IAIA Fall 2021 Creative Writing Contest

IAIA Creative Writing Contest

IAIA Creative Writing Contest

This semester the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Creative Writing department hosted a writing contest open to all IAIA students. The categories were Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction, and five winners were chosen overall. We are pleased to showcase the incredible talent that is coming out of IAIA and will share these five pieces of work periodically through the remainder of the semester.

About Creative Writing

Inspired by the words of our elders and those in our literary lineages, we create worlds from words in pursuing excellence in the fields of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, and dramatic writing (both stage and screen). Although students choose one or two primary areas of focus, we support exploration of the overlaps and cross-pollination between genres. All members of our Creative Writing faculty are writers themselves. Our interests include environmental literature, hybrid forms, text and image, ecopoetry, creative writing informed by history and research, linguistics, language preservation, creative nonfiction and memoir, speculative fiction, graphic novels, and more.

This program is designed to offer students a strong foundation in craft, creativity, and criticism, as well as a solid understanding of Native and World literature.


The missing women,
The lost daughters,
The unforgotten.

The cries are heard throughout the valley.
She runs at night,
Hunted under the moon, she flees.

Her body goes numb,
Mind distant,
She keeps her fire close to her heart.

Grandmothers weep,
Families cry,
The missing women are not forgotten.

The snow breaks under her weight,
Barefoot and cold…bleeding,
She looks to the horizon, not looking back.

She runs, and flees, and fights!
Memories of hope,
Not forgotten…

We, the living, hunt for the lost.

Taken from us,
Taken from her child,
Taken from her dreams…

Her shell dress moves,
To the wind,
“Your spirit is with us!”

The tribe does not sleep,
Until she,
Comes home.

Dante Biss-Grayson (Osage)

About the Institute of American Indian Arts

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. IAIA offers undergraduate degrees in Cinematic Arts and Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Studio Arts; graduate degrees in Creative Writing and Studio Arts; and certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The college serves approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American students from around the globe, representing nearly a hundred federally recognized tribes. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Association of Art, IAIA is among the leading art institutes in our nation and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo MemorialWatch