James Welch (writer) bigraphy, stories - American writer

James Welch (writer) : biography

November 18, 1940 - August 4, 2003

James Welch (November 18, 1940–August 4, 2003), was an award-winning U.S. author and poet. URL last accessed July 11, 2007. Welch is considered a founding author of the Native American Renaissance. His novel Fools Crow received several National Literary awards.

Welch received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas in 1997.



  • Winter in the Blood (1974)
  • The Death of Jim Loney (1979)
  • Fools Crow (1986)
  • The Indian Lawyer (1990)
  • The Heartsong of Charging Elk (2000)


James Welch was born in Browning, Montana on November 18, 1940. His father was a member of the Blackfeet tribe and his mother a member of the Gros Ventre tribe; both also had Irish ancestry. As a child, Welch attended schools on the Blackfoot and Fort Belknap reservations.

Welch attended the University of Montana, where he studied under the author Richard Hugo and began his writing career. URL last accessed July 17, 2007 Welch was at the University of Montana when his writing career began in earnest, leading to the creation of works that would establish his place in the Native American Renaissance literary movement. URL last accessed on July 11, 2007

Welch taught at the University of Washington and at Cornell, as well as serving on the Parole Board of the Montana Prisons Systems and on the Board of Directors of the Newberry Library D'Arcy McNickle Center. URL last accessed July 17, 2007.

Welch and Paul Stekler co-wrote the Emmy Award-winning American Experience documentary, Last Stand at Little Bighorn, shown on PBS. URL last accessed July 11, 2007 Together they also wrote the history Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians (1994).

When Winter in the Blood was reprinted in 2007, it included an introduction by Louise Erdrich, who wrote: It "is a central and inspiring text to a generation of western regional and Native American writers, including me."

Welch died at his home in Missoula, Montana in 2003. URL last accessed July 11, 2007


  • American Book Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Pacific Northwest Book Award. Fools Crow (1986)
  • Emmy Award. Last Stand at Little Bighorn. Documentary.
  • Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award (1997), accessed 6 Aug 2010.
  • Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France Minister of Culture (2000)


  • Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians


  • Riding the Earthboy 40 (1971 rpt. 1975)
  • Last Stand at Little Bighorn
  • Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat
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