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NMSU calls for submissions for its first Native American literary and art journal

A group of undergraduate and graduate students at New Mexico State University are currently accepting submissions for the campus's first Native American literary and art journal.


The publication, Tlaa: A Collective of Indigenous Expression, is an online journal encouraging indigenous students and writers, and those familiar with the indigenous community and identities, to unite and share their different ideas.

"It's a place where indigenous writers can express their creativity and issues of concern to the native communities," said Kristian Jensen, assistant professor of English at NMSU and faculty adviser for Tlaa.

The title of the publication originates from the word meaning "see you" within the Athabaskan language family. It also draws inspiration from the poem "There Is No Word for Goodbye," by Mary TallMountain, a native Alaskan writer.

"There is no word for 'goodbye' in Athabaskan; instead they say 'see you,'" Jensen said. "Poet Mary TallMountain's aunt expresses this to her when Mary returns to her childhood home after a lifetime away from her people. We chose that as a central sentiment of the journal."

Tlaa has already garnered a few noteworthy contributors, such as prominent Canadian First Nations author, Lee Maracle, and John Trudell, a prominent Native American activist since the American Indian movement in the late 1960s.

"We also have some contributions from students here at NMSU, so we're off to a good start," Jensen said.

Jensen anticipates a new issue of the online publication to be produced biannually, with the first edition scheduled for release in January of 2014.

Submissions for Tlaa will be accepted through Dec. 1, and include, but are not limited to, fiction, creative nonfiction, scholarly criticism, visual art, multimedia, poetry and photographic expressions. The work must be either by native artists or concerning native issues or identity. Submissions should be sent to tlaajournal@gmail.com.