CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER – Indigenous Language Poetry Night with Words of the People
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CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER – Indigenous Language Poetry Night with Words of the People

April 27, 2024 7-8pm

Indigenous Language Poetry Night with Words of the People

UPDATE: Due to the potential for inclement weather in the area this evening, the center will be closing early at 5 p.m. today (4/27). The Indigenous Language Poetry Night with Words of the People event that was planned for this evening is canceled and will be rescheduled.

On April 27, 2024, the Woody Guthrie Center presents an Indigenous Language Poetry night with “Words of The People,” part of the Words for The People event series. The evening features a captivating Indigenous language open mic session moderated by Chelsea T. Hicks, showcasing poets Claire Collins, Talee Redcorn, Sarah-Joy Milner and Carmen Wiley. Adding to the cultural richness, Elisa Harkins will deliver an Indigenous language pop performance. Words of The People aims to normalize Indigenous language creative expression, hosting workshops and rematriation initiatives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of the Land Back movement.


Saturday, April 27

Doors: 6:30 p.m.

Program begins: 7 p.m.

Woody Guthrie Center

102 E. Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74103


$5 Woody Guthrie Center members

$10 general admission

Participant Bios

Sarah-Joy Milner

Sarah-Joy Milner is an Afro-Indigenous poet from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and an enrolled member of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians of Petoskey, Michigan. A Vermont Studio Center fellow and MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of South Florida, her work explores the connection between cycles, endings, and renewal while also incorporating her language, Anishinaabemowin. This is her first event as a featured poet.

Carmen Wiley

Carmen Wiley is a Mvskoke (Creek) writer from southeastern Oklahoma. Carmen specializes in poetry, short stories, and essays. Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape, family stories, and her own lived experiences, she is currently pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry and creative nonfiction at Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Talee Redcorn

Talee Redcorn is a member of the Osage Nation from Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Talee is an experienced oil and gas and research engineer and currently sits on the Osage Minerals Council where he and seven others oversee all mineral development for the Osage Nation on their 1.5 million acre reserve.  Talee is also the Director of Housing for the Osage Nation.  Talee has a MS and BS in Engineering and an AT in Building Construction.  Talee is very active in Osage and tribal cultural activities and also speaks the Osage language.  In 2022 Talee was cast in Martin Scorsese’s movie Killers of the Flower Moon as the Non-Hon-Zhin-Ga and spiritual leader.  Talee received an Honorable Discharge and served as a light infantryman in the US Army in 1991. Talee has a 30 year old daughter Wilma, a 26 year old son Tahlee Karl (“TJ”), and a 6 year old grandson named Adrian Tiger.

Claire Collins

Claire Collins is a queer poet, teaching artist and co-founder of Poetic Justice, a program that teaches literacy and poetry to incarcerated people. They are of Mohawk, French, and Dutch descent. As a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, they are working to reconnect with Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) Language and literacies. They are currently working on a forthcoming collection of poetry that will be released in April 2024.

Elisa Harkin, Photo Credit Ian Byers-Gambler

Elisa Harkins (b.1978, Cherokee, Muscogee) is an artist, singer, electronic music composer, and curator. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Cherokee and Mvskoke languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. She is the first person to use the Cherokee language in a pop song. Harkins received a BA from Columbia College, Chicago, and an MFA from CalArts. She has since continued her education at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work at Crystal Bridges, document a 14, The Hammer Museum, The Heard Museum, and MoMA. In 2020, she created the Indigenous concert series 6 Moons and published a CD of Muscogee/Seminole Hymns. She is also the DJ of Mvhayv Radio, an Indigenous radio show on 99.1FM in Indianapolis, IN, and streaming from OK#1 in Tulsa, OK. Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ is a dance performance that features music and choreography by Harkins. With support from PICA and Western Front, songs from the performance have been collected into a double LP, which can be found on Harkins’ Bandcamp. Harkins resides on the Muscogee Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Nation.


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