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Donna M. Loring Lecture Series

Annual lecture series which addresses current or historic Native American or aboriginal issues, indigenous rights, as well as women’s issues, civil rights, and issues of fairness and equality as they overlap with the concerns of tribal peoples.

Upcoming Lectures

A Reading by Morgan Talty, author of Night of the Living Rez

October 5, 2023 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
St. Francis Room, Ketchum Library, UNE Biddeford Campus
Free and open to the public; refreshments provided
Free books available for UNE students with student ID (while supplies last)
Event will be recorded as well as livestreamed on

Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation. His debut short story collection, Night of the Living Rez, won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the American Academy of Arts & Letters Sue Kaufman Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the New England Book Award, and the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Honor; was a New York Times Best Book of Summer 2022; and was a Finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Story Prize. His writing has appeared in The Georgia ReviewGranta, ShenandoahTriQuarterlyNarrativeLit Hub, and elsewhere. His novel, Fire, Exit, is forthcoming from Tin House. Talty is an assistant professor of English in Creative Writing and Native American and Contemporary Literature at the University of Maine, Orono, and he is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing as well as the Institute of American Indian Arts. He lives in Levant, Maine.

About Donna Loring

close-up black and white headshot of Donna Loring.
Donna Loring

Author and legislator Donna Loring grew up on Indian Island and graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a B.A. in political science. Loring is a Vietnam veteran, her professional background is in law enforcement, and she is a graduate of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. She was the first woman police academy graduate to become police chief in the state of Maine and served as the police chief for the Penobscot Nation during the 1980s. Loring was appointed aide de camp to then-governor Angus King and was advisor to the governor on women veterans’ affairs.

Donna Loring served as the Penobscot Nations Representative to the Maine State Legislature from 1998-2003, and again from 2007-2008. During her legislative career, Loring authored and sponsored LD 291 An Act to Require Teaching Maine Native American History and Culture in Maines Schools, which was signed into law in 2001.The law is changing the way Maine views its history.

Loring’s 2008 book, In the Shadow of the Eagle (DownEast Books, 2023) chronicles her experiences as the tribal representative to the State Legislature. In 2011, Donna M. Loring received the Deborah Morton Award from the University of New England, which is awarded to women whose leadership in civic, cultural or social causes has been exceptional. Loring received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maine in 2017. In 2019, Governor Janet Mills appointed Loring as Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs to the Governor. In addition to her work in law enforcement and public service, Donna M. Loring is a widely published author who continues to explore new ways to share Wabanaki culture and history with diverse audiences.

The Maine Women Writers Collection acquired Loring’s personal and literary papers in 2009. This acquisition is the first given by a Native American woman to the University’s collections. Loring’s papers enrich the research potential of the MWWC and broaden our collections to represent the varied life experiences of women authors from significant yet traditionally underrepresented groups.

The Donna M. Loring Lecture will be endowed by a generous planned gift by Joanne Murphy, who was Donna Loring’s Commanding Officer during her service in the Vietnam War. If you are interested in making a gift to fund the Donna M. Loring Lecture, please contact Michael Manning in Institutional Advancement.