An Appeal for Paula Gunn Allen

The Paula Gunn Allen Fund has just been established to provide financial assistance to Paula, whose car, double-wide trailer, clothes, appliances, books, and papers burned in a fire in mid-October.

Evidently, some oily rags, stored in a shed on her newly built deck, ignited and burned her house and car. Paula, who was in the house when the fire started, suffered smoke inhalation and was briefly hospitalized after the fire. Two weeks later, her landlady found Paula unconscious on the floor of her temporary apartment. Hospitalized again, Paula was in a coma for at least six days and in the hospital for two weeks. Since returning to her apartment, she has responded well to physical and lung therapy and her spirits are better than they have been in some time. As of today, she can walk ten steps without a cane.

This has been a hard year for Paula. Just before the fire, she had successfully completed radiation therapy for lung cancer, which doctors found in its early stages. The treatment, however, debilitated her.

Paula has given us all so much over the years through her creative and scholarly writing and her direction of the 1977 NEH-MLA Summer Seminar in Native American Literature. Your donation can help her rebuild her life.

Send your donation to The Paula Gunn Allen Fund, Account No. 0129540739, Bank of America, 228 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. (Include "The," which is part of the fund's legal name). The donation is not tax deductible.

Paula also needs copies of books containing her essays or poems because hers burned in the fire. Fortunately, she had deposited most of her papers in the library of the University of Oregon several years before the fire.

Receiving notes and cards from her Native literature colleagues will lighten her spirit. Mail can reach her at 5601/2 North McPherson Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. She will probably be at this address for at least the next six weeks, until her lot is cleared of debris and a different trailer is placed there.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me. Patricia Smith and others are planning some events to help raise funds. I will inform you about these as plans are finalized.

For health reasons, I am not coming to MLA this year. Happy holidays.



A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff
Professor Emerita of English

University of Illinois at Chicago
Home Address: 300 Forest Avenue Oak Park, IL 60302-2012
Home phone: 708-848-9292; Home fax:708-848-9308


Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Creative Writing, IAIA
83 Avan Nu Po Road.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508

505-424-2365 office

1 comment:

Jude said...

Dearest sweet Paula, I only just learned of the house fire and your health problems and am so very sorry. I have some of your first editions and some other works that I can send to you along with a donation. I will need your current address to ship them. Special blessings to you dear strong woman. Our spirits are with you.
Love, Judith Mountain-Leaf Volborth