A member of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes, poet M.L. Smoker earned a BA at Pepperdine University and an MFA at the University of Montana, where she received the Richard Hugo Memorial Scholarship. Smoker also studied at UCLA, where she received the Arianna and Hannah Yellow Thunder Scholarship, and the University of Colorado, where she was a Battrick Fellow. Smoker is the author of the poetry collection Another Attempt at Rescue. With Melissa Kwasny, she co-edited I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights. Smoker lives in Helena, Montana, where she works in the Indian Education Division of the Office of Public Instruction.
Photo Credit: montanabookfestival 2015.sched.org
Check out this recording of M.L. Smoker talking about writing!
Check out her poem, “Can You Feel the Native American in Me,” below:
Can Your Feel the Native American in Me
We pull into dirt driveway in Lara’s blue Celica. The car came from her 18 money last year and it’s got only one dent on the side from a white girl in Wolf Point who slammed the door of her boyfriend’s Ford pick-up into the passenger side of Lara’s then new car. Lara was pissed, got out to kick the girl’s ass but they sped out of the Town Pump’s parking lot too fast. That girl was scared. Lara came back to the car and we laughed at that dent, but most of all we laughed at that fear. Driveway to uncle’s house, we’re bumping Tupac, get out, step into sweat lodge. Got a sick auntie. Take in a towel, leave out hip-hop beat, add in hand drum. Our uncle forgives us this time for being late and we are more sorry for this than we were for quitting the basketball team or for getting pregnant last year.
2016 Festival Events:
- Thursday April 14 9:30pm
- Friday, April 15 9:30am