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Susan Deer Cloud

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Submitted By bbbreezygirl
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Bree Scarboro
An Evening of Indian Insight and Encouragement
A Response to Poetry Reading by Susan Deer Cloud Professor Diana, English 328
November 21, 2011

Susan Deer Cloud is a Native American literature writer of Blackfoot, Mohawk, and Seneca heritage, and considers the very act of writing ceremonial. She was born and grew up in the Catskill Mountains and the area is inspiration for her writing. She has earned her B.A. in General Literature & Creative Writing and M.A. in English Literature & Creative Writing from Binghamton University, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She has taught as a lecturer at Binghamton University, Broome Community College, and Holyoke Community College. She has authored five books for which she has won competitions and received various awards—including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and two New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (most recent in March of 2011), as well as grants and honorable mentions for her work.
Susan Deer Cloud’s artistic goal is “getting out the voices of sister and brother writers (especially indigenous writers)” (Susan Deer Cloud). During our class visit with Susan Deer Cloud and at her poetry reading on November 7, she mentioned Akwe:kon which is a Mohawk word meaning, "all of us." She says that “we are all a part of this and are here together sending out energy and when we speak our breath mingles with other people's breath and other voices” (Deer Cloud, Class Visit). She is Iroquois and “the guiding symbol of her life is the Tree of Peace, which extends out four white roots from all directions inviting others to gather underneath the tree and tell their stories” (Deer Cloud, Class Visit). She strives to bring out the “voice of the voiceless” (Deer Cloud, Poetry Reading); this statement she often quotes, and it is borrowed from one of her...

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