The members of the Native American Literature Symposium and Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures boards are excited to announce the winners of the 2021 Beatrice Medicine Published Monograph and Essay Awards and the Electa Quinney Award for Published Stories. These awards highlight exceptional work published in the field of Indigenous studies in the year 2020.

Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Published Monograph

The 2021 winner of the Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Published Monograph is Justin Gage for his monograph We Do Not Want the Gates Closed Between Us: Native Networks and the Spread of the Ghost Dance (University of Oklahoma Press).

Nominees Included:

  • Mithlo, Nancy Marie, ed. Making History: IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (U of New Mexico P)
  • Pigott, Charles M. Writing the Land, Writing Humanity: The Maya Literary Renaissance (Routledge)
  • Robinson, Dylan. Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies (Minnesota UP)
  • Stirrup, David. Picturing Worlds: Visuality and Visual Sovereignty in Contemporary Anishinaabe Literature (Michigan State UP)

Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Published Academic Essay

The 2021 winner of the Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Published Academic Essay is Laura M. De Vos for their essay “Spiralic Time and Cultural Continuity for Indigenous Sovereignty: Idle No More and The Marrow Thieves” which was published in Transmotion 6.2.

Nominees Included:

  • Jansen, Anne. “Writing toward Action: Mapping Affinity Poetics in Craig Santos Perez’s from unincorporated territory.” (NAIS 6.2)
  • Mackay, James and Polina Mackay. “NDNGirls and Pocahotties: Native American and First Nations Representation in Settler Colonial Pornography and Erotica” (Porn Studies 7.2)
  • Pigott, Charles M. “Cosmic Narratology and Human Exceptionalism in Maya Poetry: Villegas’ Yáax K’áak’ [Primordial Fire]” (Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 24.2)
  • Robins, Barbara K. “Word Painter: Visual Tropes of Enlightenment in N. Scott Momaday’s The House Made of Dawn.” (Painting Words: Aesthetics and The Relationship Between Image and Text, Routledge)

Electa Quinney Award for Published Stories

The 2021 winner of the Electa Quinney Award for Published Stories is David Heska Wanbli Weiden for his novel Winter Counts published by HarperCollins.

Nominees Included:

  • Mehta, J.C. bad indian: poems (Brick Mantel Books)
  • Savageau, Cheryl. Out of the Crazywoods (U of Nebraska P)
  • Yellow Robe Jr., William and Jace Weaver. Restless Spirits: Plays (SUNY Press)

Our tremendous thanks to the judges who served on the committees for these awards this year: Amy Gore, Tammy Wahpeconiah, Stephanie Fitzgerald, Drew Lopenzina, Birgit Rasmussen, and Jeremy Carnes.

The Beatrice Medicine Awards are generously funded by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University (

The Electa Quinney Award is funded by the Electra Quinney Institute for American Indian Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (

Congratulations to our winners! And be on the lookout for the call for nominations for the 2022 awards!