- Ray Young Bear
Ray Young Bear (born 1950 in
Marshalltown, Iowa) is a Native American poet and novelist of the Meskwakitribe.
Growing up on the Meskwaki Tribal Settlement in
Iowa, he was encouraged to learn English by his maternal grandmother, and he began to translate his poems into that language. His work was first published in 1968.
He writes about the dislocation of contemporary Native Americans who are pulled by two different cultures. He has written some prose fiction, but says that "all his writing is merely experiments with words" (Kratzert 1998). His novels, starting with "Black Eagle Child" (1992), describe his youth through the character of Edgar Bearchild. They combine first-person narrative, letters, religious imagery, and poetry. He often switches between English and the
Meskwaki languageto express himself more fully.
* "Winter of the Salamander" (1980)
* "The Invisible Musician" (1990)
* "The Rock Island Hiking Club" (2001)
* "Black Eagle Child" (1992)
* "Remnants of the First Earth" (1996)
* [http://www.nativewiki.org/Ray_Young_Bear Official Ray Young Bear site]
* Kratzert, M. "Native American Literature: Expanding the Canon", Collection Building Vol. 17, 1, 1998, p. 4
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