Our friends at Alternating Current press, who are behind so many fine projects and publications, have yet one more, Wiyoĥpeyata: a Literary Journal for the Pine Ridge Reservation. The title, in Lakota, means Westward, and the journal is open to Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as well as members of neighboring Great Plains tribes. For a nominal fee, non-residents who have had experiences on Pine Ridge or among the Great Plains Indians may also contribute. State the editors, their plans are to donate
100% of the proceeds (after at-cost expenses are met) to several organizations working to better the lives and cultures of the people of Pine Ridge, especially the youth. While we are still in talking-mode with these organizations, we will update you on where your money is going as soon as we have the final details.
The journal is accepting visual art as well. Here is more about Wiyoĥpeyata, followed by a link to the AC site, where electronic submissions are accepted.
What is Wiyoĥpeyata? It is a journal of writing by Pine Ridge residents. It ranges anywhere from children telling their stories, to teens coping with suicide, to adults reliving their cultural memories. For many on the Pine Ridge Reservation, life can be bleak; writing is a therapeutic way of reaching out, feeling connected, and more importantly, sharing one’s knowledge, hopes, dreams, and stories with others who have never heard them. For some, it can be life-saving just to know that someone is listening. For us, we want to show you that the Oglala Lakota Sioux are not perpetuators of some strange, foreign culture to which you can’t relate—they are the same as you and me. They play football and basketball, participate in rodeos and youth groups, make beautiful art, jam out to rock music, and spraypaint graffiti on overpasses. They farm and work with animals, play soccer, read J. D. Salinger, take photographs, attend universities. They are mechanics and engineers and farmers and leatherworkers. They ride horses with saddles, wear blue jeans, speak English, and have libraries. We want to show you, in their own words, that there is more to this vibrant people than a worn-out stereotype. We are currently beginning issue #1, and it is in its infancy, so please pass the word around and submit. The book will go to press when it has at least thirty pieces of prose and/or poetry and/or experimental hybrid writing. Sign up on our mailing list to be notified of its release.
Visit Alternating Current and Wiyoĥpeyata here.