River, Blood, And Corn: A Community of Voices

At River, Blood, And Corn, we are promoting community and strengthening cultures with storytelling, poetry and prose. 

Established in 2010 by Native writers, our starting point and our goal, is to honor the work and lifeways of Lee Francis III, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, to ensure the voices of Native writers and storytellers are heard throughout the world. A variety of writers, backgrounds, communities and viewpoints are presented. Included in our themes are the Elders whose lives informed, instructed, shaped and changed ours. 
While our primary focus is Indigenous writers, we have woven writers and artists from a variety of ethnicities and communities into our pages. Perhaps people of many ethnicities, including recent immigrants from throughout the Americas as well as other parts of the world will find something in this collection that will speak to them with respect to issues of race, identity, culture, community, and representation. 
Thank you to our readers. We are honored and grateful to each one of you.

Poetry by E. Fox

Ink & Lead 

I’m too afraid to be that of the bold permanence. 
Afraid to be the spilled ink seeped into the bones of a page. 
Etched not only into the surface but run deep into one’s core. 
With the daring stance of unwavering line after line. 
Forever waiting to be scrutinized and yet still stay unchanged. 
Never truly able to be erased. 
Meekly covered in an attempt to be conformed. 
All I ever will be is the faded lead. 
The blended marks left on the page. 
Standing alone in despair. 
Left for others disposal. 
Bringing the weight of everything sinking down. 
Drowning to the bottomless pit of one’s mind. 
Blackened with the ink pressed over my skin. 
Seeing what is left in my wake. 
Only after I’ve been erased. 

Flesh Filled Face 

You know that feeling when you see another beautiful person 
And you can’t help but touch your own delicate skin in response 
I can’t help but notice that mine is not so delicate 
Not so beautiful 
It feels as a softer mask waiting to be peeled from the bone 
The flesh sits atop my skull in mock disguise 
Seeing another beautiful person only makes me realize that I am not that 
I am only a faceless entity waiting to truly figure out who I am 

A Role, Not a Model 

My dad never loved me, I know it 
He liked me when I was just a small child 
Until I got older and then 
Then he didn’t even like me 
I realize now it wasn’t hate when I was growing up 
It was only dislike 
It became hate as I aged more and more 
But once I was “old enough,” 
He started to like me once again 
Or at least what he could make me to be 
He liked that I didn’t like “her” 
But he never realized I hated him too 
It was almost in the same way he did me 
But I was so much younger 
I just wanted to be happy and loved 
He never accepted my choices 
They weren’t his, so neither was I 
Even now it is the same 
It always has been 
And always will be 

Copyright © E. Fox. All rights reserved. 
Fox is an Indigenous aspiring poet from the Arikara and Lakota-Sioux Nations who was born and raised in North Dakota. They have been a lover of books & reading from a very young age, always searching for more to fulfill themself with as time has gone forward. Their published works can be seen featured in Yellow Medicine Review's 2023 Fall Edition. Fox's motivation in writing stems from their want to reach all communities and show the ability along with the importance of Native American & LGBTQ+ youths' writing about the experiences of growing up & coming of age. Fox is currently a recent high school graduate with the hopes of transitioning to a career in creative writing through workshops and apprenticeships. With every gained experience, they are working on a collection of poetry with aspirations to soon publish a book of their own that will help take off their career in writing.

Pick a Garnet to Sleep In

by Kim Shuck

We are hunting the graveyards and 
Practicing fly-casting off of the roof at 4am 
It must be summer 
I paint the symbols on my feet 
Study the evolution of bats and 
21st century poetry of the 600 block of Chenery 
Oh child 
I braid you into my hair most days 
And I’m the only one who can read you there 
But then 
We are descended from the symbolic dead and 
I’m becoming the old woman out of those stories 
If not as quickly as I’d hoped 

Copyright © 2024 Kim Shuck. All rights reserved.
Kim Shuck loves fiddling with words and puzzles and stones. Shuck served as the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco and is still recovering. Her latest book is Pick a Garnet to Sleep In.

Yugtarvik: A Tʌndrə’d Glimp

by Alice Rose Crow ~ Maar’aq 
Alice Rose Crow ~ Maar’aq is among the kass’ayagat of the Kusquqvaq diaspora. She is an independent maker based in Anchorage, Alaska. For the Covid-19-year of 2021, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center invited Alice to curate a series of creative interpretations to augment ongoing efforts to examine archived collections. A mutual and consolatory goal is to bring attention and reflection to little known and overlooked elements living within the Anchorage Yugtarvik.3 An inclination is to keep stepping toward broadened and deepened groundedness, mutual acknowledgment, contemplation, engagement, understanding, deep dialogue, and sharing among First Alaskans, relatives, migrants, expats, and allanret4 across generations, languages, and amid evolving cultures, technologies, and world views. 
Her mixed form 2021 collection commissioned by the Anchorage Museum,Yugtarvik: A Tʌndrə’d Glimp, is available via the yugtarvik’s website at https://www.anchoragemuseum.org/major-projects/projects/chatter-marks/#journal (scroll down to Journal Issues). 
Yugtarvik: A Tʌndrə’d Glimp is also available for direct digital download: 

Denise Low Postings | Supporting writers and their events

Denise Low, former Kansas Poet Laureate, is award-winning author of 30 books of prose and poetry. She blogs at Denise Low Postings with reviews, supporting writers and their events, and co-publishes Mammoth Publications, which specializes in Indigenous American authors.

Unpapered: Writers Consider Native American Identity and Cultural Belonging

Edited by Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez 

Unpapered is a collection of personal narratives by Indigenous writers exploring the meaning and limits of Native American identity beyond its legal margins. Native heritage is neither simple nor always clearly documented, and citizenship is a legal and political matter of sovereign nations determined by such criteria as blood quantum, tribal rolls, or community involvement. Those who claim a Native cultural identity often have family stories of tenuous ties dating back several generations. Given that tribal enrollment was part of a string of government programs and agreements calculated to quantify and dismiss Native populations, many writers who identify culturally and are recognized as Native Americans do not hold tribal citizenship. 
Unpapered charts how current exclusionary tactics began as a response to “pretendians”—non-indigenous people assuming a Native identity for job benefits—and have expanded to an intense patrolling of identity that divides Native communities and has resulted in attacks on peoples’ professional, spiritual, emotional, and physical states. An essential addition to Native discourse, Unpapered shows how social and political ideologies have created barriers for Native people truthfully claiming identities while simultaneously upholding stereotypes.

River, Blood, And Corn Literary Journal: A Community of Voices

Copyright © 2010-2024. Individual writers and photographers retain all rights to their work, unless they have other agreements with previous publishers.We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.—Barry Lopez, in Crow and Weasel