back to the community that nurtured and embedded the Indigenous values he passes along to his children.
Hokeah’s visit is made possible by the generous support of Humanities Montana, the Community Closet, the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, and individual donors. During his visit, he will meet with students at Park High School. The free, public event will include a book signing and reception.