Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.: The “panoramic vistas” / “South Dakota” / “red road” all pulled my eye, all led to memories of the “prayer song(s),” the prayer actions that focused so many, in such real ways, and the photo is of the road where we sang. Poet Gabrielle Williams: In early November 2016 two of my friends and I decided to drive out to Standing Rock from our home in Las Vegas. We gathered money and items to donate from our community here at UNLV… We helped build yurts for the coming winter and watched wild horses gently wander the grassy plains. We slept in a tent covered by the shadows of the hills around us and woke every morning frosty and dew covered in our sleeping bags. The events at Standing Rock are ongoing, such as history is perpetual. So I wrote about the small moments. I wanted to honor all of those little things, the ways which we continue, the ways in which nothing ends, only begins again and again.
Photographer Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. is Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. His short story collection about sort of growing up in Chicago, Sacred Smokes, will be out in 2018. Poet Gabrielle Faith Williams is currently attending The University of Nevada, Las Vegas for her MFA in Creative Writing and received a BA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago.