A Literary Renaissance

Indigenous authors from across Turtle Island converge to share their art with the public

When Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) founded the Institute for American Indian Arts in 1962, he imagined a school which could bring together students from all tribal nations without diminishing their roles and participation in their local lives. With the accreditation of IAIA's low-residency Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program in 2013, students no longer had to spend two or more years in Santa Fe to achieve their degree, and the umbrella of IAIA's community grew to be something bigger than what could be contained on a single campus.

""The long term goal of the IAIA MFA CW is to promote Indigenous intellectualism and knowledge systems through the literary arts," says program director Santee Frazier (Cherokee). "Many of the mentors, visiting writers, and students participating in winter residency are active in their home communities, which establishes a learning environment akin to the vision of Lloyd Kiva New."

Wintertime is the time to tell stories, and with such a huge network of authors, IAIA (with a little help from the Lannan Foundation and New Mexico Arts) is able to bring together 18 of the greatest contemporary Indigenous voices for a week-long series of readings, beginning this Saturday evening. Their perspectives take inspiration from both their local home lives and from the issues that face Indigenous people around the world.

For the first night, expect readings from David Treuer (Ojibwe) and Kristiana Kahakauwila, a hapa writer of kanaka maoli (native Hawaiian) and European descent. "Hapa" is a Hawaiian word meaning "half," and is used to describe folks of mixed race, usually Asian or Pacific Islander and white. Her first collection of stories was published in 2013 and is inspired by the people and landscapes of present-day Hawai'i, with a historical novel set on the island of Maui in the works.

The readings continue each night until next Saturday with award-winning authors from across the Southwest and around the world taking the stage. The best part? Each night is free, so there's nothing to stop you from hearing some of the best talent in the literary world.

IAIA MFA CW Winter Reading Series: 
6pm each night Saturday, Jan. 4-Saturday, Jan. 11. Free.
Institute of American Indian Arts Library and Technology Center Auditorium,
83 Avan Nu Po Road,


Courtesy Image

Pitchfork says the new album Venq Tolep is the prettiest music he's ever made and local DJ heroes Feathericci and Brian Mayhall are all aflutter online—Robag Whrume is coming from Germany, and techno-heads will probably never be the same. A mainstay of the genre (and its outliers) since anyone can remember, Robag Whrume (real name Gabor Schablitzki) is all at once a dance jam trendsetter, a mellowed-out purveyor of timeless techno creations and, of late, a sojourner into minimalist sound design that should fit quite nicely into an early 2020 show inside Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return (by which we mean literally inside the installation's house). It's early, sure, but for the electronic music set, this might be the most exciting show of the year. (Alex De Vore)

Robag Whrume with Feathericci and Brian Mayhall: 
8 pm Thursday Jan. 2. $20-$22.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina Circle,

Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far Better

Steph Craig Photo

As if the musical offerings in the first couple days of the new year aren't enough, Santa Fe continues its love affair with tribute bands, this time in the form of Start Making Sense, lovers of Talking Heads and David Byrne and all the post-rock, art-school, experimental indie pop sounds of the '80s and beyond. Yes, this is gonna be songs you know (and, we assume, one giant-ass suit), but whereas your average cover band belts out a few recognizable numbers with little to no fanfare, Start Making Sense is an institution, an experience that transcends mere show for blissful recreation bordering on forgery—but, like, good forgery that reminds us how Talking Heads changed everything at a time when everything sorely needed changing. (ADV)

Start Making Sense: 
8 pm Friday Jan. 3. $12.
Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery
2791 Agua Fría St.,


Courtesy Facebook

Ummmm … why didn't anyone tell us about New Zealand's Cavemen? Think FEAR meets all the bands The Hives ripped off meets lesser-known proto-punkers like The Barracudas for a bombastic and high-aggression explosion of punk's angriest and catchiest elements. Even Caveman's newest, the two-song collection Burn Out For Love far outpaces our wildest, punkest dreams with bluesy riffage and the scuzziest lo-fi production quality around. We've been toe-tapping and humming it for days, still unsure how a band so fucking killer wound up with Santa Fe on its touring schedule. Certified punk-ish weirdos Microdoser open (look up the song "Debbie Loves Cops" for a glorious Zappa/Clash-esque trip down memory lane). (ADV)

Cavemen with Microdoser: 
8:30 pm Monday Jan. 6. $10.
Desert Dogs Brewery and Cidery,
112 W San Francisco St., Ste. 307,