March 28, 2005 American Indian Poets Linda Hogan and Ray A. Young Bear to Read Their Poems

Press Contact: Donna Urschel, (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jennifer Rutland, (202) 707-5394/5

American Indian poets Linda Hogan and Ray A. Young Bear will read their poems at the Library of Congress at 6:45 p.m., on Thursday, April 7, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The program, presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Linda Hogan was born in Denver and grew up in Oklahoma. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1978. A Chickasaw, she has played a prominent role in the development of contemporary Native American poetry, incorporating a feminist perspective in her verse through descriptions of women’s lives and feelings.

Her publications include poetry collections “The Book of Medicines” (1993) and “Eclipse” (1983); a book of poems and short stories, “Red Clay” (1991); works of fiction, “Mean Spirit” (1990), “Power” (1998) and “Solar Storms” (1995); works of nonfiction, “Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World” (1995), “From Women’s Experience to Feminist Theology” (1995) and an autobiography, “The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir” (2001). She taught at the University of Minnesota and has been an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder since 1989.

Ray A. Young Bear, born in Marshalltown, Iowa, is Meskwaki (People of the Red Earth). He grew up on the Meskwaki Tribal Settlement near Tama, Iowa, where he now lives. His great-great grandfather, Maminwanike, purchased the settlement in 1856, on ancestral lands. Young Bear and his wife, Stella, are co-founders of a cultural performance group, Black Eagle Child. He often begins his readings with songs in Meskwaki, which was his first language. He began writing in English in his early teens.

Young Bear attended Pomona College, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College, Northern Iowa University and Iowa State University. He has taught creative writing and Native American literature at the Institute of American Indian Art, Eastern Washington University, Meskwaki Indian Elementary School, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. His collections include “The Rock Island Hiking Club” (2001), “The Invisible Musician: Poems” (1990) and “Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives” (1997).

The Poetry and Literature Center administers the annual poetry and literature reading series at the Library, sponsored since 1951 by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund. It is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936.


PR 05-079
ISSN 0731-3527