Eric Gansworth

Eric Gansworth

Eric Gansworth, an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, was born and raised at the Tuscarora Indian Nation in Western New York. He is a Professor of English and Lowery Writer in Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

His first novel, Indian Summers (1998), a collection of poetry and paintings, titled Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon, (2000) and his second novel, Smoke Dancing (2004) feature paintings as integral parts of their narratives, and have all been published by Michigan State University Press. Another novel, Mending Skins, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2005. Short fiction of his has appeared in the anthologies, Growing Up Native American (Morrow), Blue Dawn, Red Earth (Doubleday) and Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions (Bright Hill), The Second Word Thursdays Anthology (Bright Hill), Stories for Winter Nights (White Pine), Fishing for Chickens (Persea), and Nothing but the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature (Prentice Hall), and in Quartet, a just buffalo literary center, inc. chapbook. Poetry has been included on Roadkillbasa, a performance audio tape; and in the journals, Blueline, Shenandoah, The Cream City Review, Slipstream, phati'tude, and UCLA's American Indian Culture and Research Journal and in the anthology, Children of the Dragonfly (University of Arizona Press). His first piece of Creative Non-Fiction appears in the anthology Genocide of the Mind, (The Nation Books). He is a member of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers, the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, is listed in the Directory of American Poets & Fiction Writers and in 1999, received a Writer in Residency award from just buffalo literary center, inc.

Smoke Dance

Gansworth began his creative work as a visual artist, and eventually expanded to narrative as a way of furthering the storytelling he had developed visually. His first solo exhibit, titled "Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon,"opened in 1999 at the Olean Public Library and an expanded show opened at the Castellani Museum in 2000. His work has been in shows across New York State, including "Revisiting Turtle Island,"at the Niagara Arts and Culture Center, "Native Vision: Art through Haudenosaunee Eyes,"at the Fanette-Goldman Gallery, "Art Creations from Tuscarora," at Neto Hatinakwe Ohnkwehowe, the "Keepers of the Western Door" Exhibit, co-sponsored by CEPA Gallery and the World University Games, and in a follow-up exhibit "In the Shadow of the Eagle," at the Castellani Museum. He participated in the "Teaching Metaphors" exhibit at the Niagara County Community College. His work was also included in "Sharing the Visions," at Hartwick College in Oneonta. One of his paintings was the cover of Sherman Alexie's book First Indian on the Moon. Others have been included in the history text As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow (Harcourt Brace) the Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions anthology (Bright Hill), and the journal, The Cream City Review. Presently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. He has also served terms on panels for the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County and the New York State Council on the Arts Literature Panel, and on the Artists Advisory Committee for the New York Foundation for the Arts. He was also an artist in the Herd About Buffalo Project.

Gansworth's work is a commentary on the oral tradition existing within Haudenosaunee culture and its fluid nature. He uses iconography recognizable in the context of the mythic Haudenosaunee world, yet alters it to reflect issues relevant to a more contemporary Haudenosaunee existence, as well.

Writing available online

Smoke Ring
Identification Pleas
Cross PolliNation
My Good Man
The Ballad of Plastic Fred
Four Kitchens in the State
Nickel Eclipse
Your Garden
Iroquois Backboard Rebound Song (I)
Iroquois Backboard Rebound Song (II)
Mystic Powers (I)
Mystic Powers (II)
Black Leather Jacket
Wine and Cheese
Walking a Mile in His Wingtips

Online Interviews and Performances

Artist of the Week performance on
Native American Calling interview


Rabbit Dance

The PEN Oakland 16th Annual Literary Award for a novel was given to Eric for his book Mending Skins.

Eric was a visiting writer-in-residence at the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities in October 2004. He was invited to write the entry for American Indian Literature in New York State, in The Encyclopedia of New York State. He received a writer-in-residency award from the just buffalo literary center in 1999. His novel, Indian Summers, chosen for the Readers and Writers on the Air program on North Country Public Radio, October 1999 and was selected for the College Libraries' America Reads 2000 project.

Also available are Eric's

Education and Teaching Experience
Readings and Workshops
Professional Associations and Publications
Art Exhibits & Publications

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Books by Eric Gansworth or containing his work       icon

Prose & Poetry      icon

Breathing the Monster Alive, Bright Hill Press.
Mending Skins, Univ. Nebraska Press.
Smoke Dancing, Michigan State University Press.
Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon, Michigan State University Press.
Indian Summers, Michigan State University Press.

Anthologies       icon

Eating Fire, Tasting Blood: Breaking the Great Silence of the American Indian Holocaust ,
Marijo Moore (Editor), Thunder's Mouth Press.
Genocide of the Mind, Marijo Moore (Editor), Thunder's Mouth Press.
Fishing for Chickens: Stories of Rural Youth in America,
Jim Heynen (Editor), Persea Press, 2001
Nothing but the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature,
John Purdy, James Ruppert (Editors), Prentice Hall.
Children of the Dragonfly, Robert Bensen (Editor), University of Arizona Press.
The Second Word Thursdays Anthology,
"Links to Obscurity", a critical essay for the art catalogue for
Charles Agel's Monuments to The Industrial Revolution, Hallwalls, 1998.
Poem in Blueline, Potsdam, NY, 1998.
For Winter Nights: Native American Storytellers, White Pine Press.
Three poems in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, UCLA, 1998.
QUARTET, a chapbook, just buffalo literary center, inc. 1997.
phati'tude, Indian Summer edition, ed. Gabrielle David.
Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions : A Celebration of Contemporary Six Nations Arts,
Bertha Rogers (Editor), Bright Hill Press.
Blue Dawn, Red Earth : New Native American Storytellers,
Clifford E. Trafzer (Editor), Anchor Books.
Growing Up Native American, Patricia Riley (Editor), Avon Books.
Slipstream, issues 14 & 15, 1994.

In Association with

This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboration of the poet, Eric Gansworth. The website "author" is Karen M. Strom.

© 1998 - Eric Gansworth and Karen Strom.

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