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2024 MFACW January Evening Reading Series: Kim Blaeser and Deborah Taffa

Fri, January 12, 4:30 pm6:00 pm

Join the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) from Monday, January 8 through Friday, January 12, 2024, as the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) program presents an Evening Reading Series featuring program mentors and special guests. Each evening will engage its audience with poetry, memoir, or fiction from some of today’s most vibrant and vital writers. Friday night’s event at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) will feature hors d’oeuvres served from 4–4:30 pm.

Evening Reading Series Events



Kimberly Blaeser (White Earth Nation), past Wisconsin Poet Laureate and founding director of In-Na-Po—Indigenous Nations Poets, is a writer, photographer, scholar, and mentor in the MFACW program. She authored five poetry collections, including Copper YearningApprenticed to Justice, and Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. Her scholarly work includes the monograph Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition, and she edited Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry and Stories Migrating Home. Her photographs, picto-poems, and ekphrastic pieces have appeared in exhibits such as Visualizing Sovereignty and No More Stolen Sisters. Blaeser, an Anishinaabe activist and environmentalist, is an enrolled member of White Earth Nation who grew up on the reservation. A Professor Emerita at UW-Milwaukee and 2024 Mackey Chair in Creative Writing at Beloit College, her accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award from Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. Her book Ancient Light is forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press in 2024.

Deborah Jackson Taffa (Quechan (Yuma) Nation and Laguna Pueblo) earned her MFA at the Iowa Writers Workshop and is the Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, A Public Space, Salon, the Huffington Post, Prairie Schooner, The Best Travel Writing, and other outlets.

MFA in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is designed as a two-year program with two intensive week-long residencies per year (summer and winter) at IAIA. Students and faculty mentors gather for a week of workshops, lectures, and readings. At the end of the residency week, each student is matched with a faculty mentor, who then works one-on-one with the student for the semester. IAIA’s program is unique in that we emphasize the importance of Indigenous writers speaking to the Indigenous experience. The literature we read carries a distinct Native American and First Nations emphasis. The MAFCW offers four areas of emphasis: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting.

The deadline to apply for the 2024 academic year is Feb. 1 by 5 pm (MST).


Fri, January 12
4:30 pm–6:00 pm
Event Categories:


IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)
108 Cathedral Place
Santa Fe, NM 87501 United States
(888) 922-4242


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)