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Awiakta

Marilou Awiakta (Marilou Thompson) (b. 1936)

Biography

Marilou Awiakta was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1936. Throughout her distinguished career she has blended her Cherokee/Appalachian heritage with the experience of growing up in the "atomic frontier" of Oak Ridge. She has been published in many anthologies such as A Gathering Spirit, A Southern Appalachian Reader and Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mothers Gardens. The poet and author was the winner of the Distinguished Tennessee Writers Award in 1989, and also has written for Ms, The Greenfield Review, Women of Power, and Southern Exposure, which commissioned her essay on the 1984 reunion of the Eastern and Western Councils of the Cherokee. She has worked for many years in the Arts-In-Schools program in Memphis, Tennessee, and has also formed poetry workshops in the Women's Prison there. She was co-founder of the Far Away Cherokee Association, which is now the Native American Intertribal Association. Awiakta graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee with degrees in French and English. She now lives in Memphis with her husband, Paul Thompson, and their three children.

awiakta.jpg
Awiakta and Pitter


  • Abiding Appalachia: Where Mountain and Atom Meet. Memphis: Saint Luke's Press, 1978. Rpt. Bell Buckle, TN: Iris Press, 1995. 71 pp. Poetry that weaves together Cherokee history, the legend of Little Deer, memories of growing up in Oak Ridge (where the atom was split in the 1940s), and thoughts on family, society, and the land.
  • Rising Fawn and the Fire Mystery: A Child's Christmas in Memphis, 1833. Memphis: Saint Luke's Press, 1983.
  • Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother’s Wisdom. Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 1993. A blend of story, essay, and poetry. Cherokee legends and images from the double weave of Cherokee baskets point us toward preserving a nurturing relationship between humanity and Mother Earth, by instilling appreciation for the earth and applying Native American philosophies to modern pr
  • Abiding Appalachia: Where Mountain and Atom Meet. Memphis: Saint Luke's Press, 1978. Rpt. Bell Buckle, TN: Iris Press, 1995. 71 pp. Poetry that weaves together Cherokee history, the legend of Little Deer, memories of growing up in Oak Ridge (where the atom was split in the 1940s), and thoughts on family, society, and the land.
  • Rising Fawn and the Fire Mystery: A Child's Christmas in Memphis, 1833. Memphis: Saint Luke's Press, 1983.
  • Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother’s Wisdom. Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 1993. A blend of story, essay, and poetry. Cherokee legends and images from the double weave of Cherokee baskets point us toward preserving a nurturing relationship between humanity and Mother Earth, by instilling appreciation for the earth and applying Native American philosophies to modern pr
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