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About this poet

Linda Hogan received a BA from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and an MA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

She is the author of several poetry collections, including Dark. Sweet.: New & Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2014); Rounding the Human Corners (Coffee House Press, 2008); The Book of Medicines (Coffee House Press, 1993), which received the Colorado Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Seeing Through the Sun (University of Massachusetts Press, 1985).

Of The Book of Medicines, Joy Harjo writes, “Linda Hogan’s poetry has always been a medicine of sorts…. These poems in particular cross over to speak for us in the shining world. They bring back words for healing, the distilled truth of all these stories that are killing us with tears and laughter.”

Hogan is also the author of several works of prose, including The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir (W. W. Norton, 2001). Her first novel, Mean Spirit (Atheneum, 1990), was a finalist for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize.

She currently serves as writer-in-residence for the Chickasaw Nation, and in 2007 she was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. Her other honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, the Henry David Thoreau Prize for Nature Writing, a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.

Hogan has taught at the Indian Arts Institute and the University of Colorado, where she is a professor emerita. She lives in Colorado.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry
Dark. Sweet.: New & Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2014)
Indios: A Poem to Be Spoken (Wings Press, 2011)
Rounding the Human Corners (Coffee House Press, 2008)
The Book of Medicines (Coffee House Press, 1993)
Savings (Coffee House Press, 1988)
Seeing Through the Sun (University of Massachusetts Press, 1985)
Eclipse (American Indian Studies Center, 1983)

Prose
People of the Whale (W. W. Norton, 2008)
The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir (W. W. Norton, 2001)
Power (W. W. Norton, 1998)
Solar Storms (Scribner, 1995)
Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World (W. W. Norton, 1995)
Mean Spirit (Atheneum, 1990)

History

This is the word that is always bleeding.
You didn't think this
until your country changes and when it thunders
you search your own body
for a missing hand or leg.
In one country, there are no bodies shown,
lies are told
and they keep hidden the weeping children on dusty streets.

But I do remember once
a woman and a child in beautiful blue clothing
walking over a dune, spreading a green cloth,
drinking nectar with mint and laughing
beneath a sky of clouds from the river
near the true garden of Eden.
Now another country is breaking
this holy vessel
where stone has old stories
and the fire creates clarity in the eyes of a child
who will turn it to hate one day.

We are so used to it now,
this country where we do not love enough,
that country where they do not love enough,
and that.

We do not need a god by any name
nor do we need to fall to our knees or cover ourselves,
enter a church or a river,
only do we need to remember what we do
to one another, it is so fierce
what any of our fathers may do to a child
what any of our brothers or sisters do to nonbelievers,
how we try to discover who is guilty
by becoming guilty,
because history has continued
to open the veins of the world
more and more
always in its search
for something gold.

Copyright © 2016 by Linda Hogan. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database

Copyright © 2016 by Linda Hogan. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database

Linda Hogan

Linda Hogan is the author of several poetry collections, including Dark. Sweet.: New & Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2014). She lives in Colorado.

by this poet

poem

We had been together so very long,
you willing to swim with me
just last month, myself merely small
in the ocean of splendor and light,
the reflections and distortions of us,
and now when I see the man from British Petroleum
lift you up dead from the plastic
bin of death,
he

poem
I am always watching
the single heron at its place
alone at water, its open eye,
one leg lifted 
or wading without seeming to move.

It is a mystery seen
but never touched
until this morning
when I lift it from its side
where it lays breathing.
I know the beak that could attack,
that unwavering golden eye
seeing