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Santee Frazier

SAR Indigenous Writer in Residence Fellowship 2011

“My pursuit of poetry has always been about survival, about being honest with the art and myself.”

The School for Advanced Research is pleased to welcome Cherokee poet Santee Frazier as the inaugural SAR Indigenous Writer in Residence fellow, which is generously supported by the Lannan Foundation. The author of Dark Thirty (2009), a collection of loosely autobiographical poems journeying through Cherokee Country, Santee’s work falls into the documentary poetic tradition. Through his writing, he attempts to recreate Indigenous/Cherokee thinking through the English language, making new culture in poetic form.

While at SAR, Santee will be working on the initial stages of a new project. He explains:

“I have begun research, through books and oral Cherokee narratives, on the historical figure Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary. Being that the Cherokee people were becoming factionalized, for a number of reasons, Sequoyah wanted to unify the people through the written word. I plan on, through a series of poems, chronicling his life prior to the Trail of Tears and creation of the Syllabary to his eventual death in Mexico…This project will be the nucleus of my second book.”
On February 17, Santee will present his new work and discuss contemporary Native literature with Ojibwe novelist and literary critic David Treuer from 5:30–7:00pm in the SAR Boardroom.

Santee has won numerous awards and honors, including the Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship (2009), Syracuse University Fellowship (2006–2009), and the Fine Arts Work Center’s Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation Scholarship (2007). His poems have appeared in American Poet, Narrative Magazine, Ontario Review, and other literary journals. He holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Santee will be in residence from January 3, 2011–February 21, 2011.

Sponsored by Lannan Foundation.

Santee Frazier, 2011 SAR Indigenous Writer in Residence Fellow. Photo by Jason S. Ordaz.