Indigenous Poetics Lab

The Indigenous Poetics Lab supports the generation and amplification of the arts (music, visual arts, creative writing, digital arts, and performance) based in Indigenous languages and aesthetics. In particular, the Indigenous Poetics Lab supports creative expression as a powerful avenue of Indigenous language revitalization. 

The Initiative highlights the work of contemporary Indigenous artists across fields, while providing opportunities for arts generation by language activists working from and/or with Indigenous languages and communities. Planned activities include artist events, craft talks, fellowships, generative workshops at the Point Reyes Field Station, and other activities.

Under the theme of Reclamation, the 2023 Spring and Fall terms of Poetry and the Senses will be led by Indigenous writers who draw on Indigenous languages and aesthetics: Craig Santos Perez (Chamoru), Natalie Diaz (Mojave), and Beth Piatote (Nez Perce). Berkeley’s poetry fellows will be joined by a team of writers from University of Hawai’i (Perez); Arizona State University (Diaz); and the community-based Nez Perce writing collective, luk’upsíimey (Piatote).

More information on the Poetry & the Senses initiative here.
A list of current fellows here.

The United Nations General Assembly (Resolution A/RES/74/135) proclaimed the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, to draw global attention on the critical situation of many indigenous languages and to mobilize stakeholders and resources for their preservation, revitalization and promotion. More information on UNESCO’s resolution here.

Indigenous Poetics Lab

Writing Workshop

Pt Reyes Field Station | October 21-23, 2022

Land and language were the focus of a writing workshop sponsored by ARC’s Indigenous Poetics Lab at the Point Reyes Field Station on October 22-23. Seven graduate students participated: Claudia Iron Hawk, Ataya Cesspooch, Everardo Reyes, Breylan Martin, Sierra Edd, Cristina Mendez, and Cynthia (Tzintia) Montano-Ramirez. They worked in languages as diverse as Diné, Dakhóta, Ute, Rarámuri, Mixtec, Mam, and Tligit experimented with writing prompts and land-based pedagogies to center the arts in Indigenous language revitalization work. The workshop was led by Beth Piatote, Nez Perce, director of the Arts Research Center and chair of the DE in Indigenous Language Revitalization at Berkeley.

Undu ñuu-xi?
¿Dónde está mi pueblo?
Where is my land?

–Tzintia Montaño
Da’an Davi/Mixtec of Southern Puebla, México

Headlands of Point Reyes National Seashore (courtesy of Pt Reyes Field Station site here)