From Seventeen Chirps: Haiku in English (1964) by Gerald Vizenor
Stood against the first snow
Birth: October 22, 1934, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Author, poet, and teacher Gerald Robert Vizenor lived in several foster homes after his father was murdered. He moved in with his mother and stepfather and was later abandoned by his mother (although they eventually reconciled). When Vizenor was fifteen years old, his stepfather was killed in a work accident. His father was Anishinaabe (Chippewa), and Vizenor spent a significant amount of time on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota with his father's family. He joined the Minnesota National Guard in 1950, at age fifteen, and was honorably discharged after a year when the unit was activated and sent to Korea. Vizenor enlisted in the Army two years later and was on active duty from 1952 to 1955, serving in Japan. He studied at New York University from 1955-56, earned a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1960, pursued graduate work at the University of Minnesota from 1962-70, and won a Bush Fellowship for study at Harvard University in 1974. Vizenor served as a community advocate and director of the American Indian Employment and Guidance Center in Minneapolis in the late 1960s. He was a staff writer for the Minneapolis Tribune from 1968-70 and contributing editorial writer in the late 1970s through the 1980s.
Vizenor began his teaching career at Lake Forest College, Illinois in 1970. He was director and professor of Native American studies at Bemidji State University from 1972-73. He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1977-85, the University of California-Santa Cruz from 1987-90, and the University of Oklahoma from 1990-91. Vizenor is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley and he currently teaches American studies at the University of New Mexico. Vizenor is the founder and series editor of the American Indian Literature and Critical Studies series at the University of Oklahoma Press. Vizenor won the 1988 American Book Award for Griever: An American Monkey King in China (1987) and he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Macalester College in 1999. Vizenor is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.
The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Societys library catalog. Please click on your browser's back button to return.
Anishinabe Nagamon = Songs of the People interpreted and reexpressed from the original Anishinabe song transcriptions by Gerald Vizenor
Bear Island: The War at Sugar Point
Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles
Chancers: A Novel
Darkness in Saint Louis Bearheart
Earthdivers: Tribal Narratives on Mixed Descent
Escorts to White Earth, 1868-1968: 100 Year Reservation
The Everlasting Sky: Voices of the Anishinabe People
George Morrison: Anishinaabe Expressionist Artist
Griever, an American Monkey King in China
Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors
The People Named the Chippewa: Narrative Histories
Shadow Distance: A Gerald Vizenor Reader
Shrouds of White Earth
Slight Abrasions: A Dialogue in Haiku
Summer in the Spring: Ojibwe Lyric Poems and Tribal Stories edited and reexpressed by Gerald Vizenor
Thomas James White Hawk
Tribal Scenes and Ceremonies
The Trickster of Liberty: Tribal Heirs to a Wild Baronage
Wordarrows: Indians and Whites in the New Fur Trade
Minnesota Historical Society Links
Search PALS Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Societys library
Minnesota Historical Society Visual Resources Database
Gerald Vizenor Papers, 1950-1998
Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition by Kimberly Blaeser
George Morrison the Story of a Distinguished Anishinaabe Expressionist Painter: A Lecture - DVD of Gerald Vizenor lecturing on George Morrison
Storytellers: Native American Authors Online - Articles, brief biography, and links
University of New Mexico - Brief biography
See MoreAuthor Entry Citations - Gerald Vizenor
Shrouds of white earth. See ... [more]
Bear Island : the war at Sugar Point. See ... [more]
Chancers : a novel. See ... [more]
Hotline healers : an Almost Browne novel. See ... [more]
Dead voices : natural agonies in the new world. See ... [more]
Earthdivers : tribal narratives on mixed descent. See ... [more]
Seventeen chirps : haiku in English. See ... [more]
Gerald R. Vizenor
Gerald Vizenor is Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He was born in Minneapolis, MN in 1934. He is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. Vizenor attended New York University for one year, transferring to the University of Minnesota where he earned his B.A. in 1960. His graduate studies include University of Minnesota and Harvard University. His career includes work for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and the Minneapolis Tribune. Vizenor's teaching career includes professorships at Lake Forest College, Bemidji State University, University of Minnesota, University of Oklahoma, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was provost of Kresge College as well as professor of literature and American Studies.
Journal articles by Gerald Vizenor
Recent book reviews written by Gerald Vizenor
Gerald Vizenor's academic resumé can be read.
Biographical information from the Minnesota Author Biographies Project.
A short biography from the Internet Public Library's Native American Author's Project is available.
A profile of Gerald Vizenor, one of the Utne Visionaries, is available.
Writing available online
- Almost Ashore (from Salt Publishing; there is also a video clip on this page.)
- Fugitives Poses, from the book Excavating Voices: Photographs of Native Americans
- The Stone Babies in Weber Studies
- Gerald Vizenor in Dialogue with A. Robert Lee, in Weber Studies
The Western Literature Association will present their annual Distinguished Achievement Award for 2005 to Gerald at their conference in October. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas in 2001.
Gerald received the New York Fiction Collective Prize and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1988 for his novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China. He has also received the PEN Oakland, Josephine Miles Award, Excellence in Literature, for Native American Literature, an anthology, HarperCollins College Publishers, 1996, and for Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors, University of Minnesota Press, in 1990. He has received an Artists Fellowship in Literature for 1989 from the California Arts Council, an award for professional achievement in literature.
The screenplay Harold of Orange won the Film-in-the-Cities national competition, Robert Redford Sundance Film Institute, summer 1983. The film won Best Film at the San Francisco Film Festival for American Indian Films.
A selected Bibliography of Gerald Vizenor's published work is available online.
Books by Gerald Vizenor or containing his work
- Almost Ashore, Salt Publishing.
- Bear Island : The War At Sugar Point, Univ Of Minnesota Pr.
- Empty Swings (Haiku in English Series), Nodin Press.
- Matsushima : Pine Island Nodin Press, 1984.
- Raising the Moon Vines, Nodin Press.
- Seventeen Chirps, Nodin Press.
- Two Wings the Butterfly, privately printed.
- Water Striders, Porter Broadside Series, Moving Parts Press.
- Slight Abrasions, A Dialogue in Haiku, with Jerome Downes, Nodin Press.
- Summer in the Spring : Anishinaabe Lyric Poems and Stories
- (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series, Vol 6), University of Oklahoma Press.
- Harold of Orange / Harold von Orangen, bilingual edition of Harold of Orange,
- a screenplay, translated by Wolfgang Hockbruck, et al., Osnabrueck Bilingual Editions, Eddington, Germany, 1994
Prose and CompilationsFiction
- Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57, Univ. Nebraska Press.
- A review from: The Review of Contemporary Fiction by Thomas Hove
- Chancers, (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies, Vol 36),
- University of Oklahoma Press.
- Hotline Healers: An Almost Browne Novel, Wesleyan University Press.
- Dead Voices: Natural Agonies in the New World (American Indian Literature and
- Critical Studies, Vol 2), University of Oklahoma Press.
- A review from: The American Indian Quarterly by Barry A. Laga
- Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles, University of Minnesota Press.
- Darkness in Saint Louis: Bearheart, Truck Press. (This is the first edition of the novel which was published in a new edition by the University of Minnesota Press, 1990, as Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles.)
- The Heirs of Columbus, Wesleyan University Press.
- A review of The Heirs of Columbus in American Indian Quarterly online.
- Griever: An American Monkey King in China, University of Minnesota Press.
- The Trickster of Liberty : Tribal Heirs to a Wild Baronage (Emergent Literatures)
- with Adrienne Kennedy, University of Minnesota Press.
- Earthdivers: Tribal Narratives on Mixed Descent, University of Minnesota Press.
- Authored animals: creature tropes in Native American fiction. (In the Company of Animals) : An article from: Social Research
- The ruins of representation: shadow survivance and the literature of dominance. An article from: The American Indian Quarterly
- On the Translation of Native American Literatures. An article from: The American Indian Quarterly
- Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence,
- University of Nebraska Press 1998.
- Shadow Distance : A Gerald Vizenor Reader, Wesleyan University Press.
- Wordarrows: Indians and Whites in the New Fur Trade, University of Minnesota Press.
- Parolefrecce, translation of Wordarrows by Maria Vittoria D'Amico. Italian edition in the literature series Indianamericana. Edited by Laura Coltelli, University of Pisa, 1992.
- Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors,
- University of Minnesota Press.
- Landfill Meditation: Crossblood Stories, Wesleyan University Press.
- Crossbloods; Bone Courts, Bingo, and Other Reports, University of Minnesota Press.
- The new edition includes several essays on the American Indian Movement that first appeared in a Minneapolis Tribune editorial series and in Tribal Scenes and Ceremonies, Nodin Press, 1976.
- Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors of Survivance, Wesleyan University Press.
- Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Indian Literatures
- (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies, Vol 8), University of Oklahoma Press.
- The Everlasting Sky; New Voices from the People Named the Chippewa, MacMillan Pub Co.
- The People Named the Chippewa : Narrative Histories, University of Minnesota Press.
- Touchwood : A Collection of Ojibway Prose (Many Minnesotas Project, No 3),
- New Rivers Press.
- Thomas James Whitehawk, investigative narrative in the trial, capital punishment, and
- commutation of the death sentence of Thomas James Whitehawk, Four Winds Press, 1968.
- Native-American Literature : A Brief Introduction and Anthology
- (Harpercollins Literary Mosaic), Watson-Guptill Pubns.
Anthologies containing Vizenor's Work
- Visit Teepee Town: Native Writings After the Detours,
- Diane Glancy, Mark Nowak (Editors), Coffeehouse Press.
- Stories Migrating Home: Anishnaabe Prose, Kimberly Blaeser (Editor)
- Loonfeather Press: Wisconsin
- Talking Leaves: Contemporary Native American Short Stories
- by Craig Lesley, Katheryn Stavrakis (Editor) Dell Books
- Earth Song, Sky Spirit: Short Stories of the Contemporary Native American Experience,
- by Clifford E. Trafzer (Editor)
- Earth Power Coming: Short Fiction in Native American Literature
- Ed. by Simon J. Ortiz, Navajo Community College Press
- Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back:
- An Anthology of Poetry by American Indian Writers
- by Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press
- Smoke Rising: The Native North American Literary Companion, Janet Witalec, Visible Ink Press.
- Words in the Blood: Contemporary Indian Writers of North and South America,
- Jamake Highwater (Editor), New American Library.
- Blue Dawn, Red Earth: New Native American Storytellers, by Clifford E. Trafzer
- (Editor), Anchor Books
- The Lightning Within: An Anthology of Contemporary American Indian Fiction,
- Edited and with an Introduction by Alan R. Velie, University of Nebraska Press.
- American Indian Literature: An Anthology by Alan R. Velie, University of Oklahoma Press.
- Harper's Anthology of 20th Century Native American Poetry
- by Duane Niatum (Editor) HarperCollins
- Twenty Six Minnesota Writers by Monico D. Degrazia (Editor), Nodin Press.
- After Yesterday's Crash: The Avant-Pop Anthology by Larry McCaffery (Editor),
- Penguin USA
- The New Native American Novel : Works in Progress by Mary Bartlett (Editor),
- University of New Mexico Press.
- The Writer's Notebook by Howard Junker, HarperCollins
- Listening to Ourselves: More Stories from 'the Sound of Writing' by Alan Cheuse,
- Caroline Marshall (Editor), Anchor Books.
- Avant-Pop: Fiction for a Daydream Nation by Larry McCaffery (Editor),
- Fc2/Black Ice Books
- Before Columbus Foundation Fiction Anthology:
- Selections from the American Book Awards 1980-1990 by Ishmael Reed, Kathryn Trueblood, Shawn Wong (Editor), W W Norton & Co.
- Without Discovery: A Native Response to Columbus (Turning Point Series)
- by Ray Gonzalez (Editor), Broken Moon Press.
- A Gathering of Flowers : Stories About Being Young in America
- by Joyce Carol Thomas (Editor), Harpercollins Juvenile Books.
- American Short Fiction, Spring 1991 by Laura Furman, University of Texas Press.
- An Illuminated History of the Future by Curtis White (Editor), Fc2/Black Ice Books.
- Fiction International, San Diego State University Press, 1987
- An Other Tongue: Nation and Ethnicity in the Linguistic Borderlands
- by Alfred Arteaga (Editor), Duke University Press.
- Contemporary Archaeology in Theory, (Social Archaeology)
- by Robert Preucel (Editor), Ian Hodder (Editor), Blackwell Pub.
- Encyclopedia of North American Indians, by Frederick E. Hoxie (Editor),
- Houghton Mifflin Co.
- A Companion to American Thought (Blackwell Reference) by Richard Wightman Fox
- (Editor), James T. Kloppenberg (Editor), Blackwell Pub.
- Culture and the Imagination, Proceedings of the Third Stuttgart Seminar on
- Cultural Studies, Verlag Für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Stuttgart, Germany, 1995
- From Different Shores : Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America
- by Ronald Takaki (Editor), Oxford University Press.
Published Interviews with or Essays/Books by/on Gerald Vizenor
- Contemporary Authors : Biography - Vizenor, Gerald Robert (1934-), Thomson Gale.
- Loosening the Seams: Interpretations of Gerald Vizenor,
- A. Robert Lee, Bowling Green State Univ.
- Other Words: American Indian Literature, Law, and Culture
- (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series), Jace Weaver, Univ. Oklahoma Press.
- Postindian Conversations, Gerald Robert Vizenor, A. Robert Lee,
- University of Nebraska Press.
- Excavating Voices: Listening to Photographs of Native Americans,
- Michael Katakis (Editor),
- University of Pennsylvania Museum Press.
- Mythic Rage and Laughter: An Interview with Gerald Vizenor, Dallas Miller, 1995,
- Studies in American Indian Literatures, 7, 77, 1995 Spring.
- Subverting the Dominent Paradigm: Gerald Vizenor's Trickster Discourse
- Kerstin Schmidt, Studies in American Indian Literatures, 7, 65, 1995 Spring.
- That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community,
- Jace Weaver, Oxford University Press.
- Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition, by Kimberly M. Blaeser,
- University of Oklahoma Press. (See the Kimberly Blaeser website.)
- A review from: World Literature Today by Robert Allen Warrior
A review from: MELUS by Linda Rouse
- Text as trickster: postmodern language games in Gerald Vizenor's 'Bearheart.' (Maskers and Tricksters)
- An article from: MELUS, by Elizabeth Blair
- Gerald Vizenor and his 'Heirs of Columbus': a postmodern quest for more discourse.
- An article from: The American Indian Quarterly by Barry E Laga
- Monkey kings and mojo: postmodern ethnic humor in Kingston, Reed, and Vizenor
- An article from: MELUS, by John Lowe
- Postmodern bears in the texts of Gerald Vizenor (Critical Essay)
- An article from: MELUS, by Nora Baker Barry
- "Bad Breath": Gerald Vizenor's Lacanian fable. (Critical Essay)
- An article from: Studies in Short Fiction by Linda Lizut Helstern
- Native American Writers of the United States, (Dictionary of Literary Biography, V. 175),
- Kenneth M. Roemer (Editor), Gale Research.
- Woodland word warrior: An introduction to the works of Gerald Vizenor, A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff.
- Survival This Way: Interviews With American Indian Poets
- Joseph Bruchac III (Editor), (Sun Tracks Books, No 15) University of Arizona Press.
- Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak
- by Laura Coltelli, University of Nebraska Press.
- Partial Recall: With Essays on Photographs of Native North Americans
- by Lucy Lippard (Editor)
- Contemporary Authors. Autobiography Series (Vol 22. Issn 0748-0636), Gale Research
- American Contradictions: Interviews With Nine American Writers,
- by Wolfgang Binder (Editor), Helmbrecht Breinig (Editor), Wesleyan University Press. First published in German as Facing America, Multikulturelle Literatur def heutigen USA in Texten und Interviews, Rotpunktverlag, Leipzig, Germany, 1994.
- Native American Autobiography: An Anthology
- (Wisconsin Studies in American Autobiography) by Arnold Krupat (Editor), University of Wisconsin Press.
- Growing Up in Minnesota: Ten Writers Remember Their Childhoods
- by Chester G. Anderson, University of Minnesota Press.
- Inheriting the Land: Contemporary Voices from the Midwest
- by Mark Vinz (Editor), Thom Tammaro (Editor), University of Minnesota Press.
- Gerald Vizenor, a special edition edited by Louis Owens,
- Studies in American Indian Literatures, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 1997, including:
"Interior Dancers": Transformations of Vizenor's Poetic Vision
Kimberly M. Blaeser
The Ceded Landscape of Gerald Vizenor's Fiction
Blue Smoke and Mirrors: Griever's Buddhist Heart
Linda Lizut Helstern
Liberation and Identity: Bearing the Heart of The Heirship Chronicles
Liminal Landscapes: Motion, Perspective and Place in Gerald Vizenor's Fiction
Bradley John Monsma
Waiting for Ishi: Gerald Vizenor's Ishi and the Wood Ducks and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot
Doubling in Gerald Vizenor's Bearheart: The Pilgrimage Strategy or Bunyan Revisited
Legal and Tribal Identity in Gerald Vizenor's The Heirs of Columbus
Stephen D. Osborne
- Other Destinies : Understanding the American Indian Novel
- (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies, Vol 3) by Louis Owens, University of Oklahoma Press.
- Mediation in Contemporary Native American Fiction
- (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies, Vol 15) by James Ruppert, University of Oklahoma Press.
- Native American Perspectives on Literature and History
- (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series, Vol 19) by Alan R. Velie (Editor), University of Oklahoma Press. [Articles by Rodriguez, Velie and Blaeser address Vizenor's writings.]
- The Turn to the Native, by Arnold Krupat, University of Nebraska Press.
- Cultural Difference and the Literary Text: Pluralism and the Limits of Authenticity
- in North American Literatures, Edited by Winfried Siemerling and Katrin Schwenk
- I Tell You Now : Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers
- by Brian Swann, Arnold Krupat, Brompton Books Corp.
- Buried Roots and Indestructible Seeds:
- The Survival of American Indian Life in Story, History, and Spirit by Martin Zanger (Editor), Mark A. Lindquist, University of Wisconsin Press.
- Sacred Trusts: Essays on Stewardship and Responsibility
- by Michael Katakis, Russell Chatham (Illustrator), Mercury House.
- Native American Testimony:
- A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to Present, 1492-1992 by Peter Nabokov, Penguin USA
- Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures
- by Russell Ferguson, Martha Gever, Mit Press.
- Listening to Native Americans: Making Peace with the Past for the Future
- by John Barry Ryan, in Listening: Journal of Religion and Culture, Vol. 31, No.1 Winter 1996 pp. 24-36.
- Transformation in Progress by Annalee Newitz and Jillian Sandell, in Bad Subjects,
- an online journal.
- "Spring Wind Rising: The American Indian Novel and the Problem of History.",
- Stripes, James D., A dissertation abstract.
- Four American Indian Literary Masters: N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Gerald Vizenor, Alan R. Velie, Univ. Oklahoma Press.
- The McGraw-Hill Introduction to Literature by Gilbert H. Muller, McGraw Hill Text.
- Ways in : Approaches to Reading and Writing About Literature
- by Gilbert H. Muller, John A. Williams, McGraw Hill Text.
- The Harper American Literature, Volume 1; 2nd Edition
- by Donald McQuade, Robert Atwan, Martha Banta, Justin Kaplan, Harpercollins College Div. Volume 2; 2nd Edition
This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboration of the poet, Gerald Vizenor.
© 1997 - 2002 Gerald Vizenor.
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