Gwen Westerman Named Guest Editor of TCJ Student

GWEN WESTERMANTribal College Journal has announced that award-winning author and poet Gwen Westerman (Dakota/Cherokee) will serve as guest editor for the 2022 edition of TCJ Student. She joins an esteemed cadre of writers, poets, and artists who have served as guest editor or essayist for TCJ Student, including Kimberly Blaeser, Joy Harjo, N. Scott Momaday, Luci Tapahonso, Daniel H. Wilson, Tommy Orange, and Tiffany Midge.

Dr. Westerman is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Her poems, essays, and short stories appear in numerous publications, including the Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. She is co-author of Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota which won a 2013 Minnesota Book Award as well as a 2014 Hognander Minnesota History Award. Westerman has a PhD in English from the University of Kansas and teaches American and Native literatures, technical communication, and humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She received the Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Award for her work on Dakota history and language and is a Distinguished Faculty Scholar in recognition of her work as a scholar, poet, and artist. This fall, Westerman became the first Indigenous person and the third overall to be named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate.

Westerman also creates quilts that have won awards at the Northern Plains Indian Art Market, the Eiteljorg Indian Art Market, and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Art Fair and Market. She is a three-time recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Art Board.

“We are grateful and honored to have Gwen Westerman serve as TCJ Student’s guest editor,” says TCJ publisher Bradley Shreve. “Westerman has incorporated her Indigenous roots throughout her work, in her teaching, her writing, and her art. It’s wonderful that our students have role models such as Dr. Westerman.”

Tribal College Journal is currently soliciting short stories, poetry, memoirs, artwork, and short films from tribal college students for their 2022 contest. The winners will be awarded prizes and will be published in the 2022 edition of TCJ Student and online at The deadline for writing submissions is February 11, 2022. The deadline for art and film submissions is March 25, 2022. For contest guidelines and the official entry form, visit:

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