Visit Teepee Town: Native Writings After the Detours

Overview

Coffee House Press invites readers into the world of Native American postmodern poetry in a groundbreaking anthology sampling the work of twenty-two authors who lead us into new conceptual terrain. Visit Teepee Town is the first anthology dedicated solely to postmodern North American Native poetry and poetics. The works selected here resist established methodologies of defining indigenous aesthetics, and include bilingual texts, reinterpretations of traditional tales, and critiques of the Western tradition in ...

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Overview

Coffee House Press invites readers into the world of Native American postmodern poetry in a groundbreaking anthology sampling the work of twenty-two authors who lead us into new conceptual terrain. Visit Teepee Town is the first anthology dedicated solely to postmodern North American Native poetry and poetics. The works selected here resist established methodologies of defining indigenous aesthetics, and include bilingual texts, reinterpretations of traditional tales, and critiques of the Western tradition in anthropology and the social sciences.

The collection features both new and established authors, including James Thomas Stevens, Lise McCloud, Gerald Vizenor, James Luna, Rosemarie Waldrop, Carolyn Lei-lanilau, Barbara Tedlock, Linda Hogan, Wendy Rose, Maurice Kenny, Hachavi Edgar Heap of Birds, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Victoria Lena Manyarrows, Besmilr Brigham, Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, Diane Glancy, Phil Young, Larry Evers and Felipe Molina, Juan Felipe Herrera, Greg Sarris, Peter Blue Cloud, and Louise Bernice Halfe.

Certain to spark lively debate in the classroom and beyond, Visit Teepee Town sidesteps the roadblocks and knocks down the barricades that have limited contemporary criticism and poetry. A revival of the magic of sound and oral tradition, Visit Teepee Town redefines contemporary and postmodern poetry and poetics as it leads readers to the Teepee Town at the end of the mind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
You think of us only/ when your voice/ wants for roots,/ when you have sat back/ on your heels/ and become primitive," declares Wendy Rose in "For the White Poets Who Would Be Indian," and her sardonic attitude sums up the collective tone of this uncompromising anthology. Though there have been numerous collections of Native American poetry, poets Glancy Flutie; The Cold-and-Hunger Dance, and Nowak, editor of the journal Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics, and a professor at The College of St. Catherine's in Minnesota, have assembled work that goes far beyond a dreary poetics of indignation. The best of these move toward the reappropriation of Indian including Hawai'ian languages and modes, as in "Tokinish" by James Thomas Stevens/ Aronhictas: "Call this imprint: Qunnama gsuck--the first that come in the Spring into the fresh Rivers." Provocative essays on poetics by Greg Sarris and Gerald Vizenor are engaging and accessible, and will work well on cultural studies reading lists. The inclusion of popular writers such as Sherman Alexie and Linda Hogan will help expose an existing audience to some startling new voices, such as those of Allison Adele Hedge Coke and Lisa McCloud: "On my initial do-it-yourself adolescent vision quest I heard the elm trees talking. `Aneeb. Aneeb. Aneeb.' They never said a thing to me in English." "Mixed American Pak" These are Indians with attitude, and this collection has the potential to foster a radical reimagining of Native poetries. June Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
In her preface, Glancy speaks of "those voices built on an absence of place and identity." She is referring to the scattering of tribes and dilution of their culture that led to a "rumbling silence." And out of that silence came new voices of survivors, the ones who rediscovered their origins through language and song. According to Glancy, this collection takes a more "relationist stance," compared to previous anthologies solely devoted to Native American writers. She includes pieces by a Chicano writer on his meetings with the Mayan Indians, translations of Yaqui Coyote songs and a piece on language inspired by the Narragansett tribe. Although most writings are poems, there are some essays, trickster tales, prose poems and chants. She pays tribute to the strong oral tradition (where most of these pieces have their origins) and encourages the reader to hear the voice behind the printed words. Included are better known writers like Linda Hogan and Glancy herself, and ones lesser known like Marie Annharte Baker. Hogan's piece, "Elk Song," describes the thoughtless slaughter of animals for sport and how this act leads to a kind of death for humans as well: "behind the dark trunks of trees/ the gone elk have pulled the hide of earth/ tight and they are drumming/ back the woodland" Some pieces require our loosening of concepts about what is "right language," especially in translated pieces. Larry Evers and Felipe Molina's "Sontao Ya'uchin" is taken from the Yaqui song tradition. These are coyote songs performed to evoke the spirits who protect their tribe. The singer accompanies himself on drums. The song appears on facing pages, in the Yaqui language and in English, in stanzas thatindent with each line, resembling stairs or maybe the receding shelves of cliffs. The Yaqui version should be read aloud to feel the full impact of the song. This collection is rich in its diversity: stories of tricksters, chants, visions of retribution and reclamation. Because of Glancy's careful and respectful selection and her passion for authenticity, the pieces together proclaim an identity, once lost, now slowly finding itself by going back. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1999, Coffee House Press, 372p, 23cm, 98-52208, $17.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Sue E. Budin; YA Libn., Ann Arbor P.L., Ann Arbor, MI, May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566890847
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

A poet and labor activist heralded by Adrienne Rich for "regenerating the rich tradition of working-class literature," Mark Nowak regularly leads transnational poetry workshops between American and international trade unions. The author of Revenants and Shut Up Shut Down, he has also been a contributor to the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog.

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