Equity & Access Teaching Writing

Writing from the Feather Circle



Not long thereafter, I was introduced to the feather circle. Now, many variations of the feather circle or talking circle exist among Native American tribes, and I do not pretend to know about them nor to be here a spokesman for them. But I have personally experienced one powerful common denominator, whether the circle is in the hogan or the tipi or the sweatlodge or the condominium or the writing classroom: When it is your turn to speak, when you hold the feather in your hand, you are encouraged to speak from your heart. Speak from your heart. That is all. Yet that simple dictum sends the blood of life pumping through empty skeletons of words and lives and, when used in my writing classes, restores the possibility of a “language of a far greater yield” than the more orthodox approaches of my academic training.