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Darlene Naponse is an Anishinaabe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Northern Ontario, where she was born and raised. She is a writer, independent film director, video artist, and community activist. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe. Several of her short stories have been published in the Yellow Medicine Review, Along the 46th Anthology, and The Malahat Review. She is currently working on a book of short stories. She works from her studio on the Rez (Atikameksheng Anishnawbek).

Award History

Jury Citation

“Darlene Naponse’s ‘She Is Water’ will haunt you for days. It will also break your heart. This is the power of Naponse’s storytelling; she writes about family, love, hate, and tremendous loss in language that is, by turn, clear and poetic yet never sentimental. Told in the voice of a young girl and infused with wonder, ‘She Is Water’ evokes life on a northern reserve with a keen cinematic eye. The River that runs through the reserve is a key character in the story; a source of nourishment and enjoyment for the community, and the scene of unspeakable violence and tragedy, its presence is threaded through the narrative along with a chilling sense of menace. Raw, gripping, and mesmerizing, ‘She Is Water’ is a story that demands to be told.” — 2017 Journey Prize Jury (Kevin Hardcastle, Grace O’Connell, and Ayelet Tsabari)

Works recognized by WT

She Is Water