When I first heard Giveaway I thought, "It's too early for the Oil Celebration!" Giveaways --also called potlatch by the Northwest Coast tribes -- are big happenings in Indian country.
But for this giveaway I'm taking part in the Book of Kells 2012 Big Poetry Giveaway created by poet Kelli Russell Agodon for National Poetry Month. I'll be giving away a copy of my book "Outlaws, Renegades and Saints," published by Greenfield Review Press and a copy of the groundbreaking anthology "Without Reservation; Indigenous Erotica," edited and published by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm of Kegedonce Press.
Want to win? Just leave a comment on this post now through April 30 and I'll draw winners out of my medicine basket for each book during the week of May 1. To see the full list of poet bloggers taking part in the giveaway, visit Kelli's blog, Book of Kells.
About the books:
At the Oil Celebration Powwow
At the oil celebration powwow give-
aways are the gift that keeps on giving.
The Indians true to their traditions continue
to give what the whites have taken from them—
food when they were starving
blankets when they were freezing
clothing when they were naked
Ethel Iron Thunder gives a Pendleton wrap to Minnie Spotted Elk/
Minnie Spotted Elk gives a star quilt to Silas Tail Spins/
Silas Tail Spins gives 20 lbs of frozen venison to Victoria Walking Child/
Victoria Walking Child gives a case of chokecherry preserves to John & Myra Two Feathers/
John & Myra Two Feathers gives Cain Long Bow $100 towards his college tuition/
Cain Long Bow gives Alice Brought Plenty 10 yards of bargain basement fabric/
Alice Brought Plenty gives Ruby Savior a plastic bag of accumulated Copenhagen chew-top-lids/
Ruby Savior gives Mary & Victor Red Wing a beaded cradleboard for their new arrival /
Mary & Victor Red Wing gives Scarlet Comes At Night their family’s secret frybread recipe/
Scarlet Comes At Night gives Ethel Iron Thunder insulated rabbit fur slippers and matching
blue mittens and scarf.
Define Indian giver in 10 words or less:
All of the above.
Grandma Iron Thunder tells me
that Giveaways are to Indians
what Christmas is to white people.
~Tiffany Midge "Outlaws, Renegades and Saints"
Edited By Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm Co-Published with Huia Publishers, New Zealand.
Poetry by Joy Harjo, Sherman Alexie, Jack Forbes, and Richard Van Camp among many others.
The writing in the anthology is overwhelmingly contemporary, although some stories and poems are based on old tales. Ipellie,an Inuit writer based in Ottawa, is one such spinner of tales, including Summit with Sedna, the Mother of Sea Beasts, a story about the coupling of an Inuit shaman and the mythological underwater creature called Sedna. Other stories are thoroughly modern, including 'Year of the Dog', a hilarious and ribald tale about some porno addicts in the contemporary Northwest Territories.
We Can See It With Our Eyes Closed ~ by Joy Harjo
You ask me what I am thinking when we make love
and our eyes are closed and the sun is climbing halfway
to the roof and the neighborhood dogs are all in love
with the spirit dog who makes the rounds and tortures them
with dreams of hills and running with the smell of heat
and then the train adds to the song of progress
making a web from city to city,
backdoor to backdoor and I know it is possible to
fly without complications of metal and engineering
and all the payoffs, paybacks and terrible holes
in the earth and here we are in the territory of the wind,
surrounded by devils and thieves, forgotten by a trickster god
who has a wicked sense of humor
yet there is something quite compelling
about this skin we're in, a solid planet of gases and water
doesn't tell the whole story. I am intrigued by cloud
language and see you approaching as a red flower in a meadow
of yellow, or you are an apparition of rain just before or after
a famine of butterflies. We make an electrical reaction
like carbon dioxide, and did I remember to blow out
the candles lit for those who are dying and are leaving
or will leave this place? Grief is a land of wet tenderness. We are all
dying and will leave a trail like the plane jetting east in the direction
that becomes all directions, become all the millions of souls here together
looking for god or a little something to eat,
all of us blown away by the mystery of nothingness
as we shop in the streets for trinkets or bread.
We've been here before, thinking in skin and our pleasure
and pain feeds the plants, makes clouds. I see it with my eyes
closed. It's so beautiful. There's the telephone.
The UGH: Uncivilized Grunting Heathen drawing is open from now through ALL OF APRIL, National Poetry Month!
If you'd like to be entered, please leave your name and email address by midnight, APRIL 30th, 2012 in the comment section of this post and I'll be drawing 2 lucky winners for the books during the week of May 1st, 2012.
Good luck & Good Read