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Without Reservation: New and Selected Poems

John E. Smelcer

$14.95 $10.47

Winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award

Winner of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry

Without Reservation is a collection of free-verse poetry by Alaskan Native American John E. Smelcer that emphasizes clear tone and vivid images that are simple, honest, and as-is. Smelcer is the only surviving speaker, reader, and writer of his native language of Atna, Without Reservation is a compelling voice, unforgettable and highly recommended.

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Product Description

These poems clear, rueful, courageous, sardonic, hard-lived, and backed up with a big heart and life-knowledge. Caribou, wolves, the ancestors, the 7-Eleven, the car, the family, are all in Smelcer’s focus—with a deep will to calmly survive and prevail. Poems with a sweet clarity that leaves us with no excuse. To be taken straight.

—Gary Snyder

The late Allen Ginsberg named John Smelcer one of the most brilliant younger poets in America. This new volume confirms it. This is poetry as it should be, without a wasted word, with unparalleled attention to sound and rhythm.

—W. P. Kinsella

It impresses me that John Smelcer is a very considerable American poet, an astute observer of our contemporary scene.

—X. J. Kennedy

Contents

Acknowledgments

Returning the Gift
Indian Scalper
An Indian Poet Apologizes for His Color
After a Sermon at the Church of Infinite Confusion
An American Indian Dreams the American Dream
An Indian Boy Dreams of Being Billy Mills
The Gossips
The Last Fancy Dancer
It’s All in the Blood
Bonfires
The Book of Genesis, Revised for American Indian History
The Incomplete & Unauthorized Definition of American Indian Writers
High Anxiety
How to Conquer the New World
An Indian Boy Dreams of Michael Jordan
Hymn Singer
Silas Redcorn Falls in Love
Indian Giver
Red America
In the House of Worship
Electric Dreams
Poverty
This is Just to Say
Kinship
My Conversation with a Fox (English)
My Conversation with a Fox (Ahtna Athabaskan)
Hunter’s Luck (English)
Hunter’s Luck (Ahtna Athabaskan)
So Begins the Lasting Silence
Lost and Found
Mistaken Identity
The Price of Leaving Indian Country
Riversong
So It Goes
Supper Prayer for the Soon-to-be-Eradicated
If Textbooks Told the History of America
the Way They Tell American Indian History
One Day on the Weegotskrood Indian Reservation
Tea With a Bull Moose
This Side of Eternity
Prayer Singer
Beading Poetry
The Scent of Poverty
Affirmative Action
Indian Summer
My Indian Grandmother Speaks to Animals
Dreamcatcher
Dandelions in Full Bloom
Exodus
Sunday Drive
The Indian Poet at a Reading
Indian Time
Indian Social Security
How the West Was Won
Cowboys & Indians
The Rise of Christianity
Real Indian
Dzi’di’da
Dead Man’s Curve
The Better Part of Me
A Winter Walk With Sorrow
Call of the Wild
Cillem Quellra
Elvis in Bear Country
In the House of Blue Light
Hunter’s Lament
January, After a Cold Spell
Kaktovik Whale Hunters
On Leaving Alaska
Living Jack London
The Hunter
Song of a Yupik Seal Hunter
Spending the Night on the Klutina River
This Side of Midnight
Trail’s End
Tracks
The White Silence
The Dance
Redemption
Rebel
Kinfolk
A Fisherman’s Heaven
Reservation Blues
Solitary Man
Fathers & Sons
The Night of My Boyhood Rape
Spring on the Kenai Peninsula
Epiphany
Pilgrims Landing
Reunion
Tin Man
Thanksgiving
Gray Thunder
Talkeetna Fish Camp
The Snow Has No Voice
Climbing Down the Mountain
Grave Robbers
What Comes Around
Repossession
Winner Take Nothing
A Depressed Poet’s New Year’s Resolution
Writer’s Block

About the Author

Authors

John E. Smelcer’s poetry books include Riversongs, Songs From an Outcast, Kesugi Ridge, and Changing Seasons. He edited Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry. His autobiography appears in Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers. He has also published numerous nonfiction books including, In the Shadows of Mountains and The Raven and the Totem. His poetry has appeared in more than 250 periodicals such as The Atlantic Monthly, The American Voice, Antioch Review, Chariton Review, The Common Review, Connecticut Review, Georgetown Review, High Plains Literary Review, Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Nimrod, Ohio Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Rosebud, Witness, and Zyzzyva. Smelcer has been a guest lecturer at universities worldwide. He is a federally enrolled member of the Ahtna Tribe of Alaska. From 1996 through 1998, he was the tribally  appointed executive director of the Ahtna Heritage Foundation. Smelcer is poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and teaches at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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Reviews

Without Reservation is a collection of free-verse poetry by Alaskan Native American John E. Smelcer that emphasizes clear tone and vivid images that are simple, honest, and as-is. Smelcer is the only surviving speaker, reader, and writer of his native language of Atna, Without Reservation is a compelling voice, unforgettable and highly recommended.

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