- From the Editors
We enjoyed visiting with many of you at the NAISA annual meeting in Tucson, and in several instances we heard papers that we hope will soon be published in SAIL. Under the leadership of the NAISA council and the first president, Robert Warrior, the organization is thriving. This year, 768 members registered for the meeting, and just under 700 participated. We were especially inspired and deeply moved by the testimony against Arizona’s anti-immigration and anti-ethnic studies legislation by Tucson city councilwoman Regina Romero, the three young activists who had recently graduated from high school in Tucson, and the director of Indigenous Alliance Without Borders, the Yaqui activist Jose Matus.
The journal, like NAISA, is also currently thriving. We already have articles for the rest of volume 22 and almost all of the four issues of volume 23. Several exciting special issues are also currently under consideration. In this issue, Christopher Taylor proposes a critical method that remedies what he sees as a polarization of nationalist and cosmopolitan theoretical modes of inquiry in Indigenous literary studies. This method, Taylor explains, “sees North America as a field of overlapping sovereignties.” Taylor uses Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues to demonstrate this approach.
While Alexie tends to be omnipresent in our conversations, Indigenous as-told-to life narratives have fallen out of favor in the field. Linda Warley revisits this genre in her study of The Days of Augusta, the life narrative of Secwepemc (Shuswap) elder Mary Augusta Tappage Evans as told to Jean E. Speare. Warley focuses on and indeed [End Page vii] recovers both the literariness of the narrative and “the primary and immediate presence” of Augusta in it. Her article encourages a reconsideration of the place of as-told-to life narratives in American Indian literary histories.
This issue’s third essay follows Robert Dale Parker’s essay review of contemporary American Indian poetry in the last issue, including Cheryl Savageau’s Mother/Land. Siobhan Senier situates Savageau’s poetry in a long history of Abenaki writing and establishes the foundation for much more consistent and vigorous attention to Savageau as well as other Abenaki and Native New England writers.
Savageau was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Dirt Road Home 1995. She was joined recently as a Pulitzer Prize nominee by Cherokee poet Ralph Salisbury, who earned a nomination for Light from a Bullet Hole: New and Selected Poems, 1950–2008 2009. On behalf of SAIL, we’d like to offer our most sincere congratulations to Salisbury and encourage you to revisit Arnold Krupat’s expanded introduction to Light from a Bullet Hole in SAIL 21.1. [End Page viii]