James Welch (writer)
November 18, 1940|
|Died||August 4, 2003
|Literary movement||Native American Renaissance|
|Notable works||Winter in the Blood (1974) Fools Crow (1986)|
James Welch (November 18, 1940 – August 4, 2003), who grew up within the Blackfeet and A'aninin cultures of his parents, was an award-winning Native American novelist and poet, considered a founding author of the Native American Renaissance. His novel Fools Crow (1986) received several national literary awards.
James Welch was born in Browning, Montana on November 18, 1940. His father was a member of the Blackfeet tribe and his mother a member of the Gros Ventre tribe; both also had Irish ancestry but had grown up within Native American cultures. As a child, Welch attended schools on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap reservations.
For college, Welch attended the University of Montana, where he studied under the poet Richard Hugo and began his writing career, publishing poetry and fiction. He also taught there, and his novels established his place in the Native American Renaissance literary movement. Welch also briefly attended Northern Montana College (now known as Montana State University-Northern), and taught English and writing at the University of Washington and at Cornell University.
In her introduction to the 2007 reprint of Winter in the Blood, fellow writer Louise Erdrich said: It "is a central and inspiring text to a generation of western regional and Native American writers, including me."
In addition to his novels, Welch co-wrote with Paul Stekler the screenplay for the Emmy Award-winning American Experience documentary, Last Stand at Little Bighorn, shown on PBS. Together they also wrote the history, Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians (1994).
Outside of his literary work, Welch served on the Parole Board of the Montana Prisons Systems, reviewing records of prisoners to determine if their sentences can be shortened.
- American Book Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Pacific Northwest Book Award. Fools Crow (1986)
- Emmy Award. Last Stand at Little Bighorn. Documentary.
- Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award (1997)
- Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture (2000)
- Winter in the Blood (1974)
- The Death of Jim Loney (1979)
- Fools Crow (1986)
- The Indian Lawyer (1990)
- The Heartsong of Charging Elk (2000)
- Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians (1994)
- Riding the Earthboy 40 (1971 rpt. 1975)
- Last Stand at Little Bighorn
- Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat
- Acclaimed author James Welch dies
- Lundquist, Suzanne Evertsen (2004). Native American Literatures: an introduction. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 80. ISBN 978-0826415998. OCLC 55801000.
- History and Literature in the Pacific Northwest URL last accessed July 17, 2007
- Famous Montanans: James Welch, Native American Author, Montana Kids, accessed on July 11, 2007
- Last Stand at Little Bighorn, Alibris.com, URL last accessed July 11, 2007
- James Treat: Writing the Cross Culture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, URL last accessed July 17, 2007.
- Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: James Welch". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- "Writer James Welch dies at 62", Missoulian, 6 August 2003, accessed July 11, 2007
- List of NWCA Lifetime Achievement Awards, accessed 6 Aug 2010.
- Wild, Peter (1983). James Welch. Boise, Idaho: Boise State University "Western Writers Series" (#57). pp. 49. ISBN 978-0884300311 OCLC 10086364