Cover image for Dancing on the rim of the world : an anthology of contemporary Northwest native American writing
Dancing on the rim of the world : an anthology of contemporary Northwest native American writing
Lerner, Andrea, 1954-
Publication Information:
Tucson : Sun Tracks : University of Arizona Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
xix, 266 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS508.I5 D3 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS508.I5 D3 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This first anthology devoted to Native American writings from the Pacific Northwest gathers the work of thirty-four artists who testify to the vibrancy of its native cultures. The 137 selections--prose as well as poetry--represent works of such well-known authors as James Welch, Duane Niatum, and Mary TallMountain, and also showcase many lesser-known writers at the start of their careers.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The native American Northwest is defined not by state lines but by geography, language, and sense of place. This vision of a region existing beyond the boundaries imposed by whites is a key to the spirit of this anthology of poetry and short prose. The contributors live in an America within America--the old world of native American culture and its frictional interface with modern mainstream society. The mix of established and emerging writers also supports the claim that this literary tradition is vibrant and healthy. The "elders" include Mary TallMountain, Duane Niatum, Gladys Cardiff, James Welch, and Janet Campbell Hale. Some notable newcomers are Crystos, Dian Millon, Jim ~Barnes, and Robert Davis. Nature is full of secrets, and the past is very much alive in many of the poems and stories while the voices are truth-seeking, haunted, introspective, and angry. Brief biographies and photographs of the writers add a personal dimension to this eye-opening selection. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lerner claims that this anthology of prose and poems by 34 writers is an attempt to represent ``the continuity of American Indian culture, art, and literature'' and renounce ``the myth of `lost' Indian culture.'' However, because the editor fails to define what the elements of this tradition are or to examine the question of continuity between an oral tradition and a written one, the attempt does not succeed. Many of the writers collected here practice forms of poetry that are largely structured on European models. The poet that's the only name she has/pk Chrystos, on the other hand, who describes herself as ``proudly uneducated,'' exemplifies resistance against Anglo culture and political domination: ``Everything the United States does to everybody is bad / No this US is not a good idea yep, no period,apparently she's against punctuation too/pk We declare you terminated.'' Other poets, such as Phil George, employ techniques that allude to an oral tradition: repeating rhymes, list-making and call-and-response. Whatever its shortcomings, this is, nevertheless, a variegated anthology that gathers a wide range of Native American voices. Lerner is a doctoral student in comparative American literature. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved