In this Book

summary
He has been out there somewhere for a while now, a poet at large in America.
 
Simon Ortiz, one of our finest living poets, has been a witness, participant, and observer of interactions between the Euro-American cultural world and that of his Native American people for many years. In this collection of haunting new work, he confronts moments and instances of his personal past—and finds redemption in the wellspring of his culture.
 
A writer known for deeply personal poetry, Ortiz has produced perhaps his most personal work to date. In a collage of journal entries, free-verse poems, and renderings of poems in the Acoma language, he draws on life experiences over the past ten years—recalling time spent in academic conferences and writers' colonies, jails and detox centers—to convey something of the personal and cultural history of dislocation. As an American Indian artist living at times on the margins of mainstream culture, Ortiz has much to tell about the trials of alcoholism, poverty, displacement. But in the telling he affirms the strength of Native culture even under the most adverse conditions and confirms the sustaining power of Native beliefs and connections: "With our hands, we know the sacred earth. / With our spirits, we know the sacred sky."
 
Like many of his fellow Native Americans, Ortiz has been "out there somewhere"—Portland and San Francisco, Freiburg, Germany, and Martinique—away from his original homeland, culture, and community. Yet, as these works show, he continues to be absolutely connected socially and culturally to Native identity: "We insist that we as human cultural beings must always have this connection," he writes, "because it is the way we maintain a Native sense of existence." Drawing on this storehouse of places, times, and events, Out There Somewhere is a rich fusion taking readers into the heart and soul of one of today's most exciting and original American poets.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. PART One. Margins
  1. Headlands Journal
  2. pp. 3-11
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  1. Before and Behind Me
  2. p. 12
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  1. Transcribing
  2. p. 13
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  1. Essentialism
  2. pp. 14-15
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  1. History's Midst
  2. p. 16
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  1. Hoping to Hear
  2. p. 17
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  1. Chant
  2. p. 18
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  1. Be
  2. pp. 19-20
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  1. In the Moment Before
  2. p. 21
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  1. For Now It's Enough: Late Night at ARA House: Thank God
  2. pp. 22-23
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  1. Seed
  2. pp. 24-26
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  1. Not by Any Chance
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. The Spring
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. It Didn't Matter
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. PART Two. Images
  1. "Being Poor" and Powerless. And Refusing Again
  2. p. 35
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  1. Anthropology of American Scholars: Notes, That Is
  2. pp. 36-37
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  1. Back East. But When? Where? What? Who?
  2. pp. 38-39
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  1. Histories, Places, Indians, Just Like Always
  2. pp. 40-41
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  1. The Law
  2. p. 42
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  1. Welcome to America the Mall
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. What Indians?
  2. p. 45
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  1. Strange
  2. p. 46
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  1. Not Somewhere Else
  2. p. 47
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  1. Greatest Believers Greatest Disbelievers
  2. p. 48
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  1. "Indians" Wanted
  2. p. 49
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  1. Believing the Belief
  2. p. 50
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  1. Even "the Indians" Believed
  2. pp. 51-52
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  1. What We Know
  2. p. 53
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  1. Always Just Like You Just Like Me
  2. p. 54
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  1. PART Three. Gifts
  1. To Plant Again
  2. p. 57
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  1. Your Eternity
  2. p. 58
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  1. A Picture
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. A Gift to Give and Receive
  2. pp. 61-63
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  1. Their Gift
  2. p. 64
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  1. Epic
  2. p. 65
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  1. Telling and Showing Her
  2. p. 66
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  1. Sparrows
  2. p. 67
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  1. Our Children Will Not Be Afraid
  2. pp. 68-69
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  1. For the Children
  2. p. 70
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  1. Always the Song
  2. pp. 71-73
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  1. Rain
  2. pp. 74-75
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  1. Waiting for a Friend
  2. pp. 76-77
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  1. The Laughing Horse
  2. p. 78
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  1. PART Four. Horizons
  1. Not Knowing and Knowing
  2. pp. 81-82
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  1. The Prairie's Song
  2. pp. 83-84
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  1. Blue Whale, the Largest Living Animal I've Never Seen
  2. p. 85
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  1. Kaweshtima Sharing Its Existence with Me and Me Sharing My Existence with Kaweshtima
  2. p. 86
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  1. Look to the Mountain
  2. pp. 87-88
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  1. Mountains All Around
  2. p. 89
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  1. Acoma Poems
  1. Kuutra Tsah-tseh-ma Srutai-kyuiyah (Your Life You Are Carrying)
  2. pp. 90-91
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  1. Da-aah Mehyuu-nah Nuudeh-guyah Sru'tsah (This Is the Way Still We Shall Go On)
  2. p. 92
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  1. Ahmoo Staiyatru-tyaimishi, Da-ah Srai-tru-nih (Beloved My Descendants, I Know You This Way)
  2. pp. 93-94
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  1. Hihdruutsi, Nuyuuh Da-ah-sheeya 'Tsadzehni Neeya\nEmeh-eh-eh'tseh (Hihdruutsi, In the Way of My Own Language That Is My Name)
  2. pp. 95-96
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  1. Dzah-dzenah Hamaa'tzeh-shimeh-nah Kuus'gaiyuunuh (It Is No Longer the Same as It Was in the Olden Days)
  2. pp. 97-98
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  1. Land and Stars, the Only Knowledge
  2. pp. 99-100
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  1. Beauty All Around: A Moment on the Lakota Prairie
  2. pp. 101-102
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  1. Getting Ready
  2. p. 103
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  1. Culture and the Universe
  2. pp. 104-105
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  1. Making Quiltwork
  2. p. 106
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  1. More Than Just a River
  2. pp. 107-110
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  1. PART Five. Ever
  1. Consternation
  2. pp. 113-114
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  1. In EI Paso Many Birthdays Ago
  2. p. 115
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  1. Tsegi Canyon
  2. p. 116
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  1. By the Cottonwood
  2. p. 117
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  1. Hunting for Stones
  2. pp. 118-119
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  1. No Weather Map
  2. p. 120
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  1. Kite
  2. pp. 121-122
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  1. What I Know
  2. p. 123
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  1. Light
  2. p. 124
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  1. February and Violet
  2. p. 125
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  1. Thursday, March 3, 1994
  2. p. 126
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  1. Pause: Yours: Ours
  2. p. 127
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  1. Admitting
  2. pp. 128-129
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  1. Eagle Wing
  2. p. 130
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  1. Flagstaff Notes
  2. pp. 131-132
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  1. PART Six. Connections After All
  1. Beginning and Ending Song: Part 1
  2. p. 135
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  1. Nothing but Eternity
  2. pp. 136-137
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  1. Busted Boy
  2. p. 138
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  1. Meanwhile: Soon the Millennia: Burning Forests: Indians Killed:\n October 6, 1997
  2. pp. 139-141
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  1. Mutant and Wise
  2. pp. 142-144
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  1. Past Poems
  2. pp. 145-146
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  1. The Best Movies
  2. p. 147
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  1. Time as Memory as Story
  2. pp. 148-154
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  1. Just Call It Smiling for Victory
  2. pp. 155-156
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  1. Beginning and Ending Song: Part 2
  2. pp. 157-160
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816550753
Related ISBN(s)
9780816522088, 9780816522101
MARC Record
OCLC
1342497727
Launched on MUSE
2022-09-19
Language
English
Open Access
No

Copyright

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