Paula Gunn Allen, Laguna Pueblo/Sioux/Scots/Lebanese poet, philosopher, scholar, and teacher, was born in Cubero, New Mexico, in 1939. She received her doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 1976; her dissertation evolved into a major work of cultural criticism, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Two volumes of her poetry, Skins and Bones and Life Is a Fatal Disease, were published by West End Press. She completed the manuscript for this book a week before her death on May 29, 2008 in Fort Bragg, California.
America the Beautiful: Last Poemsby Paula Gunn Allen
"These poems, written in the last decade of Paula Gunn Allen's life, capture the variety, ingenuity, and complexity of this beloved and influential Native American critic and poet. In her lexicon, what makes America beautiful may come as a surprise: its horrors confront its hopefulness, its absurdities challenge its promise. A powerful, sustained lyrical and… See more details below
"These poems, written in the last decade of Paula Gunn Allen's life, capture the variety, ingenuity, and complexity of this beloved and influential Native American critic and poet. In her lexicon, what makes America beautiful may come as a surprise: its horrors confront its hopefulness, its absurdities challenge its promise. A powerful, sustained lyrical and narrative sequence written in the midst of political and personal catastrophe, Allen's last book is at once a bonfire made up of the ruins of civilization, a call for one more effort to set things right, and a gift to us all from this fertile and generous writer." "Paula Gunn Allen was one of the most important voices in Native American literature and criticism. Her posthumous America the Beautiful is an eloquent and poignant tribute to the land and people she loved. In Part I she not only describes the beauty and power of nature, but she also fiercely warns of the danger it faces. Part II includes personal poems on topics such as her own Hubris, seeing herself as a bridge for others, and the excruciating pain of losing two sons. A forceful and touching book, America the Beautiful reminds us of what is important in the world and life.ûLaVonne Ruoff, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago" "America the Beautiful is a tour de force from one of Native America's most influential women writers. Paula Gunn Allen not only riffs on the madness of America's story, she allows her indomitable humor to show through: "I want to ask the trees if they're wishing they could move." America the Beautiful is a must read, must have, must teach, must re-read again, and again. At a time when those of us who knew Paula and her genius miss her most, her poetry comes to the rescue. In the dance of lines she writes, "all's cool the ends."-ûLeAnne Howe, Choctaw; Professor, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign" Every blue moon or so, America gets a truly original poetûWalt Whitman, Marianne Moore, W.C. Williams, Allen Ginsberg. Paula Gunn Allen is one of 1 these true Americans. A maverick in her genuinely kind heart. A princess in her finely funky mind. A dancing bard in her soul. We shall not see her like for another generation. Read these poems with delight and wonder. It's how she lived, and died. I miss Paula down to the sorry bones of my being.-Kenneth Lincoln, La Cieneguilla, New Mexico.
- West End Press
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- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
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