Cover image for Speak to me words : essays on contemporary American Indian poetry
Speak to me words : essays on contemporary American Indian poetry
Rader, Dean.
Publication Information:
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 294 pages ; 25 cm
Introduction : generations and emanations / Dean Rader, Janice Gould -- Poems as maps in American Indian women's writing / Janice Gould -- Situating American Indian poetry : place, community, and the question of genre / Eric Gary Anderson -- Daydreaming primal space : Cherokee aesthetics as habits of being / Marilou Awiakta -- Beloved Woman returns : the doubleweaving of homeland and identity in the poetry of Marilou Awiakta / Daniel Heath Justice -- The power and presence of native oral storytelling traditions in the poetry of Marilou Awiakta, Kimberly Blaeser, and Marilyn Dumont / Susan Berry Brill de Ramrez -- Ain't seen you since : dissent among female relatives in American Indian women's poetry / Patricia Clark Smith -- The epic lyric : genre and contemporary American Indian poetry / Dean Rader -- Answering the deer : genocide and continuance in the poetry of American Indian women / Paula Gunn Allen -- The style of the times in Paula Gunn Allen's poetry / Elaine A. Jahner -- Herbs of healing : American values in American Indian literature / Carter Revard -- Carter Revard's angled mirrors / Janet McAdams -- "Dawn is a good word" : naming an emergent motif of contemporary native American poetry / Robert M. Nelson -- Call me brother : two-spiritness, the erotic, and mixedblood identity as sites of sovereignty and resistance in Gregory Scofield's poetry / Qwo-Li Driskill -- Song/poetry and language---expression and perception / Simon J. Ortiz.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS153.I52 S64 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Although American Indian poetry is widely read and discussed, few resources have been available that focus on it critically. This book is the first collection of essays on the genre, bringing poetry out from under the shadow of fiction in the study of Native American literature.

Speak to Me Words is a stimulating blend of classic articles and original pieces that reflect the energy of modern American Indian literary studies. Highlighting various aspects of poetry written by American Indians since the 1960s, it is a wide-ranging collection that balances the insights of Natives and non-Natives, men and women, old and new voices. Included here are such landmark articles as "Answering the Deer" by Paula Gunn Allen, "Herbs of Healing" by Carter Revard, and "Song, Poetry and Language--Expression and Perception" by Simon Ortiz--all pieces that have shaped how we think about Native poetry. Among the contributions appearing for the first time are Elaine Jahner writing on Paula Gunn Allen's use of formal structures; Robert Nelson addressing pan-Indian tropes of emergence, survival, return, and renewal; and Janet McAdams focusing on Carter Revard's "angled mirrors." Although many Native writers may disregard distinctions between genres, together these writings help readers see the difference between American Indian poetry and other forms of Native literature.

These essays are as broad, encompassing, and provocative as Native poetry itself, branching off from and weaving back into one another. In showing how American Indian poetry redefines our social order and articulates how Indian communities think about themselves, these writers establish a new foundation for the study--and enjoyment--of this vital art.

Author Notes

Dean Rader is Assistant Professor of English at the University of San Francisco. Poet The poems of Janice Gould have appeared in journals and anthologies and were published in a collection Beneath My Heart in 1990. She was recently awarded a Ford Fellowship for her work on American Indian women's poetry. Now living in Albuquerque, Gould has taught at the College of Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico.