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In Conversation with Indigenous Author Marcie Rendon: “I Come From a People Who…”

“I Come from a People Who…” is a series of events with Native author, playwright and poet Marcie Rendon that weaves together the themes of the 2021 Humanities Festival and the 40th anniversary of community organization InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia: identity, memory and resistance. Focusing on Rendon’s extraordinary contributions to Native literature and her advocacy for Native American artists and writers, the series will include a community conversation, an intimate virtual gathering for Cleveland’s Indigenous community, and an interactive poetry workshop.

“I Come from a People Who…” In Conversation with Marcie Rendon will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, from noon to 1 p.m.

Rendon, a member of the White Earth Nation, will discuss how her identity as a Native woman informs her work, how the art that Native people create broadens perspectives for non-Natives about who they are and who we are, and how the resilience of Native people in the face of historical traumas is expressed through creative resistance. Cynthia Connolly (Ottawa), who serves on the Lake Erie Native American Council Executive Board, will moderate the conversation. 

This event is free and open to the community.

Register for “I Come from a People Who…” 

The series is co-sponsored by the CWRU Social Justice Institute, Baker-Nord Center for Humanities, Writers House, InterReligious Task Force On Central America and Colombia, and Lake Erie Native American Council. All events will be presented virtually by Zoom.

Additional series events

Who are you? Who are your people? Poetry Workshop with Marcie Rendon

Wednesday, Feb. 24
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Focused on two central questions—Who are you? Who are your people?—Rendon will lead an interactive poetry workshop, inviting participants to explore their identities through personal memories and to compose a collective poem about belonging and community. The current isolation of quarantine has pushed us to reexamine the idea of community, a question forced upon Native writers for generations by the impact of relocation, reeducation and a loss of tradition. 

This workshop is free, but it is limited to 20 participants. Pre-register by emailing

Community Conversation with Marcie Rendon

Thursday, Feb. 25
11 to 11:45 a.m.

Members of the Northeast Ohio Native community are invited to a virtual lunch with Marcie Rendon, as she shares stories and encourages others to do the same. This intimate event is a time to build community and strengthen relationships and explore the ideas of memory, resistance and identity with friends.

This free event is open to members of the Indigenous community.

Register for the community conversation.

About the speaker

Rendon, a member of the White Earth Nation, is a playwright, poet, author, mystery novelist and community arts activist. In 2020, Rendon became the first Native American woman to win the McKnight Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award. 

“Marcie brings a strong and necessary voice to so many genres,” said Pamela Wheelock, McKnight’s interim president. “She has created a tremendous body of work, including poetry, plays, lyrics, and award-winning crime novels, all while raising up other Native voices in our community. Her commitment to making art in community embodies what a distinguished artist means to Minnesota and to McKnight.”Rendon was recently named as one of Oprah Magazine’s “31 Native American Authors to Read Right Now.” When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, a brand new anthology of Native poetry edited by Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, includes Rendon’s poem, “what’s an indian woman to do…. ” She has received and been nominated for many awards for her plays, novels, poetry and non-fiction works.