Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits


Tending the Fire by photographer Christopher Felver with an Introduction by Linda Hogan and a foreword by Simon J. Ortiz, celebrates the poets and writers who represent the wide range of Native American voices in literature today. In these commanding portraits, Felver’s distinctive visual signature and unobtrusive presence capture each artist’s strength, integrity, and character. Accompanying each portrait is a handwritten poem or prose piece that helps reveal the origin of the poet’s language and legends.

As the individuals share their unique voices, Tending the Fire introduces us to the diversity and complexity of Native culture through the authors’ generous and passionate stories, reminding us that “Native Americans today are as modern as the Space Age, and each in their own way carries forth the cultural heritage ‘from whence they came.’ Their abiding legacy as the first people of this continent has found its voice in the hard-won wisdom of their art and activism.

University of New Mexico Press

In the Veins: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects

POETRY | First Nations and American Indian Poets | Native Studies | History

In the Veins [Poetry: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects Book Series (Vol. 4)]

Refection of Veins from Dr. Carol A. Hand, Anishinabe poet:

We are inter-connected branching vessels 


carrying the pain of the earth back to source 


like the roots of the sacred cedar


to heal and breathe new life into being? 


Have we been forced deep underground, 


pressurized through the weight of suffering, 


to become a treasure sought by others


who don’t understand that we carry


healing powers in the wisdom of our ancestors?


Sacred life interwoven with sorrow, blood memory, in our very DNA


Poetry Editor, Patricia Busbee
Blue Hand Books Collective (amazon)

www.bluehandbooks.org 

Trouble Song

by Kim Shuck

Take hold of your stubborn
Twine fingers in your defiant
Dig in
Breathe deep into your
Creative 
Make space for your heartbreak but let it start healing
We were walked from the east
We were packed into ships
We were sold by our families
We were illegal
We were hunted
We are here
We are always
We are
Aways
Sing that restless patience
Our inheritance
Take hold of hands
Take hold of your stubborn
Take hold
Take care
Take caring
Self brightly
Group with care
Hold tight and sing

© Kim Shuck. All rights reserved. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Shuck is feeling very scattered these days among the Executive Orders and banishments. She teaches 2nd graders most Thursdays, 4th graders some Wednesdays and college undergrads on Fridays. At other times she tries to reweave the fraying webs of communities that she loves. As for poetic qualifications… magazines, anthologies, solo books awards… degrees… years of working in the poetry mine. www.kimshuck.com


Loosening Our Tongue #WaterIsLife #RezspectOurLandbase #StandingRock

By Rain Prud’homme-Cranford (Goméz), Ph.D
These are things I need to say:
but language and words 
were ripped from my tongue 
Residential school 
Jim Crow feather
soldiers swarming 
our land our homes 
uprooting us from soil
 
roots dangling 
string fingers 
clinging to clutch 
clumps of Earth
These are things I need to say:
but mouth is dry 
arid fragile skin
opens bleeding
hollow space between 
tongue and teeth cracks 
from drought 
from poison water
These are things I need to say:
ancestors circle round
pepper spraying police 
choking our 
relatives’ throats
 
reaching to hold water 
slipping through fingers 
toes digging into 
brown dirt
These are things 
we need to say

Sing us home 
shatter violent silence 
come down rain 
churning rivers 
ocean waves
We ride a tempest of 
surging water

©Rain Prud’homme-Cranford 2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rain Prud’homme-Cranford (Goméz), Ph.D., is a“FatTastic IndigeNerd,” an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Literature in the Department of English and Affiliated Faculty in the International Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Calgary. A Poetry Editor for Mongrel Empire Press (MEP) and an Editorial Board member for The Journal of Louisiana Creole Studies, Rain won the First Book Award in Poetry from NWCA (2009), for Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory (MEP 2012).  Critical and creative work can be found in various journals including: The Southern Literary Journal, Louisiana Folklife, Undead Souths: The Gothic and Beyond (LSU P), Mississippi Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review, Sing: Indigenous Poetry of the Americas, As Us, Yellow Medicine Review, and many others.
"We have stories / as old as the great seas / breaking through the chest / flying out the mouth, / noisy tongues that once were silenced, /all the oceans we contain / coming to light."
—Linda Hogan