Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe, was born in 1930 in
Fort Thompson, South Dakota, and raised
on the reservation. She is Professor Emerita of English and Native American
Studies at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington.
She comes from a family of Sioux politicians - her father and grandfather served on the
Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Council for many years - and from Native scholars.
Her grandmother was a bilingual writer for early Christian-oriented newspapers at Sisseton,
SD, and a great-grandfather, Gabriel Renville, was a Native linguist instrumental in developing early Dacotah language dictionaries.
Elizabeth did her undergraduate work at South Dakota State College (now South Dakota State University) in English and Journalism, graduating with a BA in English and journalism in
1952. She studied at New Mexico State University
in 1966 and at Black Hills State College in 1968. She obtained her Masters of
Education from the University of South Dakota in Education, Psychology and
Counseling in 1971. She was in a doctoral program at the University of Nebraska in
1977-78 and was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at Stanford University in 1976.
Elizabeth has taught high school in New Mexico and South Dakota. She has been a Visiting Professor
at the University of California at Davis. She spent most of her academic career at Eastern
Washington University in Cheney from 1971 until her retirement, where she was Professor of English and
Native American Studies. She became Professor Emerita in 1990. With Beatrice Medicine, Roger Buffalohead and William Willard, she was one of the founding editors of Wicazo Sa Review: A Journal
of Native American Studies (Red Pencil Review). She is also a member
of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, and the Authors Guild.
Since her retirement, Elizabeth has served as a writer-in-residence at universities
around the country. In the fall of 1993, she and N. Scott Momaday held a
workshop at South Dakota State University for Sioux writers.
From this workshop came a journal, Woyake Kinikiya: A Tribal Model
Literary Journal, introduced by six of Elizabeth's poems.
For her own writing, she believes that "Writing is an essential act of survival for contemporary
American Indians." Her writing and teaching centers on the "cultural, historical, and political
survival of Indian Nations." She also says, "The final responsibility of a writer like me . . . is
to commit something to paper in the modern world which supports this inexhaustible legacy left by
our ancestors." Besides the books and anthologies listed below, her work has been
published in numerous journals, including Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review,
Sun Tracks, Pembroke, Greenfield Review, Ethnic Studies Review.
American Indian Quarterly, CCCCand Wicazo Sa Review.
For the spring term, 2000, Elizabeth will be at Arizona State University as a Visiting Professor and a consultant in the development of Native American Studies
A list of Elizabeth's journal articles is available.
A short biography from
the Internet Public Library's
Native American Author's Project is available.
Portrait by Kenny Blackbird, used with the permission of Indian Artist Magazine.
Elizabeth was chosen to receive the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
Elizabeth received the Literary Contribution
Award for 2002 from the Mountain Plains Library Association. It will be
presented at Tri-Conference in Fargo, ND October 4, 2002. (MPLA/NDLA/SDLA)
In 1978, Elizabeth was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship
which she spent at Stanford University.
In 1995, Elizabeth was awarded the Oyate Igluwitaya by the Native American Club at
South Dakota State University. Oyate Igluwitaya means "to make one's self see or
think clearly in the company of others, particularly The People, the Oyate.".
Elizabeth's book, Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner and Other Essays : A Tribal Voice,
was cited for a Gustavus Myers Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study Of Bigotry
and Human Rights
in North America at Boston University.
Writing available online
- Mount Rushmore
- At Dawn, Sitting in My Father's House
- American Indian intellectualism and the new Indian story, (Writing About American Indians), An article from: The American Indian Quarterly
- A 'desecration tour' now awaits travelers who visit the sacred Black Hills
- from Indian Country Today Magazine
- Review of Ray A. Young Bear's Remnants of the First Earth, from Indian Country Today Magazine
Books by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn or containing her work
- Anti-Indianism in Modern America: A Voice from Tatekeya's Earth,
- University of Illinois Press.
- Aurelia : A Crow Creek Trilogy, University Press of Colorado.
- I Remember the Fallen Trees : New and Selected Poems , Eastern Washington University Press. [Hardcover]
- The Politics of Hallowed Ground : Wounded Knee and the Struggle for Indian Sovereignty,
- with Mario Gonzalez, University of Illinois Press.
- Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner and Other Essays : A Tribal Voice,
- University of Wisconsin Press.
- Page on this book from the University of Wisconsin Press website.
- Review by Lydia Whirlwind Soldier in the Tribal College Journal
- Review of Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner and Other Essays : A Tribal Voice by Ruth Bayard Smith in the New York Times.
- Review of Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner by Kathleen Alcalá, in the Raven Chronicles.
- Review of Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner by Hayward Allen in Flagstaff Live
- From the River's Edge, Arcade Pub.
- The Power of Horses and Other Stories, Arcade Pub.
- Seek the House of Relatives, Blue Cloud Quarterly Press.
- Then Badger Said This, Ye Galleon Press.
Anthologies Containing Elizabeth's Writing
- Sister Nations, Heid Erdrich and Laura Tohe (Editors), New Rivers Press. [Available now.]
- Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing about American Indians
- Edited by Devon A. Mihesuah, University of Nebraska Press.
- Color Line to Borderlands: Ethnic Studies in Higher Education, Johnella E. Butler (Editor)
- University of Washington Press. [Forthcoming August 2001]
- Reinventing the Enemy's Language : Contemporary Native Women's Writing of
- (Editors Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird), W.W. Norton.
- Smoke Rising : The Native North American Literary Companion,
- Janet Witalec,
Visible Ink Press.
- The Literary Horse; Great Modern Stories about
- Lilly Golden (Editor), Atlantic Monthly Press.
- Voices Under One Sky : Contemporary Native
- Trish Fox Roman (Editor), Crossing Press.
- The Writer's Perspective : Voices from American
- Maria Cecilia Freeman (Editor), Prentice Hall.
- Talking Leaves : Contemporary Native American Short Stories
- Craig Lesley, Katheryn Stavrakis (Editor) Dell Books
- Talking Up a Storm: Voices of the New West,
- Gregory L. Morris (Editor), Univ of Nebraska Press.
- As Far As I Can See : Contemporary Writing of the
- Charles L. Woodard (Editor), Windflower Press.
- Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing
- by Native American Women Paula Gunn Allen, Fawcett Books
- Unsettling America : An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry,
- Maria M. Gillan, Jennifer Gillan (Editors), Penguin USA
- Harper's Anthology of 20th Century Native American Poetry
- Duane Niatum (Editor), HarperCollins
- A Gathering of Spirit : A Collection by North American Indian Women
- Beth Brant (Editor), Firebrand Books (Hardcover)
- Wounds Beneath the Flesh, Maurice Kenny (Editor), White Pine Press.
- The New Native American Novel : Works in Progress,
- Mary Bartlett (Editor), University of New Mexico Press
- Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back : An Anthology of Poetry by American Indian Writers
- by Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press
- The Remembered Earth : An Anthology of Contemporary Native American Literature
- by Geary Hobson (Editor), Univ of New Mexico Press
- The Third Woman : Minority Women Writers of the United States,
- Dexter Fisher, Houghton Mifflin Co.
- Living in the USA: Cultural Contexts for Reading and Writing,
- Kathleen Shine Cain, Prentice Hall.
Books & Articles Containing Interviews with Elizabeth
or Writing About Her Work
- Contemporary Authors : Biography - Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth (1930-), Thomson Gale
- Anti-Indianism in Modern America: A Voice from Tatekeya's Earth, (Book Review) by Craig S. Womack, An article from: The American Indian Quarterly
- The teller and the tale: history and the oral tradition in Elizabeth Cook-Lynn's: Aurelia: A Crow Creek Trilogy, by Page Rozellek, An article from: The American Indian Quarterly
- "Acts of Survival: An Interview with Elizabeth Cook-Lynn," Jamie Sullivan, Bloomsbury Review,
- 13, Jan.-Feb., 1993.
- '"We Think in Terms of What Is Fair": Justice versus "Just Compensation"
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn's From the River's Edge' by James Stripes, Wicaso Sa, 12, 1, Spring 1997.
- "We need to find out who our people are, not just who I am,"
- an interview with Gloria Bird, Indian Artist, Spring 1995.
- "The Uses of Oral Tradition in Six Contemporary Native American Poets,"
- American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 4, No. 4, 1980, 87-110.
- Native American Writers of the United States, (Dictionary of
Literary Biography, V. 175),
- Kenneth M. Roemer (Editor), Gale Research.
- I Tell You Now : Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers
- Brian Swann, Arnold Krupat, Brompton Books Corp.
- Here First
- Arnold Krupat & Brian Swann (Editors), Random House (Not Yet Available)
- Handbook of Native American Literature
- Andrew Wiget (Editor), Garland Publications.
- Native America : Portrait of the Peoples, Duane Champagne, Visible Ink Press.
- The Native North American Almanac : A Reference Work on Native North Americans in the United States and Canada,
- Duane Champagne (Editor), Gale Research.
- Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian,
- Barry T. Klein, Todd Pubns.
- Native North American Literature: Biographical and Critical Information on Native Writers and Orators from the United States and Canada from History,
- Janet Witalec, Jeffery Chapman (Editors), Gale Research.
- Native American Women : A Biographical Dictionary,
- Gretchen M. Bataille, Laurie Lisa (Editors), Garland Pub.
- American Indian Women : A Guide to Research,
- Gretchen M. Bataille, Kathleen M. Sands, Garland Pub.
- The Sacred Hoop : Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions
- Paula Gunn Allen, Beacon Press.
- Survival This Way: Interviews With American Indian Poets
- Joseph Bruchac III (Editor), (Sun Tracks Books, No 15) University of Arizona Press.
This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the
assistance and active collaboration of the poet, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. The website
"author" is Karen M. Strom.
© 1997 Elizabeth Cook-Lynn and Karen Strom.
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