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Writer's work reflects Cherokee heritage in multiple genres

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Visiting Writers Series presents Diane Glancy, whose writing – fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays – frequently reflects her Native American heritage.

Glancy will be on campus Nov. 3-4. She will be a visitor in two of Visiting Assistant Professor of Literary Studies Siobhán Scarry’s classes, and will also be part of two public events.

Nov. 3, the Department of Literary Studies and Bethel’s literary magazine YAWP! will host a public reception for Glancy from 6:30-8 p.m. in Mojo’s Coffee Shop. The next day, Nov. 4, Glancy will be the convocation speaker at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Glancy, who is part Cherokee and of English and German descent, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She taught Native American literature and creative writing for two decades at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, from which she retired.

She also served as artist-in-residence for the Oklahoma State Arts Council, in which position she traveled around the state to teach poetry to Native American students.

Reviewers have noted “her ability to combine genres, to portray both Native American and non-Native characters and to depict Native American beliefs and Christianity in her writing.”

As a poet, Glancy writes free verse as well as prose poems, often portraying the intersections of new and old worlds in history, religion and loss of Native traditions.

She explored Native American history in more depth in her novels Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears (Harcourt, 1996) and Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea (Overlook, 2003).

Glancy’s collection of poems, Primer of the Obsolete, won the 2003 Juniper Prize for Poetry. She has also received the Five Civilized Tribes Playwriting Laureate Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Cherokee Medal of Honor from the Cherokee Honor Society of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016'17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.