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Changing Is Not Vanishing

A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930

Edited by Robert Dale Parker

Publication Year: 2011

Until now, the study of American Indian literature has tended to concentrate on contemporary writing. Although the field has grown rapidly, early works—especially poetry—remain mostly unknown and inaccessible. Changing Is Not Vanishing reinvents the early history of American Indian literature and the history of American poetry by presenting a vast but forgotten archive of American Indian poems. Through extensive archival research in small-circulation newspapers and magazines, manuscripts, pamphlets, forgotten rare books, and scrapbooks, Robert Dale Parker has uncovered the work of more than 140 early Indian poets who wrote before 1930.

Changing Is Not Vanishing includes poems by 82 writers and provides a full bibliography of all the poets Parker has identified—most of them unknown even to specialists in Indian literature. In a wide range of approaches and styles, the poems in this collection address such topics as colonialism and the federal government, land, politics, nature, love, war, Christianity, and racism. With a richly informative introduction and extensive annotation, Changing Is Not Vanishing opens the door to a treasure trove of fascinating, powerful poems that will be required reading for all scholars and readers of American poetry and American Indian literature.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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The Garden of the Mind

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pp. 1-44

In 1854, a young Cherokee at the Cherokee nation’s Female Seminary wrote a poem to introduce a newspaper of student writings in Cherokee (written in the Cherokee writing system recently invented by Sequoyah) and in English, signing herself as “Corrinne.” Corrinne’s invitation to what she calls “the garden of the mind” can also introduce...


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pp. 45-222

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Boarding School Poems

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pp. 223-390

A Munsee Delaware, Adin C. Gibbs was born in Pennsylvania, where he worked as a clothier until 1818, when he left for the Cornwall Foreign Mission School in Connecticut. Gibbs’s classmates at the Cornwall School came from many countries and included John Ridge (father of John Rollin Ridge, whose poetry appears in this volume) and Israel Folsom (whose poetry also appears in this volume). Gibbs’s poem about the Cornwall...

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Notable False Attributions

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pp. 391-396

This appendix lists items identified as poems by American Indians that are not actually poems by American Indians. In their invaluable biobibliography (1981, 1985, and online at the American Native Press Archive) Daniel F. Littlefield and James W. Parins choose to list songs as poems, a legitimate choice, though not a choice adopted for this volume, because this volume serves a more poetry-specific purpose. In this list of notable...

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Bibliography of Poems by American Indians to 1930

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pp. 397-416

This bibliography includes all known poems by American Indians through 1930. Poems not included in this volume are marked with a diamond (◊), except in the case of the collections of poems by Bush-Banks, Hen-toh, Posey, Ridge, Riggs, and Schoolcraft. This volume provides only a selection of the poems from those collections. For each poet, poems are listed in chronological order, except that reprints are listed after the...

Textual Notes

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pp. 417-424

Works Cited

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pp. 425-432


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pp. 433-436


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pp. 437-438

E-ISBN-13: 9780812200065
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812242621

Page Count: 456
Illustrations: 10 illus.
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 794700583
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Changing Is Not Vanishing

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • Indian poetry -- Translations into English.
  • American poetry -- Indian authors.
  • Indians of North America -- Poetry.
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