Publication Date: 01-Sep-06 | ISBN: 1844712710 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 120pp | Format: Paperback
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Almost Ashore is a selection of new imagistic poems, crucial scenes and nurtured sentiments of survivance, and a section of original haiku poems. Many of the selected poems are situated in woodland landscapes, treelines and shorelines, a natural sense of presence, and concentrate by chance, image and irony on the experiences of Native American Indians. The haiku scenes are similar to the images and tease of nature in Anishinaabe dreams songs. Once, worlds apart in time and place, these imagistic practices are the mythic connections of natural reason and aesthetic survivance in Almost Ashore.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Crane Dancers; Haiku Scenes; Natural Duty;
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Tricksters and Shadows. Bears and Crows. Tribal memories and modern cities. Gerald Vizenor calls upon a wondrous repertoire in Almost Ashore. These three verse gatherings sharpen the eye, tease and provoke in their torque. Above all they speak in Vizenor’s own unique voice – history, nature, the footfalls of Native America. Anyone half-familiar with his storytelling will be quick to recognize a shared daring of imagination and image. This, in his perhaps best-known signature phrase, is “postindian” poetry to take hold of, to learn from and relish.” —
“In his latest collection of selected poems, Vizenor looks back in native history to treaties and “cruel distances in cultural dominance.” He then closes those distances with tribute to the native storiers who provided survivance. There is a new poignancy in these poems, in the personal history of his father's death and unmarked grave. Vizenor visits his treelines in different forms, from haiku to narrative. These poems go down like butter, but there are barbs in the smoothness of Vizenor’s writing. This writing is his native tease, his natural duty.” —
“Word-touchstones and iconic symbols of his tribal ancestry (birch, blue, spruce, crane, cat, dance, cruel, stories, tease – to name a few) are layered within the poems throughout the book, resonating with a lifetime of Vizenor’s obsessions. Vizenor’s poetry is worth reading for his poetic mastery of the image, sonic integrity and precise lines, and because this compassionate trickster has the transformative capacity to enlighten.” —Western American Literature
Gerald Vizenor is Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of more than twenty books on native histories, critical studies, and literature, including The People Named the Chippewa: Narrative Histories, and Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. Vizenor received the American Book Award for Griever: An American Monkey King in China, and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association in 2005. His most recent books include Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence, two novels, Chancers, and Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57, two books of haiku, Cranes Alight, and Raising the Moon Vines, and a narrative poem, Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point. Vizenor is series editor of “American Indian Literature and Critical Studies” for the University of Oklahoma Press, and, with Diane Glancy, series editor of “Native Storiers: A Series of American Narratives” for the University of Nebraska Press.