On October 2, 2015, Loft McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers Judge LeAnne Howe read at the Loft.
LeAnne Howe (born in 1951) is an American author and Eidson Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia, Athens. An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Howe's work has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies. Her book Shell Shaker received the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award for 2002. Evidence of Red, a collection of poetry, Salt Publishing, UK 2005 won the Oklahoma Book Award in 2006. Her second novel, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story was published in 2007 by Aunt Lute Books. Seeing Red: Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film, Michigan State University Press 2013, an anthology of film essays on American Indians in movies is co-edited with Harvey Markowitz and Denise K. Cummings. Her latest book, a memoir titled Choctalking On Other Realities and was awarded the first the MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Language in 2015.
Ten years ago, Jena Lee Nardella, a fresh-out-of-college twenty-something, decided she wanted to save the world. Since joining with the band Jars of Clay to found the nonprofit Blood:Water, Nardella has helped provide clean water for more than one million people in Africa, healthcare for over 62,00 people in HIV affected areas, and more. In her new memoir, Nardella shares her journey over the last ten years, offering a fresh, honest, and intelligent perspective of what it looks like to continue to fight for your dreams and love the world even amidst harsh realities, brokenness, and corruption. Susan Engel argues that money has become the driving force in the way we think about education, profoundly damaging our schools and our children. She asks what would happen if we made happiness, rather than money, the graduation prize. She describes the eight dispositions children should acquire in school that would prepare them to lead full lives: immersion in complex and meaningful activities, purpose, curiosity, thoughtfulness, mastery, standing for others, appreciating difference, and reading for pleasure. Engel describes what teachers and children would do each day in such a school, and outlines a new kind of assessment. If we put these dispositions at the center of the educational process it would radically alter things for children, teachers and parents and promote a better society for all.