On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions

On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions

by Jim Barnes
     
 

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On Native Ground takes us from Jim Barnes’s boyhood in rural southeastern Oklahoma during the Great Depression and World War II through his mature years as an internationally recognized poet. Of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, Barnes is often identified as a Native American poet. He emphasizes his desire to be recognized for his art, not his blood. Yet he

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Overview

On Native Ground takes us from Jim Barnes’s boyhood in rural southeastern Oklahoma during the Great Depression and World War II through his mature years as an internationally recognized poet. Of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, Barnes is often identified as a Native American poet. He emphasizes his desire to be recognized for his art, not his blood. Yet he speaks eloquently here of his attachment to his “native ground,” the Choctaw region in Oklahoma—for him “the land where memory dwells.” This edition features a new postscript by the author.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
From the simplicity of life in rural Oklahoma in the years surrounding World War II to the lyrical beauty of a villa in the Italian countryside, Barnes paints pictures of his life in essays and poetry. Of Welsh and Choctaw heritage, he is an issish ibakaha, a mixed-blood, equally at home in both cultures but refusing to be defined by either. Raised in and around several small towns, he offers recollections of places and events that convey beautifully a sense of history and way of life shared by much of rural America in the Thirties and Forties. The second half of his book focuses on his development as a poet and essayist and submersion in world literature. While nostalgic for a simpler time and place, he is also clearly enervated by and enamored of the writers of Europe and of his teaching. His goal of being recognized for his art rather than his blood is well on its way to being achieved in this memoir.-Lisa A. Mitten, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806140926
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
08/03/2009
Series:
American Indian Literature Series
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Jim Barnes is retired as Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Cora Barnes McKown, currently reside in Atoka, Oklahoma, on the McKown family ranch, and in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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