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LeAnne Howe papers

Identifier: WHC-M-2885

Scope and Contents

Author. Papers (1978-2019) of Choctaw author and poet, LeAnne Howe. The papers document her lengthy and varied writing career as a poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, journalist, and professor. The collection contains her professional and personal correspondence (1981-2012), and a group of chronological files (1983-2019) which are comprised of her residency and grant applications, speaking engagements, creative collaborations, and contracts. A journalist files series (1978-1987) contains interview notes, photographs, and print copies of her work as an editor and contributor to primarily Texas-based news publications. Her literary manuscripts (1985-2018) include drafts of minor and major works such as Shell Shaker, Miko Kings, and others. The collection also contains subject files of research materials (1980-2012), audiovisual materials (1994-2010) with VHS tapes of selected works, and graphic materials (1979-2019) with event publicity posters and illustrations. The materials reflect Howe’s evolution as a writer, and her exploration of Native American identities and experiences.


  • 1978 - 2019


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

LeAnne Howe is an author and poet who was born and raised in Oklahoma. She is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. Early in her career Howe spent twelve years as an editor and feature writer for several newspapers and magazines in the Fort Worth, Texas region. After earning her MFA degree, Howe’s career focus shifted to academia. She began teaching, lecturing and developing courses in Native American studies for such institutions as the University of Iowa and Carleton College in Minnesota. During this period she also founded WagonBurner Theatre Troop, which presented Indian Radio Days, a play centered on Native American experiences told with humor.

Howe published her first novel Shell Shaker in 2001, for which she received an American Book Award in 2002. Subsequent works include Evidence of Red: Poems and Prose (2005), Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (2007), Choctalking on Other Realities (2013), and Savage Conversations (2019).

Howe’s scholarly articles have appeared in Pre-removal Choctaw History: Exploring New Paths (2008), Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective (2008), and Foundations of First Peoples’ Sovereignty: History, Culture, and Education (2008). She was the narrator and host of the 2006 PBS documentary Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire. Her plays include The Mascot Opera: A Minuet, which was commissioned by Minneapolis’s Mixed Blood Theater in 2008. She performed her one-woman show Choctalking on Other Realities at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in 2009. She also collaborated on Singing Still, Libretto for the 1847 Choctaw Gift to the Irish for Famine Relief with Doireann Ní Ghríofa (2017). Howe’s honors include a Fulbright Scholarship to Jordan as well as residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She has also received the Writer of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers as well as a grant from the Iowa Arts Council. She is currently the Eidson Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia.


17.3 cubic ft. (17.3 cubic ft.)


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Repository Details

Part of the Western History Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 300
Norman Oklahoma 73019 United States