City of Residence:
Barbara studied Fine Art at Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts, NYC, where she completed her BFA in Painting and Drawing. Her art and writing has been published in 'Plains Song Review,' 'Small Farm Journal,' 'United Plant Savers News' and numerous literary journals. Her manuscript, 'Other People’s Ghosts, A Collection of Spirits,' was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2010 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest, and was a Finalist in Orpheus Theater’s New Playwright Contest in 2011. 'Big Horse Woman,' a historical fiction novel about a Ponca woman born near the Niobrara River in 1833, was a Finalist in the 2009 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest.
'Big Horse Woman' was the catalyst for Barbara to move 1300 miles from rural upstate New York, to Lincoln, Nebraska. She enrolled in what would be the final class offered in Omaha Language at UNL. Her aim was to ensure accurate and culturally appropriate use of the Ponca language in her novels. Her dedication was praised by her professor, Mark Awakuni-Swetland, Wagónze Ūthixide, Íthinge. Upon completion of the Omaha Language course, Barbara assisted with data entry for UNL’s Omaha/Ponca Digital Dictionary, and created over 300 pen and ink illustrations for the “Omaha Language; Textbook, Workbook and Dictionary,” to be published by University Nebraska Press. Her illustrations are also included in Native Language Dictionaries for the Ponca, Biloxi, and Atakapa tribes.
Until August of 2015, Barbara served as the Ponca Language Educator for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, delivering curriculum to students aged 5 -16, and community members of all ages, using Ponca stories, art activities, performance and games. Barbara is a strong advocate for the language; what it means to the people and why it is so important to retain native language as the core element of cultural preservation and identity.
Barbara has returned full time to her art and writing. She is available for readings, performances, lectures, storytelling, interviews, classroom visits and art shows. She is also available as a Ponca Language tutor, consultant and curriculum developer. Her aim is to share her stories far and wide, like seeds.
Plains Song Review, Small Farm Journal, United Plant Savers News, Lincoln Underground, Who Knew?Catskill Literary Journal, Common Root Collective, Walton Writers Works, www.bighorsewoman.com www.otherpeoplesghosts.com