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Eric Gansworth, an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, was born and raised at the Tuscarora Indian Nation in Western New York. He is a Professor of English and Lowery Writer in Residence at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
His first novel, Indian Summers (1998), a collection of poetry and paintings, titled Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon, (2000) and his second novel, Smoke Dancing (2004) feature paintings as integral parts of their narratives, and have all been published by Michigan State University Press. Another novel, Mending Skins, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2005. Short fiction of his has appeared in the anthologies, Growing Up Native American (Morrow), Blue Dawn, Red Earth (Doubleday) and Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions (Bright Hill), The Second Word Thursdays Anthology (Bright Hill), Stories for Winter Nights (White Pine), Fishing for Chickens (Persea), and Nothing but the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature (Prentice Hall), and in Quartet, a just buffalo literary center, inc. chapbook. Poetry has been included on Roadkillbasa, a performance audio tape; and in the journals, Blueline, Shenandoah, The Cream City Review, Slipstream, phati'tude, and UCLA's American Indian
Culture and Research Journal and in the anthology, Children of the Dragonfly (University of Arizona Press). His first piece of Creative Non-Fiction appears in the anthology Genocide of the Mind, (The Nation Books). He is a member of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers, the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, is listed in the Directory of American Poets & Fiction Writers and in 1999, received a Writer in Residency award from just buffalo literary center, inc.
Gansworth began his creative work as a visual artist, and eventually expanded to narrative as a way of furthering the storytelling he had developed visually. His first solo exhibit, titled "Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon,"opened in 1999 at the Olean Public Library and an expanded show opened at the Castellani Museum in 2000. His work has been in shows across New York State, including "Revisiting Turtle Island,"at the Niagara Arts and Culture Center, "Native Vision: Art through Haudenosaunee Eyes,"at the Fanette-Goldman Gallery, "Art Creations from Tuscarora," at Neto Hatinakwe Ohnkwehowe, the "Keepers of the Western Door" Exhibit, co-sponsored by CEPA Gallery and the World University Games, and in a follow-up exhibit "In the Shadow of the Eagle," at the Castellani Museum. He participated in the "Teaching Metaphors" exhibit at the Niagara County Community College. His work was also included in "Sharing the Visions," at Hartwick College in Oneonta. One of his paintings was the cover of Sherman Alexie's book First Indian on the Moon. Others have been included in the history text As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow (Harcourt Brace) the Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions anthology (Bright Hill), and the journal, The Cream City Review. Presently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. He has also served terms on panels for the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County and the New York State Council on the Arts Literature Panel, and on the Artists Advisory Committee for the New York Foundation for the Arts. He was also an artist in the Herd About Buffalo Project.
Gansworth's work is a commentary on the oral tradition existing within Haudenosaunee culture and its fluid nature. He uses iconography recognizable in the context of the mythic Haudenosaunee world, yet alters it to reflect issues relevant to a more contemporary Haudenosaunee existence, as well.
State University College at Buffalo
Master of Arts: English (Literature), 1990. G.P.A. 4.0
State University College at Buffalo
Bachelor of Arts: English (Literature), 1989. G.P.A. 3.4
Niagara County Community College
Associate of Applied Science: Electroencephalography, 1986 G.P.A. 3.0
Eric was a visiting writer-in-residence at the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities in October 2004. He was invited to write the entry for American Indian Literature in New York State, in The Encyclopedia of New York State. He received a writer-in-residency award from the just buffalo literary center in 1999. His novel, Indian Summers, chosen for the Readers and Writers on the Air program on North Country Public Radio, October 1999 and was selected for the College Libraries' America Reads 2000 project.
Exhibiting Artist— The World of Tomorrow … Today! Members Show, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Jan - Feb 2004
Exhibiting Artist— Revisiting Turtle Island, June 27, 2003 - August 22, 2003
Exhibiting Artist—The Pan-Am Exposition Centennial: Images of the American Indian, October 13, 2001-January 6, 2002.
Participating Artist—Herd About Buffalo Project, May, 2000– October, 2000, Burchfield Penney Arts Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.
Exhibiting Artist—Solo visual art show, Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon, February 13-April 16, 2000, Castellani Art Museum.
Exhibiting Artist—Solo visual art show, Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon, August 5-September 9, 1999, Olean Public Library.
Exhibiting Artist—Icons and Relics, Members Show, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, February-March, 1999.
Exhibiting Artist—Art Creations from Tuscarora, May 4-June 20, 1998. Neto Hatinakwe Onkwehowe, Buffalo, New York.
Exhibiting Artist—Black Velvet, Members Show, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, February-March, 1998.
Exhibiting Artist—Books, Boxes and Altars, Members Show, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, February-March, 1997.
Exhibiting Artist—Sharing the Visions, Spring-Summer, 1996, The Museum at Hartwick, Oneonta, New York.
Exhibiting Artist—In the Shadow of the Eagle, November 13, 1994-February 5, 1995, Castellani Art Museum.
Exhibiting Artist —Keepers of the Western Door, sponsored by CEPA and World University Games, July 1993.
Exhibiting Artist—Visual Gatherings, Shaking and Shaping Indian: Indigenous Identity, a Native American Art exhibit, Niagara County Community College, September 24 - October 27, 1992.
Exhibiting Artist—Native American Art Exhibit, Niagara County Community College Art Gallery, February 1989.
Cover and internal paintings for each book: Indian Summers (1998); Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon (2000); Smoke Dancing (2004); Mending Skins (2005)
Painting chosen as cover, Spring 2004 Catalogue, Michigan State University Press
Painting in The Cream City Review, University of Wisconsin, Issue 27.1, Spring, 2003.
Exhibit Catalogue, The Pan-American Exposition Centennial: Images of the American Indian, Burchfeild-Penney Art Center, 2001.
Painting chosen as cover of Fall 2000 Catalogue, Michigan State University Press.
Exhibit Catalogue, Herd About Buffalo, Burchfield Penney Art Center, 2000
Inclusion of a painting, and references to fiction and visual art in the academic history text:
As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow: A History of Native Americans, by Clifford Trafzer, Harcourt Brace, 2000.
Painting in Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions, Bright Hill, 1996.
Painting in Premiere Issue, Akwesasne Notes, 1994.
Cover Artist, First Indian on the Moon, by Sherman Alexie, Hanging Loose Press, 1993.