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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)

Song for the Turtles in the Gulf

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 with a smile, you burned
and covered with red-black oil, torched
and pained, all I can think is that I loved your life,
the very air you exhaled when you rose,
old great mother, the beautiful swimmer,
the mosaic growth of shell
so detailed, no part of you
simple, meaningless,
or able to be created
by any human,
only destroyed.
How can they learn
the secret importance
of your beaten heart,
the eyes of another intelligence
than ours, maybe greater,
with claws, flippers, plastron.
Forgive us for being thrown off true,
for our trespasses,
in the eddies of the water
where we first walked.

Copyright © 2014 by Linda Hogan. From Dark. Sweet.: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2014). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database

Copyright © 2014 by Linda Hogan. From Dark. Sweet.: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2014). 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
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
poem

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