Nov 15, 2011
University of Idaho
Spokane Dirty Realists:
Download 2011 game program
Apr 9, 2012
Spokane Dirty Realists: 96
HooPalousa 2011 began as a simple visit to Kim Barnes’s graduate novel workshop by first one (Jess Walter), and then two (Sam Ligon), and then three (Shann Ray Ferch) regional authors whose work - along with that of the fourth author to join the group, National Book Award winner and filmmaker Sherman Alexie - has garnered national acclaim. These authors have agreed to donate their time to mentor the student writers in the novel workshop, but there is something else drawing them: basketball.
This is only part of the story of how a small class visit has evolved (very quickly!) into a full-court basketball game to be held at Memorial Gym, with players coming in from all around the region, representing important cross-sections of our outreach populations, including area schools and, most important, our local tribes. Mr. Chief Allan, Tribal Head of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, and Mr. Brooklyn Baptiste, Tribal Head of the Nez Perce Tribe, are joining the game, as are Jonathan Takes Enemy, Montana basketball legend, and former Gonzaga stand-out, David Pendergraft. Our own UI faculty, staff, and alumni are playing on the home team, including Arthur Taylor, Native American Tribal Liaison to the Provost, Steven Martin, Director of the Native American Student Center, David Sigler, Professor of English, and Aaron Thomas, Professor of Chemical Engineering.
With this event, we are tapping into a vein of excitement and celebration that people from Moscow to Spokane and beyond are already buzzing about. As Sherman Alexie has noted, we need to get more Native American students into writing classes because they have important stories to tell, and that is exactly what we are hoping to achieve with this event. By combining basketball and its role in tribal culture with our efforts to raise funds for an American Indian Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing, our program, the Department of English, and the University of Idaho are making a serious commitment to recruit and retain top Native American candidates for the Masters of Fine Arts degree.