John Smelcer Indian Giver

ISBN 13: 9781935248804

Indian Giver

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"Poetry at its most satirical and courageous. A tremendous book."—Seamus Heaney

"Few voices in American literature are so honest and daring."—Mark Strand

"One of our most brilliant poets."—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

"I feel the primal grain and temper of the genuine here."—William Heyen

"A lament, a protest, an inextinguishable song."—Sherod Santos

"Among the best and most original poets in America."—Stanley Kunitz

"Nothing short of splendid."—Robert Nazarene

"The kind of energy found in the poems of William Carlos Williams and Gary Snyder."—Joseph Bruchac

These poems tell harsh truths of hopelessness and genocide. The confusion of children whose religion is forbidden; the ironic poverty of a lottery winner; an alternate American history in which Columbus turns and sails away—in deceptively simple language, we hear the protest of survivors. "'Indian' is not a derogatory word. It's what we call ourselves."

AFTER A SERMON AT THE CHURCH OF INFINITE CONFUSION

At ten, Mary Caught-in-Between
came home from sunday school,
told every animal and bird and fish
they couldn't talk anymore,
told her drum it couldn't sing anymore,
told her feet they couldn't dance anymore,
told her words they weren't words anymore,
told Raven and Coyote they weren't gods anymore,
said god was a starving white man
with long hair and blue eyes and a beard
who no one loved enough to save
when they nailed him to a totem pole.

John Smelcer has written over forty books of poetry and prose. He is a member of the Alaskan Ahtna tribe.

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About the Author:

John Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and the author of more than forty books, including the recent young adult novels Lone Wolves, Edge of Nowhere, and Savage Mountain (Leapfrog Press, 2013, 2014, 2015). He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna. John holds degrees in anthropology and archaeology, linguistics, literature, and education. He also holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Binghamton University, and formerly chaired the Alaska Native Studies program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

His first novel, The Trap, was an American Library Association BBYA Top Ten Pick, a VOYA Top Shelf Selection, and a New York Public Library Notable Book. The Great Death was short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Award, and nominated for the National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England), and the American Library Association’s Award for American Indian YA Literature. His Alaska Native mythology books include The Raven and the Totem (introduced by Joseph Campbell). His short stories, poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, and he is winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation, which was nominated for a Pulitzer. John divides his time between a cabin in Talkeetna, the climbing capitol of Alaska, where he wrote much of Lone Wolves, and Kirksville Mo., where he is a visiting scholar in the Department of Communications Studies at Truman State University.

Awards
John Smelcer is the winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation, which was nominated for a Pulitzer.

Lone Wolves was chosen for ALA's Amelia Bloomer book list.
Edge of Nowhere is on the Alaska Library Association's 2014 Battle of the Books list.

The Great Death
Nominated for The National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England), and the American Library Association's Award for American Indian YA Literature
Listed along with The Incredible Journey as one of the greatest adventure stories in The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature (foreword by Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked)
Short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Book Award for Children's Literature.

Review:

Smelcer’s work is devoted to the double convictions of writing against mainstream culture from a Native American perspective and refuting the stereotypes of old westerns.... A poignant, discomfiting, necessary collection.-- Booklist, review by Diego Báez
"Many of the poems are carefully crafted, with the deft brush strokes of an artist.... Others seem almost causal and quick; as if they were images taken on the fly...instantly inspired, quick, rough edged and brutally funny.... Smelcer’s poems are for the taking, and he doesn’t want them back. They’re ours to keep with their satire, outrageously dark humor, and healing doses of pain." --Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch



Smelcer’s work is devoted to the double convictions of writing against mainstream culture from a Native American perspective and refuting the stereotypes of old westerns . A poignant, discomfiting, necessary collection.-- Booklist, review by Diego Báez
"Many of the poems are carefully crafted, with the deft brush strokes of an artist . Others seem almost causal and quick; as if they were images taken on the fly instantly inspired, quick, rough edged and brutally funny . Smelcer’s poems are for the taking, and he doesn’t want them back. They’re ours to keep with their satire, outrageously dark humor, and healing doses of pain." --Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch

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