Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Critically Acclaimed Novelist
Indie Next List
Travels from: Tahlequah, OK

“This is an incredible family epic in sleek, unpretentious form. Hokeah uses his characters as crisp prisms through which we see the nature of family: vicious and precious, mournful and joyful, everything in-between. A remarkable debut!” — Amanda Qassar, Warwick’s

Oscar Hokeah holds an M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma, with a concentration in Native American Literature. He also holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), with a minor in Indigenous Liberal Studies. He is a recipient of the Truman Capote Scholarship Award through IAIA, and also a winner of the Native Writer Award through the Taos Summer Writers Conference. Hokeah has written for Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, World Literature Today, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.

Oscar Hokeah is a regionalist Native American writer of literary fiction, interested in capturing intertribal, transnational, and multicultural aspects within two tribally specific communities: Tahlequah and Lawton, Oklahoma.  He was raised inside these tribal circles and continues to reside there today. He is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma from his mother (Hokeah and Stopp families), and he has Mexican heritage from his father (Chavez family) who emigrated from Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico.

You can find the Stopp family (Cherokee) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and the Hokeah family (Kiowa) in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Family on his Kiowa side (Hokeah, and Tahsequah through marriage) organized the Oklahoma Gourd Dance Club for over a decade, and he has family members actively involved with the Kiowa Tia-Piah Society, Comanche War Scouts Society, and Comanche Little Ponies Society.

Oscar Hokeah has spent nearly 20 years empowering Native American communities.  From his work in Santa Fe, NM with Intermountain Youth Centers and the Santa Fe Mountain Center, he has worked with Pueblo, Apache, and Diné peoples.  Currently, living in his home town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma (in the heart of Cherokee Nation), he works with Indian Child Welfare, where he gives back to the community that nurtured and embedded the Indigenous values he passes along to his children.

Oscar’s debut novel was recently longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Oscar’s Authors Outside Profile: Authors Outside Icon

Oscar's Featured Titles

Calling for a Blanket Dance

Algonquin Books |

“STUNNING.” Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer

A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction.

Oscar Hokeah’s electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family—part Mexican, part Native American—is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn. Ever’s father is injured at the hands of corrupt police on the border when he goes to visit family in Mexico, while his mother struggles both to keep her job and care for her husband. And young Ever is lost and angry at all that he doesn’t understand, at this world that seems to undermine his sense of safety. Ever’s relatives all have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother, knowing the importance of proximity, urges the family to move across Oklahoma to be near her, while his grandfather, watching their traditions slip away, tries to reunite Ever with his heritage through traditional gourd dances. Through it all, every relative wants the same: to remind Ever of the rich and supportive communities that surround him, there to hold him tight, and for Ever to learn to take the strength given to him to save not only himself but also the next generation.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t made room for him to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle finds his way home.


Finding Voice: Vernacular via Colloquial and Regional Speech

This talk is structured around Oscar’s process of developing a Kiowa specific voice and a Cherokee specific voice. He will connect this journey to his debut novel, pointing to Quinton Quoetone and Hayes Shades chapters.  It will focus on the how and why he made word choices for each tribal voice, cultural and community nuances, and influences from regional dialects. The structure is three parts:  (1) Kiowa vernacular in its modern form, (2) Cherokee vernacular in its modern form, and (3) how colloquial and familial nuances create a unique and powerful voice for literature.


The Power of Healing Historical Trauma through Culture and Community

A presentation focusing on the necessity of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and its positive outcomes for Native youth. The discussion centers on youth and the importance of keeping Native children connected to family and community, with advocacy for Native sovereignty with regard to ICWA and how it protects future generations.

On this week’s episode, Oscar Hokeah discusses ‘Calling for a Blanket Dance’ (Algonquin, July 26), a gorgeous new novel from a writer to watch (“Oscar Hokeah is the real deal. A new voice with ancient music.”—Luis Alberto Urrea). 

Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes short story author OSCAR HOKEAH—citizen of Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma—for a discussion of his debut novel Calling for a Blanket Dance: A Novel. He is joined in conversation by GABRIEL BUMP—award-winning author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong.

Oscar Hokeah was joined in conversation by Rubén Degollado.

Oscar’s Upcoming Events

Oscar’s Blog

Too Fond of Books — Oscar’s local bookstore carrying signed copies of Calling for a Blanket Dance

Honors, Awards & Recognition

PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel
2023 Aspen Words Literary Prize | Longlisted
2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction | Longlisted
Indie Next List
Truman Capote Scholarship Award Winner
Native Writer Award Winner
M.A. in English | University of Oklahoma
B.F.A. in Creative Writing | Institute of American Indian Arts

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

Similar Authors

Critically Acclaimed Novelist
Author of Short Fiction
Author of Fiction
Novelist & Memoirist
Award Winning Novelist

Interested in hosting this author?
Send us a message and an A|U Agent will return to you ASAP!