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Ellen Arnold

The Salt Companion to Carter Revard

The Salt Companion to Carter Revard


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The Salt Companion to Carter Revard is a groundbreaking collection of critical essays on the poetry and scholarship of one of Native America’s most loved and respected poets. Carter Revard, Osage poet, Rhodes scholar, and professor of medieval English literature, grew up among Osage and Ponca relations on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. His complex, elegantly crafted poetry ranges from lyrical evocations of his rural childhood and traditional lifeways to reflections on academic life in Oxford and St. Louis, global politics, and postmodern science; from narrative poems about family bootleggers and AIM activists, tornados and rainbows, to adaptations of Anglo-Saxon riddle poems. In precise and gorgeous language, Revard weaves the varied songs of his multiple heritages and experiences into a symphony of celebration of the large and small miracles of the universe.

Revard’s blending of Western literary and Native oral traditions demand multilayered critical approaches. The thirteen critical essays gathered in this volume, written by leading scholars of Native American literature, explore Revard’s poetry from multiple perspectives, offering biographical and cultural contexts, thematic considerations, and close readings of individual poems. Two essays break exciting new ground by examining interrelationships between Revard’s medieval scholarship and American Indian storytelling traditions. Like Revard’s poems and scholarship, the essays are both erudite and warmly personal, filled with good stories that will appeal to scholars, students, and general readers alike.

Praise for this Book

‘What a pleasure—to have this wide-ranging, beautifully written collection of essays on the brilliant poet-critic Carter Revard. Not only do the essays do justice to Revard’s remarkable career; they also illuminate the whole range of cultural and political issues Revard has addressed.’ —Cary Nelson

‘Carter Revard's reverence for the special relationship between the Osage and Ponca is articulated in his poetry. His magical prose reveals a world I understand, but it seems more special after his words illuminate the culture I grew up living’ —Louis Gray, Veteran Osage Writer/Journalist

‘Carter Revard has captured the spirit of the changing world of the Osage – its beauty, its darkness – from the perspective of several generations.’ —Louis Gray, Veteran Osage Writer/Journalist

‘No one can match Carter Revard's awesome journey! From rural Oklahoma to England to New England to Missouri and to many other places in the world he's been and back to Oklahoma

always! And his trekking from the stories and language of homeland, Indigenous family culture, and community to the scholarly dimensions – and sometimes mysterious ones – of Medieval Literature. What a wonder and delight his creative and scholarly energy, spirit, and heart have wrought! May the insightful and enthralling essays in The Salt Companion to Carter Revard on his work be a totally enjoyable and stimulating guide on your journey with Carter.’ —Simon J. Ortiz, Author of Beyond the Reach of Time and Change and The Good Rainbow Road

‘Salt Publishing has set an exciting precedent: a symposium of excellent essays, written from multiple critical perspectives, devoted to a single Native author. Carter Revard’s complex works of poetry, memoir, and scholarship more than deserve this close attention, and this volume will appeal equally to scholars and students. Indigenous literary studies has clearly reached a certain level of maturity. Let us hope that similar collections soon follow.’ —Chadwick Allen, Author of Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts

‘This impressive collection gathers essays by both emerging and established voices in the field of Native Literary studies, all of which offer a different and fascinating perspective on the poetry of Carter Revard. When we look at Revard’s work through the lucid lenses of The Salt Companion, we better see the contours and contributions of Carter’s poems; we see just how fortunate we are that his many worlds overlap with ours.’ —Dean Rader, author of Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry

‘Reading a Carter Revard book is an experience on many levels. One is the wisdom and insight of the subject. Another is the poetry that always comes through when he starts putting words together. Then there is the voice I hear, the voice I have been privilaged to hear in person. Those elements combine to create an experience I truly enjoy.’ —Charles H. Red Corn, author of A Pipe for February

‘As an Osage Indian I read this latest work of Carter Revard and understand how it has meaning for people of all races.’ —Kathryn Red Corn Lynn

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