The beginning of the twenty-first century marks the maturation of the voices of indigenous poets in the United States. Norma Wilson's appealing and accessible collection of essays is both an introduction to and an enthusiastic celebration of the poetic vistas inhabited by modern Native American writers. Wilson's scope is both broad and specific as she draws from contemporary criticism, tribal histories and folklore, interviews with writers, and, of course, from the poetry itself. Her study is firmly grounded in the oral traditions and personal and tribal histories of the eight poets on whom she focuses. At the same time, Wilson's broad understanding of the literary heritage of East, West, and First nations allows her to place Native American poetry in global and historical context. Wilson points out Native American writers have been influenced by such well known Western 'canon' poets as Blake, Whitman, and Ginsberg. Her study further elucidates the clear mark that Native American literature, culture, and oral-poetic traditions have left on five centuries of British and American literature. This is a guidebook mapping the modern rhythms of our ancient literary landscape.
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 245 g
Dimensions: 230 x 155 x 10 mm
"Norma C. Wilson's introduction to the present state of Native American poetry appears at an appropriate moment, when a new millennium and a substantial body of evidence suggest that some stock can be taken in our judgment of what might be called the older generation of Native American poets, those who were born in the 1930s and 1940s and achieved their critical reputations in the last quarter of the twentieth century. . . . She is to be congratulated for having written a book, which actually can be read. It probably will not appear particularly sophisticated to those academics who seem to regard literary discussion as a self-indulgent excuse for mutual incomprehensibility, but those readers who really want and deserve a convenient introduction to what makes Native American poets unique and yet situated within a larger poetic and cultural tradition will owe a debt of gratitude to Norma Wilson for providing it."
a . . . illuminating and reader-friendly . . . a
"This book serves as a usable addition to the growing list of studies in a flourishing area of contemporary literature."