Linda Hogan

Native American Author
Novelist, Poet & Memoirist

 

“[Hogan] is a significant figure in our literature.” —Jim Harrison

 

"Deep and full of grace." —Publishers Weekly

 

Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and activist, is widely considered to be one of the most influential and provocative Native American figures in the contemporary American literary landscape, and is an internationally recognized public speaker. Her most recent books are the poety book, Indios (Wings Press, 2012); the poetry collection, Rounding the Human Corners (Coffee House Press, 2008); and the novel, People of the Whale (Norton, 2008). A new collection of poems, Dark.Sweet, is due in 2014. Her other novels include Mean Spirit, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Oklahoma Book Award, the Mountains and Plains Book Award; Solar Storms, a finalist for the International Impact Award; and Power. Her collection of poetry The Book of Medicines was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other poetry books have received the Colorado Book Award and an American Book Award. 

Hogan's nonfiction includes The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir, and Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. In addition, she has co-authored, with Brenda Peterson, Sightings: The Mysterious Journey of the Gray Whale for National Geographic Books; edited several anthologies on nature and spirituality; and written the script, Everything Has a Spirit, a PBS documentary on American Indian Religious Freedom. Her newest work was as editor for thirty years of Parabola essays, the series The Inner Journey: Native Traditions, from Morning Light Press, and a short documentary for PBS/American Experience, for the REEL/NATIVE series, A Feel for the Land.

Image Journal says, "Linda Hogan can teach us a generous vision of nature. In her poems, novels, stories, and nonfiction, she shows a love of the created order that exists not at the expense of love of humanity, but as a fuller expression of that love. To be human, according to her vision, is to be situated on the planet, and to be sensitive to its moods, its angles, its secrets, and its kinds of life—animal, vegetable, and even mineral. Hogan possesses the skill of standing in awe of the earth’s mysteries, a sensitivity to the grace present in nature. Her language—careful, polished, serene, and strange—shocks us awake to the grandeur around us, and reminds us of our part in it. Hogan shows us our smallness, yes, but also our giftedness, our blessedness. This is not a fearful smallness, but the smallness of humility before something wildly, mightily alive."

Called a “quintessential econovelist” by Dana Seaman, environmental issues are the major focus in all of Hogan’s work, writing, and teaching. She has been involved for thirteen years with the Native Science Dialogues and the new Native American Academy and for four years with the graduate SEED Institute. She was an invited writer-speaker at the United Nations Forum; has had work translated in all major languages; and speaks both nationally and internationally, including in Alcala Spain as keynote speaker at the Eco-criticism. She has worked with Native youth in horse programs. Hogan has also worked extensively with teens at risk.

Hogan has received a prestigious Lannan Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim, and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from both the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and Wordcraft Circle. She has also received the Mountains and Plains Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. A Professor Emerita from the University of Colorado, she is now the Writer-in-Residencefor The Chickasaw Nation and lives in Oklahoma.

About DARK. SWEET. (Poetry, 2014)
Comprising the best of the Pulitzer and NBCC finalist's career, Dark. Sweet. offers readers the sweep of Hogan's work--environmental and spiritual concerns, her Chickasaw heritage and the power of Native orality--in spare, elemental, visionary language. Clear-eyed and gently hopeful in the face of loss, these poems bring us into communion with each other and the world.

About INDIOS (Poetry, 2012)
Filled with powerful imagery, this poem relates the tragic story of Indios, a native woman falsely accused of the death of her children. As it echoes the plight of other women like Indios—including Malinche, Pocahontas, La Llorona, and Medea—this narrative conveys the truth of a history twisted to suit the needs of a conquering power. Weaving Native American history with contemporary situations, this evocative poem focuses on the concept and consequences of the oppression of women.

About ROUNDING THE HUMAN CORNERS (Poems, 2008)
In her first book of poetry since 1993's groundbreaking The Book of Medicines, Linda Hogan locates the intimate connections between all living things and uncovers the layers that both protect and disguise our affinities. With soaring imagery, clear lyrics, and entrancing rhythm, Hogan’s poetry becomes a visionary instrument singing to and for humanity. From the microscopic creatures of the sea to the powerful beauty of horses, and from the beating heart of her unborn grandson to the vast, uncovered expanses of the universe, Hogan reminds us that, “[b]etween the human and all the rest / lies only an eyelid.”

About PEOPLE OF THE WHALE (Novel, 2008)

“Deeply ecological, original, and spellbinding, Hogan ascends to an even higher plane in this hauntingly beautiful novel of the hidden dimensions of life, and all that is now imperiled.” —Donna Seaman

 

A powerful story of a Vietnam veteran torn between his war experience and his Native American community. Raised in a remote seaside village, Thomas Witka Just marries Ruth, his beloved since infancy and they have a son. But an ill-fated decision to fight in Vietnam changes his life forever: cut off from his Native American community, he fathers a child with another woman. When he returns home a hero, he finds his tribe in conflict over the decision to hunt a whale, both a symbol of spirituality and rebirth and a means of survival. In the end, he reconciles his two existences, only to see tragedy befall his son. Hogan, called our most provocative Native American writer, with "her unparalleled gifts for truth and magic" (Barbara Kingsolver), has written a compassionate novel about the beauty of the natural world and the painful moral choices humans make in it. With a keen sense of the environment, spirituality, and the trauma of war, People of the Whale is a powerful novel for our times.

About THE WOMAN WHO WATCHES OVER THE WORLD: A NATIVE MEMOIR (Nonfiction, 2002)
Hogan offers a memoir rich with the texture of her life as a Chickasaw Indian. Each chapter weaves together her personal and often tragic experiences as the daughter of an army sergeant with Native history, myths, legends, earth, and contemporary life. Although she is often depicting painful events, her voice resonates calm. For example, an unsettling discussion of her pubescent love affair with an adult man while her family is stationed in Germany introduces exploitation and abuse. This is followed by the strong and tranquil chapter "Water: A Love Story," in which she crosses the ocean on her return to America. She is a "child held up by water" as she travels "away from a broken human past." Even the chapter titles emit an otherworldly quality: "Fire, Dreams and Visions: The Given-Off Light"; "Silence Is My Mother"; and "Bones, and Other Precious Gems." Words, after all, "are the defining shape of a human spirit." —Library Journal

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