During this program Lois Red Elk talks about the culture of the Dakota/Lakota Sioux Nation and reads from her poetry collection Our Blood Remembers.
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Lois Red Elk is descended from the Isanti, Hunkpapa, and Ihanktowan bands of the Dakota/Lakota Sioux Nation. Her father, James Red Elk is a descendant of the Sitting Bull family, and her mother spoke five different languages, French, Latin, Sioux, Assiniboine and English. She enjoys writing poetry and prose and practices the art of porcupine quill embroidery.
Lois Red Elk has a Human Services degree from Fort Peck Community College and an Education degree from Rocky Mountain College. She has been married to her dear friend and husband Dennis for 41 years. They have two children and eight grandchildren.
Praise for Our Blood Remembers:
The poems in Our Blood Remembers by Lois Red Elk make a circle from the old days and old ways to the present where ghosts of the past walk with the living. These are honest poems from a grassroots Dakota woman. They offer brilliant and insightful portrayals of Native pain, hope, and joy. In the flickering campfires of these poems, the blood does remember. -- Adrian C. Louis
I have been waiting a long time -- perhaps even my whole lifetime -- for this collection of poems. It is as if we have all been given the gift of time and perspective, allowed to view our world, our lives, our strengths and shortcomings through a primeval and potent lens. If we are to endure, persist and thrive again, we need these words. As lucid as a spring thunderstorm on the high plains, Red Elk's candor, clarity and wisdom are imparted amongst and across generations. This collection is what we have all been waiting for. -- Mandy Smoker Broaddus
It is important that you write in our own Indigenous language when you compose your poetry: that is the genuine voice of our people. It is so important that our own people appreciate and use their own language; that, to me, is where the real poetry of Indigenous spirit, mind, hear, soul is. Our Indigenous language is the true voice of our land, culture, and community, and it is the voice of poetry truly. -- Simon J. Ortiz
An interview with Lowell Jaeger, editor of Many Voices Press, publisher of Our Blood Remembers.
Look for Our Blood Remembers at Fact & Fiction in downtown Missoula and on the UM campus, or at your local independent bookseller.
The Write Question is produced by Chérie Newman. Executive producer, Michael Marsolek; studio engineer, Beth Anne Austein.
Special thanks to Lisa Simon, David Moore, Barbara Theroux, and Kim Anderson.
This program is supported by the Steele-Reese Foundation, Humanities Montana, connecting kids to community, supporting vital cultural institutions, and encouraging community conversations. And by Montana's Cultural Trust, Fact & Fiction book stores, and Public Radio Listeners.
The Write Question: a program that explores the world of writing and publishing in the western United States.
The music in this program was written and performed by John Floridis.
Send comments to Chérie Newman.
Guests on the The Write Question are writers, publishers, and illustrators living, or working for an extended period of time, in the western United States. The Write Question is a production of Montana Public Radio.