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Biography / Criticism
Diane Hall Glancy, of Cherokee and English/German descent, was born on March 18, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri. Glancy's Cherokee great grandfather, Woods Lewis, was born in 1843 in what was then known as Indian Territory. Forced to flee to Tennessee where he joined the Fourth Calvary (Union Army), Lewis settled in Arkansas after the Civil War where the family lived until Lewis Hall, Glancy's father, moved to Kansas City.
In Kansas City, Glancy graduated from high school in St. Louis (1959) and later attended the University of Missouri where she earned her undergraduate degree in English (1964). She then married Duane Glancy and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 100 miles from where her great grandfather was born, when her husband took a job with a utility company there. Glancy finished her M. A. at Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma, in 1983.
Later Glancy worked as an Artist-in-Residence for the State Arts Council of Oklahoma, and after her divorce, she signed on as a full-time teacher, which required her to travel constantly for two years.
When her son, David, and her daughter, Jennifer, had graduated from high school, Glancy applied to and was accepted by the Iowa Writers Workshop in Iowa City where she earned her M. F. A. in 1988. While in Iowa City she completed Trigger Dance, Iron Woman, a play called "Stick Horse," and her master thesis Lone Dog Winter Count. After finishing her degree, Glancy was persuaded by Alvin Greenberg to take her current position at Macalester College in Saint Paul, where she teaches Native American literature and creative writing courses. In her work, Glancy often reflects upon the tensions between her Cherokee and her European heritage.
The majority of Glancy's work is based upon Native American life and how traditional values and ways of life interact and are juxtaposed with those of modern America. She develops stories that focus on the rich and varied oral traditions of her people, oftentimes swiching narrative voices to create a vivid and living tapestry of Native life.
Glancy advises students to "keep doing what you believe in no matter how unimportant or unvalued it seems to be to others. My children always used to say, 'get a real job. ' And I said, 'I have a real job-It's Poetry. ' Of course, they laughed. But I stuck with it because I felt the written word was mine. It's taken years-and much dicipline to work and work with words when they didn't seem to come out right. But it's paid off. " The numerous awards, grants, and fellowships she has earned seem to support her conclusion.
Glancy has written numerous works across a wide range of genres, including the recent poem "The Shadows Horse" (2003); The Mask Maker: A Novel (2002); American Gypsy: Six Native American Plays (2002); and The Voice that was in Travel (1999), a collection of vignettes and novellas. Glancy often writes from a stance in between two cultures, not fully a part of either. As she says with her own opinion: “I write with a split voice, often experimenting with language until the parts equal some sort of whole.” This quote is fascinating because it is quite evident that she is experimenting with the English language\grammar when the novel Stone Heart was written. This novel, grammatically speaking, is written in an unorthodox style for the times in which it was published.
On Fall 2004, Diane Glancy visited a literature class at the University of Minnesota. Students listened to Glancy as she addressed the content of one of her most recent novels, Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea (2003). The discussion immediately started off as a comfortable conversation. Her words were magnetically poetic as they reached the students. It was as if she powerfully drew in the attention of her audience with picturesque phrases. She used metaphors relating to each of the five senses to explain her thoughts to piece together her literature. She said she is adamant about performing adequate research during the process in which she composes her literature. Glancy meticulously explained to the students her motivation for researching, as: “The eardrum is like a womb – it gives birth to words; by listening, sound becomes something that can be named” (quoted from class visit). This metaphor illustrates her strong belief in visiting the places she writes about in order to truly feel the spirit of those who passed through it before her.
Works by the Author
- Primer of the Obsolete, U Massachusetts Press (2004)
- The Shadow's Horse, U Arizona Press (2003)
- The Stones for a Pillow, National Federation of State Poetry Societies Press (2001)
- The Man Who Heard the Land, Minnesota Historical Society Press (2001)
- The Relief of America, Tia Chucha Press (2000)
- (Ado)Ration, Chax Press (1999)
- Closets of Heaven, Chax Press (1999)
- Asylum in the Grasslands, Moyer Bell (1998)
- Flutie, Moyer Bell (1998)
- Boom Town, Black Hat Press (1997)
- Coyote's Quodlibet, Chax Press (1995)
- West Pole, Minnesota Center For Book Arts (1997)
- The Only Piece of Furniture in the House, Moyer Bell (1996)
- Red Moon Walking Woman, Just Buffalo Literary Center (1995)
- Lone Dog's Winter Count, West End Press (1991)
- Iron Woman, New Rivers Press (1990)
- Offering: Poetry and Prose, Holy Cow Press (1988)
- Brown Wolf Leaves the Res, Blue Cloud Quarterly (1984)
- House on Terwilliger. House on Twenty-Fourth Street, Hadassah Press (1982)
- Red Deer, MyrtleWood Press (1982)
- What do People do West of the Mississippi?, MyrtleWood Press (1982)
- The Way I Like to See a Softball Mitt, Hadassah Press (1981)
- Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea, Overlook Press (2003)
- The Cold-and-Hunger Dance, U Nebraska Press (2002)
- Designs of the Night Sky, U Nebraska Press (2002)
- The Mask Maker: A Novel, U Oklahoma Press (2002)
- David: Taken from the New International Version of the Bible, IBS Publishing (2000)
- Fuller Man, Moyer Bell Ltd. (1999)
- The Voice that was in Travel, U Oklahoma Press (1999)
- Pushing the Bear, Harcourt Brace (1998)
- The Closets of Heaven, Chax Press (1996)
- Freeing the First Amendment: Critical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression, New York U Press (1995)
- Monkey Secret, TriQuarterly Books (1995)
- Naming Myself: Writings on Identity, Macalester College (1995)
- The West Pole, Minnesota Center for Book Arts (1994)
- Claiming Breath, U Nebraska Press (1992)
- Trigger Dance, Fiction Collective Two (1990)
- One Age in a Dream, Milkweed Editions (1986)
- The Man Who Owns a Buffalo Trap, Central States University (1983)
- The Woolslayer, Hadassah Press (1982)
- Drystalks of the Moon, Hadassah Press (1981)
- Traveling On, MyrtleWood Press (1980)
- The Voice that was in Travel: Stories, U Oklahoma Press (1999)
- Earth Song Sky Spirit: Short Stories of the Contemporary Native American Experience: “Bone Girl”, New York Doubleday (1993)
- Firesticks, U Oklahoma Press (1993)
- War Cries: A Collection of Plays, Holy Cow Press (1997)
- American Gypsy: Six Native American Plays, U Oklahoma Press (2002)
- Glancy, Diane; Wheeler, Kristi. A North Shore Portrait Memories of Dewey Albinson, Artist Among the Ojibwa. St. Paul: Macalester College Media College (2000). This program chronicles the experiences of artist Dewey Albinson in the Grand Portage area of northern Minnesota. The story is adapted from Ojibwe legend and Albinson's memoirs.
- Visit Teepee Town: Native Writings After the Detours, Coffee House Press (1999)
- “The Tribe Called Wannabee.” Aniyunwiya/Real Human Beings: an Anthology of Contemporary Cherokee Prose. Greenfield Review Press (1995)
- Two Worlds Walking: Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry by Writers with Mixed Heritages, New Rivers Press (1994)
- “Complaint Against the Arsonist.” The Pushcart Prize, Vol. XVIII, 1993-1994: Best of the Small Presses. Pushcart Press (1993)
- “Further (Farther): Creating a Dialogue to Talk about Native American Plays.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 14.1 (1999 Fall): 127-30.
Works About the Author
- Barron, Ron. “A Guide To Minnesota Writers.” Minnesota Council Of Teachers Of English, 1993.
- Fitz, Brewster E. “Philmela on the Plains: Remarks on Mixedblood Inertextual Metaphor in Diane Glancy's Flutie.” Studies in American Literatures: The Journal of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures 11.3 (1999): 79-87.
- Fitz, Karsten. “Native And Christian: Religion And Spirituality As Transcultural Negotiation In American Indian Novels Of The 1990s.” American Indian Culture & Research Journal 26.2. Los Angeles: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2002. 1 and 15.
- ---. “Employing the Strategy of Transculuration: Colonial Migration and Postcolonial Interpretation in Diane Glancy's Work.” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture 49.3 (2001): 224-32.
- Griffin, Catherine Carrie. Joined Together in History: Politics and Place in African American and American Indian Women's Writing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2000.
- Justice, Daniel Heath. Our Fire Survives the Storm: Removal and Defiance in the Cherokee Literary Tradition. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2002.
- Kloefkorn, William. “Mostly It Was Arid Here Before the Windmill.” The Midwest Quarterly36.4 (1995): 371.
- Leen, Mary. “Theories of Storytelling: Surviving the Gaps and Rhythms of Migration in the Gift of Homeplace.” Illinois State University (1995).
- Rathbun, Paul Roland. “American Indian dramaturgy: Situating Native presence on the American stage.” University of Wisconsin – Madison (1996).
- Robins, Barbara Kimberly. Acts of Empathic Imagination: Contemporary Native American Artists and Writers as Healers. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 2001.
- Rochon, Glenn. “Glancy's WELL You Push Your Mind Along The Road.” Explicator 61.1. Washington D.C. : Heldref Publications, 2002. 59.
- Roemer, Kenneth M. “Native American Writers Of The United States.” Dictionary of Literary Biography. V. 175. Detroit: Gale Research Group, 1997.
- Swann, Brian; Krupat, Arnold. “I Tell you Now: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers.” Brompton Books Corporation. Lincoln: U Nebraska Press, 1987.
- “Fragments That Rune Up The Shores: Pushing The Bear, Coyote Aesthetics, And Recovered History.” Modern Fiction Studies45.1. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1999. 185.
Andrews, Jennifer. “A Conversation with Diane Glancy.” American Indian Quarterly 26.4. Lincoln: U Nebraska Press, 2002. 645.
Works in Languages other than English
- Tante Parnettas elektrische Wunden, Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer (1995)
- Writer of the Year for Screenplays (2003-2004) Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers
- Oklahoma Book Award (2003) The Mask Maker
- Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry (2001) Nimrod Journal, University of Tulsa
- National Federation of State Poetry Societies Manuscript Winner (2000)
- Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry Finalist (2000) for The Stones for a Pillow
- Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry Finalist (2000) for (Ado) Ration
- Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction Finalist (2000) for The Voice That Was in Travel
- Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction Finalist (1999) for Flutie
- Oklahoma Book Award for Non-fiction Finalist (1999) for The Cold-and-Hunger Dance
- Edlestein-Keller Minnesota Writer of Distinction (1998) University of Minnesota
- Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction Finalist (1997) for Pushing the Bear
- Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers Playwriting Award (1997)
- Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year Award (Theatre – Playwriting/Scriptwriting) (1997)
- Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry/Playscript Finalist (1996) for Boom Town
- American Book Award (1993) Before Columbus Foundation
- Emily Dickinson Poetry Prize (1993) Poetry Society of America
- North American Indian American Book Award (1993) Before Columbus Foundation
- North American Indian Prose Award (1993) University of California (Berkeley and Santa Cruz)
- Borderlands Theater Play Festival Award (1990)
- Charles and Mildred Nilon Fiction Award (1990) University of Colorado and the Fiction Collective
- Aspen Theater Chamberlain Prize (1988)
- Iowa Woman Poetry Prize (1987)
- Oklahoma Theater Association Award (1987)
- Lakes and Prairies Prize (1986)
- Five Civilized Tribes Playwright Laureate Prize (1984-86, 1988-90, 1994-96)
- Pegasus Award (1984) Oklahoma Federation of Writers
- Arts and Science Distinguished Alumni, University of Missouri
- Cherokee Medal of Honor, Cherokee Honor Society
- Thomas Jefferson Teaching/Scholarship Award, Macalester College
- Minnesota Book Award for Poetry
- Capricorn Prize The Writers Voice
Fellowships and Grants
- Works in Progress Fellowship (2001), Red Eye Theatre - Minneapolis
- McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers (1999), Loft Award of Distinction for Creative Prose
- Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship (1998), UCLA
- Minnesota Humanities Commission Grant (1997)
- Career Initiative Grant (1996), The Loft Literary Center
- Lannan Foundation Fellowship (1995), Provincetown Art Center Residency
- Many Voices Playwriting Fellowship (1995, 2001)
- Wallace Faculty Travel Grant (1993)
- Blandin Private College Foundation Grant (1990, 1991, 1994)
- Creative Nonfiction Fellowship (1990), The Loft Literary Center
- Diverse Visions Grant (1990), Intermedia Arts Minnesota
- Jerome Travel Grant (1990, 1995)
- Minnesota State Arts Board (1990)
- National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1990)
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1990)
- Jones Commission (1989), Playwright's Center – Minneapolis
- Edwin Piper Memorial Fellowship (1988), University of Iowa
- Fred C. Allen Fellow (1988), D`Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian, Newberry Library
- Equal Opportunity Fellowship (1987, 1988), University of Iowa
- Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council Grant (1983)
NativeWiki.Org: Diane Glancy
Information about Glancy's work and awards and her writings available online.
Macalester College - Diane Glancy
This is Glancy's webpage at Macalester College. It contains information on her works and about the classes she teaches.
This site contains some information about Glancy and cites some of her works from different genres.
This site is a great way to begin to learn about Cherokee Indians which is very helpful for Glancy's work in Pushing the Bear.
A brief biography and briefly explores her work.
Minnesota Public Radio
Glancy talks about her novel Stone Heart.
Michigan State University
An interview with Glancy where she reflects on her work and reads some of her work.
A review of Glancy's novel Stone Heart.
University of Minnesota Press
Review of The West Pole.
Online Chimes: “Author Glancy defines distinctively Christian voice in Native American Lit”
This site includes an essay in which the author argues that Glancy uses "a distinctively Christian voice" in her writing.
Report a dead link or suggest a new one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page was anonymously submitted on 12/6/96. The Biography and Criticism and Selected Bibliography were supplemented by Melissa Handt, Christopher Koch, and Shaundra Ziemann on 12/17/04.