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In the Field

Four Souls: Stories from America’s Borders

June 15, 2012 | By NEH Staff

“When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.” ― Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves

Storytelling is an ancient art form that endures to this day. Stories tell us who we are and remind us what is most important. They connect us to our past and to each other. Stories have the power to transform lives. This public humanities symposium sponsored by the North Dakota Humanities Council, brings together four of the nation’s most celebrated writers and poets to share their stories. Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, poet Naomi Shahib Nye, and writer Luis Alberto Urrea join North Dakota writer Louise Erdich who is being honored for her work on behalf of Native language preservation. Representing the four borders of the nation, each writer brings their rich cultural perspective to bear on the American experience.

During the event, a special Native American Language Preservation grant initiative by the North Dakota Humanities Council will be announced. There will be book signings by each of the writers; writing workshops for adults, young people, and children; and an evening when all four writers will be on stage reading and talking together.