He has been out there somewhere for a while now, a poet at large in America.
Simon Ortiz, one of our finest living poets, has been a witness, participant, and observer of interactions between the Euro-American cultural world and that of his Native American people for many years. In this collection of haunting new work, he confronts moments and instances of his personal pastand finds redemption in the wellspring of his culture.
A writer known for deeply personal poetry, Ortiz has produced perhaps his most personal work to date. In a collage of journal entries, free-verse poems, and renderings of poems in the Acoma language, he draws on life experiences over the past ten yearsrecalling time spent in academic conferences and writers' colonies, jails and detox centersto convey something of the personal and cultural history of dislocation. As an American Indian artist living at times on the margins of mainstream culture, Ortiz has much to tell about the trials of alcoholism, poverty, displacement. But in the telling he affirms the strength of Native culture even under the most adverse conditions and confirms the sustaining power of Native beliefs and connections: "With our hands, we know the sacred earth. / With our spirits, we know the sacred sky."
Like many of his fellow Native Americans, Ortiz has been "out there somewhere"Portland and San Francisco, Freiburg, Germany, and Martiniqueaway from his original homeland, culture, and community. Yet, as these works show, he continues to be absolutely connected socially and culturally to Native identity: "We insist that we as human cultural beings must always have this connection," he writes, "because it is the way we maintain a Native sense of existence." Drawing on this storehouse of places, times, and events, Out There Somewhere is a rich fusion taking readers into the heart and soul of one of today's most exciting and original American poets.
|Publisher:||University of Arizona Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.44(d)|
About the Author
Poet, fiction writer, essayist, and storyteller Simon Ortiz is a native of Acoma Pueblo and is the author of numerous books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This collection of Simon Ortiz's poetry is an intuitive piece of art. Although he makes the reader question the politics and oppression that is as much a part of American history as the concepts of liberty and justice, he obviously has an uncanny mastery of language. Ortiz's constructions are precise and poignant, and many seem to be directly inspired from his own life experiences. I am certainly a poetry enthusiast, and I would hail this collection as one of the best I have read in a long time. I would shy away from segregating this work by calling it a wonderful piece of "Native American" poetry, because it is simply a great piece of poetry, Native American or not. I am glad I've added his book to my personal library. After reading it, I definitely feel more aware of many issues concerning American and Native American culture that had never occurred to me before. Reading Out There Somewhere was an educational, and rather emotional experience for me, and I would be honored to share this collection of poetry with my friends and family.