A Brief History of Wordcraft Circle

Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers was founded in 1992 by Lee Francis III after attending the first Returning the Gift gathering of Native writers and storytellers in Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Francis wanted to honor the memory of a former student who had passed away during the gathering by creating an organization that would continue to promote the work of Native American writers and storytellers. Throughout the 1990′s, Dr. Francis helped promote the work of numerous Native American and Indigenous writers, both emerging and professional, throughout North and South America. Writers such as Joseph Bruchac, Dianne Glancy, MariJo Moore, Chris Eyre, and E.K. Caldwell were all a part of the organization during it’s first decade. For over ten years, Wordcraft connected hundreds of Native writers in gatherings throughout the U.S. In 2003, Dr. Francis passed away after a short struggle with cancer and the organization was inherited by Dr. Kimberly Roppolo and Lee Francis IV.

In 2010, Lee Francis IV was appointed the full-time National Director and President of the Board to continue his father’s legacy and further the work of Native writers and storytellers throughout the world!