Gravity From the Moon: A Night of Native Voices | A Hugo Literary Series & Snoqualmie Casino Partnership
Hugo House is overjoyed to announce the return of Hugo Literary Series! This inspired, new iteration of our program will continue to highlight both emerging and established artists with a shared commitment: to ignite your passion for reading and writing!
In the coming year, Lit Series will host readings spotlighting regional writers deeply connected to place and land, and who explore the relationship between community and the environment. This emphasis on connection with the land is a means to foster learning, growth, and bridge-building among us.
Join us Thursday, November 16, 2023, for a special collaboration with Snoqualmie Casino celebrating regional Indigenous talent, culture, and spirit featuring Sasha LaPointe, Nikki Suyama, Iz White, and Peter White.
The evening will begin with a land acknowledgement from Ken Workman, followed by readings from Sasha LaPointe and Iz White, with music from Nikki Suyama and a ceremonial dance performed by Peter White.
There will be a brief Q&A with Sasha LaPointe, and our friends at Elliott Bay Book Company will be on-site selling copies of her published work.
Doors open at 6:30—grab a drink and connect with community members before the program begins.The House bar will be open to serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Nicole (Nikki) Suyama is an accomplished singer, actress, teaching artist, and currently serves as Artistic Director for Red Eagle Soaring (RES) Native youth Theatre Program. RES is a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to empower Indigenous youth to express themselves with confidence and clarity through cultural & contemporary performing arts; a group which Nikki has been part of for the last 20 years, beginning as a student herself in the program. Inupaiq on her mother’s side, RES provided her a space to connect with other urban Indigenous youth, many of whom work in the Seattle Native community today. A graduate from Central Washington University with her BA in Communication Studies and Minor in Business, Nikki feels blessed to work in the arts for a living, even outside of her work with RES. Nikki is the reigning World Karaoke Tour North American Champion since 2019, sings back-up for Seattle-based soul band Eric Blu & The Soul Revue, works as a Karaoke Host part-time (The Cove & Who’s On First) and performs acoustic shows with her partner, Logan Ulavale. She has starred in a variety of Theatre Productions and films in the Seattle area, dating back to Longhouse Media's 2007 short film “FISH”, written by co-creator of Reservation Dogs, Sterlin Harjo. More recently, she starred in “Master Control”, winner of Best Film In City for the 2018 Seattle 48 hour horror film project. A lover of Seattle Theatre, she also serves as a board member for both Copious Love, and Intiman Theatre.
Peter White comes from the Yaqan Nukiy tribe (Creston, BC) which is a part of the Ktunaxa Nation (kootenay). As a little boy, Peter started out dancing Grass, but due many obstacles, including moving away from his home community, he stopped dancing after 3 years. When Peter was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2016, he knew this was a sign that he needed a change in his life. This was his push off the ledge that started to make everything fall into place. Now Peter is a Men’s Traditional dancer, the dance originates from the Sioux people. Traditional is one of the oldest known dances to Turtle island—a war dance. As a survivor of cancer, homelessness, alcoholism and depression—Peter contends that this dance has manifested his own inner warrior.
Isadore "Iz" White is an enrolled member of the Snoqualmie Tribe in King County. He grew up homeless in Seattle, well below the poverty line, in the 90’s. His tribe was federally recognized in 1999 and has continued to strengthen their efficiency and stability in financial development. His circumstances have given him both a unique perspective and breathing room to pursue his craft of writing. He is an up-and-coming poet who escaped the cycle of addiction. He speaks on social issues not only for his people, but all people. Iz White is committed to creating relationships between Native communities and non-native communities in an ever-changing demographic in and around the greater Seattle area.
Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribes. Native to the Pacific Northwest, she draws inspiration from her coastal heritage as well as her life in the city. She writes with a focus on trauma and resilience, ranging topics from PTSD, sexual violence, the work her great grandmother did for the Lushootseed language revitalization, to loud basement punk shows and what it means to grow up mixed heritage. Sasha teaches creative writing at the Native Pathways Program at Evergreen and is a mentor for Seattle’s youth poet laureate program. Her memoir, Red Paint, has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Shelf Awareness and is available through Counterpoint Press. Her collection of poetry, Rose Quartz, is available through Milkweed Press. Her essay collection, Thunder Song, is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press.