NORMAN - Native and indigenous writers converged on the University of Oklahoma campus 25 years ago to celebrate and showcase their works. At that time, event organizers created the Returning the Gift literary festival to ensure that these writers would continue to support each other and foster new literary talent year after year.

Since its inception in 1992, many names have graced the festival with their powerful words. Writers such as Joy Harjo, Joseph Bruchac, and Simon Ortiz were there in the beginning, and they will present their work this year at the 25th Anniversary Returning the Gift - Gathering at Our Head Waters - Literary Conference, Oct. 8-11 at the University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education complex in Norman, Okla.

This year's conference will include, among others, Arigon Starr, Tim Tingle, Carter Revard, and Linda Hogan as featured writers. In addition, over 50 presentations will include panel discussions, readings, and films during the four-day event. There will also be a Young Writers' Workshop, which will engage students of the Riverside Indian School from Anadarko, Okla.

The first day of the festival will include Choctaw and Kiowa artist Steven Paul Judd, who will perform a live painting during a reading by Leanne Howe on Sunday evening. Festival attendants will also take part in the University of Oklahoma's Indigenous People's Day Ceremony on the morning of Monday, Oct. 9, followed with a talk by Acoma Pueblo poet and original Returning the Gift attendee Simon Ortiz.

Activities on Tuesday, Oct. 10, will feature panels, readings and presentations throughout the day. The evening will feature the Native Writers Circle of the Americans banquet that will honor the late Dakota poet and activist John Trudell and the late Anishinaabe writer Jim Northrup. Diane Glancy, Alison Hedge Coke, and Duane Niatum will receive the Annual Lifetime Achievement award for the years of 2014-2017. The festival will continue through closing ceremonies at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Go to for the complete list of presenters and registration information.

For further information, contact Dr. Barbara Hobson at 405-821-5491 or email