Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Poetry by American Indians may be traced to the writings of John Rollin Ridge, a Cherokee who came to California in the early 1850s, edited several northern California newspapers, and helped create the legend of Joaquin Murieta, and to the works of Alexander Posey, a Creek who wrote romantic nature poems and dialect stories in the style of the local colorists. Nonetheless, few Indian poets existed prior to the 1970s. Since then, there has been a tremendous surge in the numbers of Indians writing poetry, and their work has received a great deal of critical acclaim, as evidenced by the attention given to James Welch's Riding the Earthboy 40, Wendy Rose's Lost Copper, and Maurice Kenny's The Mama Poems, which garnered the American Book Award for 1984.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1985