Collection of Short Stories

Buckskin Cocaine

Buckskin Cocaine Book Cover | Erika T. Wurth

Erika T. Wurth’s Buckskin Cocaine is a wild, beautiful ride into the seedy underworld of Native American film. These are stories about men maddened by fame, actors desperate for their next buckskin gig, directors grown cynical and cruel, and dancers who leave everything behind in order to make it, only to realize at thirty that there is nothing left. Poetic and strange, Wurth’s characters and vivid language will burn themselves into your mind, and linger.

This is the raw stuff. The loud stuff. The hard stuff. The true stuff. It'll infect you in a way you won't realize at first, too. Not until days later, when you can't remember if you read this or you lived it. Trust me: you did both. ~Stephen Graham Jones, author of Ledfeather, Mongrels, The Gospel of Z
BUCKSKIN COCAINE is a big voicey chorus of drugs, sex, booze, movies, and most of all the drumbeat of want, need, and desire. ~Kyle Minor, author of Praying Drunk
Wurth is a master of brutal beauty and hypnotic prose. The characters in this collection are beasts driven mad by ego and desire, their collective humanity shimmering just beneath the surface. That humanity, struggling to shine through, only to be stomped down again and again will leave you shaken, haunted, unable to let go of the book. ~Andrea Kneeland, author of How to Pose for Hustler

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Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend

Crazy Horse's Girlfriend Book Cover | Erika T. Wurth

Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.

"Wurth captures the violence and terrifying instability of domestic abuse with gritty language and emotional appeal." ~Foreword Reviews
"A compelling and affecting look at the ineluctable awfulness of some teens’ lives." ~Booklist
"Wurth infuses her debut novel with impassioned teen spirit..." ~Kirkus Reviews
“Kudos to Wurth for producing a gripping and heart-wrenching narrative that is not only a must read for young adult and older readers, but also a wonderful addition to Native American literature.” ~Story Circle Reviews
"...Wurth has created a plethora of hardened teens and their means of survival in unforgiving conditions. The story's protagonist narrator is Margaritte, whose insistence on not becoming a loser truly earmarks her as an underdog, as she struggles to go against the grain of her impoverished society. The language Wurth uses, which includes Lakota terminology, is raw and visceral, reflecting just how tough these teens are, especially Margaritte. [...] Kudos to Wurth for producing a gripping and heart-wrenching narrative that is not only a must read for young adult and older readers, but also a wonderful addition to Native American literature." ~Story Circle Book Reviews
“Erika T. Wurth's first novel, Crazyhorse's Girlfriend, is gritty and tough and sad beyond measure; but is also contains startling, heartfelt moments of hope and love. In my opinion, a writer can't do much better than that.”
~Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time
"There's no horror flick or disaster movie scarier than a teenager's life. I found myself wanting to cover my eyes and shout, 'Girl, don't go there." while reading. Erika T. Wurth writes about a young woman's longing with such heart and soul, it made me want to cry.  Here she chronicles the poor with compassion and respect, and depicts their moments of joy with the only language worthy of such heights--poetry.  I hope this book is the first in a long series of this young woman's life.  If so, sign me up. I can't wait to read the next volume." ~Sandra Cisneros, author of House on Mango Street
"Tough, tender, and funny as hell, Erika T. Wurth’s unflinching debut novel ‘Crazyhorse’s Girlfriend' illuminates the grim world of Idaho Springs. Wurth’s raw, muscular writing takes the gritty story of a pregnant sixteen-year-old drug dealer and transforms bathos into a revelatory journey. Immensely compelling and readable. Couldn’t put it down." ~Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach
"Erika T. Wurth's first novel is a knockout -- packing a raw punch of emotional truth that makes an unforgettable impact. I fell for her narrator, the tough urban Native who is alternately wise-cracking and vulnerable, a smart, engaging witness with a big bad beautiful heart. Wurth made me care for everyone in these pages, singing a powerful honor song on behalf of our young people who are fighting their way through difficult times in order to survive. She writes with a voice of courageous, mesmerizing grace." ~Susan Power, author of Grassdancer

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Collections of Poetry

A Thousand Horses Out to Sea

A Thousand Horses Out to Sea

A Thousand Horses Out to Sea is a dark, feminine collection of poetry. There is song here, stomp dance and corrido and deep, sad lyricism. The poems range from prose to semi-narrative, but each one shows us a unique portrait of human life. Set mainly in desert Southwest, inside the glittering Indian city of Albuquerque, the lives in these poems are full of cruelty, beauty, and pain. This book is reveals the strange, intimate space that sex creates, and illuminates what happens when you try to reach towards something else, and transcend into beauty amidst the bruised flower of love.

In “A Thousand Horses Out to Sea” women with ‘Fists Clenched, Holding’ the intangible presence of memory that is more physical than real, question passages as their lives unfold. Images of fireflies, pool tables, ‘fingers together like angry, delicate flowers’ dance throughout the ’49 song that these poems of contemporary Native experience comprise. ~Linda Grover, author of The Road Back to Sweetgrass
In Wurth’s “A Thousand Horses Out to Sea,” there is a transcendence in her metaphors, something that is especially apparent in the poem “Ghosts Floating on the Flat White Bed,” where even powerlessness has its own glints of light. She writes fearlessly of resilience inherent in the human spirit, of tenderness, and of dualities we see in every day life wherever we are. ~Marianne Awegon Broyles, author of The Red Window
What a beautiful, redemptive book of poems Erika Wurth has written! This is a book of both narrative savvy and lyric beauty, a collection of poems that sounds like an intimate friend telling you all the right truths--including those you might not want to hear. But in this poet's capable hands, stories unfurl line by line, and you can't help but listen. Erika Wurth is the best kind of soothsayer, and spending time in her world is revelatory, full of "bright colors and the sounds of things colliding with the earth." What awesome collisions this poet makes for us! ~Allison Joseph, author of Worldly Pleasures

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Indian Trains

Indian Trains Photo

Indian Trains is about small town Indians, about community and family, about thieves, prostitutes, train stealers, drug dealers, loners, jerks, dreaming alcoholics, and the ones who did everything but all of that. It is about an entirely new tribe: urban mixed-bloods of multiple tribes who are respectful of where their ancestors have come from but are increasingly going to Indian powwows, Indian bars, and Urban Native organizations for cultural fulfillment rather than only returning to reservations to find out who they are. They are about 70 percent of the Indian population–the truly unsung peoples of America.

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Almost Like Children – Heavy Feather Review, 2016
Harlen Kurjo – South Dakota Review, 2016
Beautiful, Terrible Thing – Sententiabooks
Mason Snap – Literary Orphans
Wild, Animal Love – The Missing Slate
Kes Woodi – Contrary Magazine
Candy Francois – Split Lip Magazine
Freightrain – Southern California Review
Crazyhorse’s Girlfriend (short story version) – Stand Magazine
Colfax with the Sound Off – Bryant Literary Review
Redbone – Bryant Literary Review
How Ed Learned to Dance – Fiction Magazine
Whitehorse Love (short Story version) – Fiction Magazine
The Walker – The Raven Chronicles


The Dakota Access Pipeline, Running Through the Heart of Native American Invisibility – Apoge Journal, 2016

The Fourth Wave in Native American Fiction – The Writer’s Chronicle, 2016

The Fourth Wave – Waxwing, 2016

Introduction to Pariahs (anthology) – 2016

Native Art, Here We are, Where are We – Feminism for the Real World (anthology), 2016

Assimilation Makes us Sooo Happy – Guest blogger for Write all the Words!, 2015

Twenty-first Century Tiger Lily: Native Chicks and the F-Bomb – Four Winds Magazine, 2015

Dear Teen Me – Dear Teen Me, 2014

Weirdos, Writers and the Non-Crisis Mid-Twenties Crisis – Fulcrum Books

“Albuquerque and the Indian: Our Perception of Native Americans Needs to Change” – Alibi, 2014.

“Why We Need Diverse Books” – Publisher’s Weekly, 2014.

“Moving Towards Justice: New federal law addresses violence in Indian Country” – Alibi, 2014

“Mass Graves and the Impending Border Crisis” – Alibi, 2014.

“In-State Tuition for Natives about Fairness” – Boulder Camera, 2014.


Your Eyes to the Sun – Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, forthcoming.
Beasts at Her Feet –Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, forthcoming.
Arcing Towards the Sun – Dark Matter: Women Witnessing, forthcoming.
Cold and Tired Wind – Dark Matter: Women Witnessing, forthcoming.
Distant as a Planet – Hysteria, forthcoming.
Wild Blue Glory – Hysteria, forthcoming.
Ghosts Floating on the Flat White Bed – Rabbit and Rose, 2015.
Around My Neck – About Place, 2015.
That Small Wooden Box – Tin Cannon, 2015.
Long, Yellow and Stretching Lazily – Tin Cannon, 2015.
On North Beach – Toe Good Poetry
Faces Toward the Light – The Mas Tequila Review #7
Change From Behind Me – The Mas Tequila Review #7
Fists Clenched, Holding – As Us Journal
He Brought Me Down – As Us Journal
Dusty Redemption – Yellow Medicine Review
Smoke Billowing – Yellow Medicine Review
Receding Like the Wilderness in the Night – Cimarron Review
Until the Sun Rises – Drunken Boat
Like a Phoenix – The Florida Review
Oh, Cousin – New Poets of the American West
It’s 1966 – Red Ink Magazine
What I Know is the Fight – Lost Horse Press
Pressing Mattresses to Walls – 5AM Poetry
As Innocent as your Mother and Mine – 5AM Poetry
Fort Peck Girl – Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review
Colfax Reservation Television – Boulevard Magazine
(Re)Naming Me – University of Nebraska Press
Raven Gets a Kick out of You – American Indian Culture and Research Journal
Pastels Swimming Together – American Indian Culture and Research Journal