April 16, 2015

Telling the story

Writers conference brings well know artists to New Town

By Jerry W. Kram

Synergy is property of two or more things or people being able to accomplish more than they would working on their own. The Nueta, Hidatsa and Sahnish College is hoping to create some synergy by bringing together a distinguished group of writers, filmmakers and documentarians to present at the "Sacred Synergy" writers conference held April 22-25 in New Town.

Waylon Baker, vice president for academics at the college, said the genesis of the conference goes back to discussions he had with the late Alice Spotted Bear, who was head of the Native American Studies Program.

"We had discussed this ever since I got here and we were at the point where we about to do it when unfortunately she passed away," Baker said. "It took a while, but we finally decided this was the year. With the college’s name change and the change in leadership, we thought it was a great time to introduce something like this."

Baker said the conference will examine how Native Americans stories are told from the perspective of well known native writers, filmmakers and artists. He hopes the breadth of the presenters will show that there is more to writing than just poetry and fiction.

"It’s basically looking at film, song and writing," Baker said. "There is a misconception that writing just poetry and creative writing. There is filmic writing, play writing and song writing. There is more than just plain writing."

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