Until now, the study of American Indian literature has tended to concentrate on contemporary writing. Although the field has grown rapidly, early works--especially poetry--remain mostly unknown and inaccessible. Changing Is Not Vanishing simultaneously reinvents the early history of American Indian literature and the history of American poetry by presenting a vast but forgotten archive of American Indian poems. Through extensive archival research in small-circulation newspapers and magazines, manuscripts, pamphlets, rare books, and scrapbooks, Robert Dale Parker has uncovered the work of more than 140 early Indian poets who wrote before 1930. Changing Is Not Vanishing includes poems by 82 writers and provides a full bibliography of all the poets Parker has identified--most of them unknown even to specialists in Indian literature.
Here's the myth: Native Americans are people of great spiritual depth, in touch with the rhythms of the earth, rhythms that they celebrate through drumming and dancing. They love the great outdoors and are completely in tune with the natural world. They can predict the weather by glancing at the sky, or hearing a crow cry, or somehow. Who knows exactly how? The point of the myth is that Indians are, well, special. Different from white people, but in a good way. The four young male Native American poets whose work is brought together in this startling collection would probably raise high their middle fingers in salute to this myth. These guys and "guys" they are-don't buy into the myth. Their poems aren't about hunting and fishing or bonding with animal spirits. Their poems are about urban decay and homelessness, about loneliness and despair, about Payday Loans and 40-ounce beers, about getting enough to eat and too much to drink. And there is nothing romantic about their poetry, either. It is written in the vernacular of mean streets: often raw and coarse and vulgar, just like the lives it describes. Sure, they write about life on the reservation. However, for the Indians in their poems, life on the reservation is a lot like life in the city, but without the traffic. These poets are sick to death of the myth. You can feel it in their poems. These poets are bound by a common attitude as well as a common heritage. All four-Joel Waters, Steve Pacheco, Luke Warm Water, and Trevino L. Brings Plenty-are Sioux, and all four identify themselves as "Skins" (as in "Redskins"). In their poems, they grapple with their heritage, wrestling with what it means to be a Sioux and a Skin today. It's a fight to the finish.
This is a book about poetry: about its sacred underpinnings, its broad presence in everyday life, and its necessity to the human community. Reading the Voice examines poetry's abiding importance among Native Americans from ancient times to the present. It also seeks connections between an ancient tribal way of making and diffusing poetry and more recent print-oriented or electronic means. Drawing on years of experience with Seneca and Navajo singers and storytellers, Paul Zoibrod offers an introductory framework for appreciating what can be called America's first literature and for reevaluating the Western literary heritage. He states,'I consider this work a tentative first step in reconciling mainstream America with the deep poetic roots of an unwritten aboriginal past, and perhaps even with the deeper European roots of its own poetic traditions.'To do so effectively, however, readers must first reexamine assumptions about what poetry and literature really are. Those who come to Native American'literature'in print must do so conscious of the dynamic sounds of speech and song by'reading the voice,'instead of merely looking at a silent sheet of paper full of alphabetical symbols. By doing otherwise we stand to miss much that is essential to the verbal art of indigenous peoples whom print cultures approach from an alien perspective.
This book is about America, Americans, and Native Americans. Particularly it is about twentieth-century poets who have sought to bring their notions of the three together to create something new—new poetry, new consciousness, a New World.
Native-American Literature by Gerald R. Vizenor; Ishmael Reed (Editor)
Call Number: PS508.I5 N37 1995
Publication Date: 1997-01-07
Library Reference Resource about the subject matter. This is a print book.
This critical edition delivers a unique and comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Vera was at the forefront of residential school writing and did groundbreaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of Canada's Indian residential schools, Vera Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing. She became a grassroots leader addressing the need to bring to light the stories of survivors, their journeys of healing, and the therapeutic value of writing and performing arts. A collaboration by four Indigenous writers and scholars steeped in values of Indigenous ethics and editing practices, the volume features Manuel's most famous play,'Strength of Indian Women'—first performed in 1992 and still one of the most important literary works to deal with the trauma of residential schools—along with an assemblage of plays, written between the late 1980s until Manuel's untimely passing in 2010, that were performed but never before published. The volume also includes three previously unpublished short stories written in 1988, poetry written over three decades in a variety of venues, and a 1987 college essay that draws on family and community interviews on the effects of residential schools.