Michael Wolfe — http://www.michaelwolfeauthor.com/bio.htm — is a well-known, award-winning poet and writer, publisher of Tombouctou Books, a small press that published poetry and avant-garde prose for fifteen years. Among his own books are In Morocco, Greek to Me, Cut These Words into My Stone: Ancient Greek Epitaphs,The Hadj, One Thousand Roads to Mecca, Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith (editor). He is the president and executive producer of Unity Productions Foundation, http://www.upf.tv/about-upf/.
“Two monotypes that speak about waterways and how we must follow them for our health and for guidance. The prints are also about my travels to New Zealand, where I followed river ways and water ways to different locations. They tell a story and hold hope for us — we belong to them.”
Melanie Yazzie is an internationally renowned printmaker, painter, and sculptor, whose work draws upon her rich Diné (Navajo) cultural heritage. Her work follows the Diné dictum “walk in beauty” literally to create beauty and harmony. As an artist, she works as an agent of change by encouraging others to learn about social, cultural, and political phenomena shaping the contemporary lives of Native peoples in the United States and beyond. Her work incorporates personal experiences, as well as the events and symbols from Diné culture. Her early work brought Native issues to the forefront with depictions of the harsh realities of Native peoples (i.e., racism, identity conflict, poverty, abuse, etc.), but more recently she is making work focusing on quiet and balance. Her work is shaped by personal experiences and tries to tell many stories about things both real and imagined. The history of Native America and Native peoples includes forced assimilation and cultural genocide, due in great part to government boarding schools. Native youth and communities today are burdened with the consequences of this history and by an educational system that prioritizes knowledge foreign to Native communities’ indigenous knowledge. Yazzie uses her world travels to connect with other indigenous peoples — in New Zealand, the Arctic, Russia and the Pueblos in the Southwest – the impetus for continued dialogue about cultural practices, language, song, story-telling, and survival.
Yazzie is an associate professor and head of printmaking in the Department of Art and Art History at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. She considers a global impact in her work, striving to create safe, non-toxic methods of printmaking where toxic chemicals are commonly used.
Cecilia Vicuña is a Chilean poet, artist, filmmaker, and political activist whose work addresses topics such as ecological destruction, cultural homogenization, and economic disparity, particularly the way in which such phenomena disenfranchise the already powerless. She was born and raised in Santiago de Chile, and has been in exile since the early 1970s when the murder of elected president Salvador Allende by General Pinochet found her in London.She performs and exhibits her work internationally; museums that have exhibited her work include the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Art in General, NYC, the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Vicuña has authored and published sixteen books, most of which have been translated into several languages. http://www.ceciliavicuna.org/
E.J. McAdams lives in Ward’s Island Sewershed in NYC with his wife and three children. You can read an interview at http://theconversant.org/?p=3858 or read a poem at http://www.thevolta.org/heirapparent-issue19-ejmcadams.html.