American contemporary art pioneer Henry Niese has work in the Whitney Museum and The Corcoran Gallery. His friends include Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and William Carlos Williams. Niese has also immersed himself in the Lakota Sioux culture and its Sundance tradition. That ceremony takes place over four days and involves fasting, personal sacrifice and, in some cases, ritual piercing. In his new book, The Medicine is Sacred (published by local press Logosophia), Niese — who, at 89, still participates in Sundances — describes the rituals and offers a glimpse into the spiritual practice. He reads at Malaprop’s on Sunday, June 8, at 3 p.m. malaprops.com.