Native American Authors


John E Smelcer , 1963-

Athabascan, Ahtna

With a Ph.D. in comparative literature (1993) and Ph.D. in literature and creative writing (2011), as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees and diplomas in anthropology and archaeology, English, education, and health care administration, he is the author of over 40 books. His education includes advanced studies in English literature at Cambridge and Oxford. His poems, stories, essays, and interviews appear in over 400 magazines worldwide. A story of his on compassion appears alongside an essay by the Dalai Lama in Parabola. His autobiographical essay in Here First (2000) was published by Random House. His novels, The Trap, and The Great Death, and Edge of Nowhere are published worldwide. He has been nominated for, been a finalist of, or has received many of America's preeminent literary awards. In 2004, he received the James Jones Prize for the best First Novel in America and the Kessler Prize for the best book of poetry published in America by a poet over 40. His anthology, Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry (1994) was required reading at hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide. He is a shareholder (tribal member) of Ahtna Native Corporation. From late 1995 until the summer of 1998, he was the tribally appointed executive director of the Ahtna Heritage Foundation. In a special ceremony held in 1999, Ahtna Chief Harry Johns designated John Smelcer a Traditional Ahtna Culture Bearer, a term usually reserved for elders. Years later, from the spring of 2004 until the summer of 2008, he was the Director of Chenega Native Corporation's Language and Cultural Preservation Project. Working with every living speaker of both the Ahtna language and the Alutiiq language specific to Prince William Sound, he produced dictionaries of both endangered languages. He regularly publishes in his Native language. The poems he publishes are the only literature of the culture extant. Few other major Native American-descended writers publish so fully and fluently in their language.



For over a decade he was co-judge of the National Poetry Book Award with poets Donald Justice, Allen Ginsberg, James Dickey, Thom Gunn, X. J. Kennedy, Denise Levertov, Stanley Kunitz, David Ignatow, and John Updike. Before her death, Aeronwy Thomas, Dylan Thomas's daughter, legally appointed John Smelcer the life-time judge of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Award.



Since 1995, John has been Poetry Editor and Associate Editor of Rosebud, what the Boston Globe called the "best literary quarterly in America." Few other poets have led a such a nationally-ranked magazine for so long a time, with the exceptions of George Plimpton at The Paris Review, David Waggoner at Poetry Northwest, Alice Quinn at The New Yorker, Marilyn Hacker at The Kenyon Review, and Joseph Parisi at Poetry. Over the years, he has solicited, edited, and published work by hundreds of major writers, including Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award winners, as well as pop icons. He has lectured at universities around the world. The late J.D. Salinger wrote of Smelcer's Alaskan, "an important contribution to Alaskan literature," and has been hailed by W. P. Kinsella, author of Field of Dreams, and others as "Alaska's modern day Jack London." His "The Ahtna Noun Dictionary" includes a foreword by Noam Chomsky and his "The Alutiiq Noun Dictionary" includes a foreword by The Dalai Lama, who is also concerned about the loss of his own native language and culture.



For more information about the author, click on http://www.johnsmelcer.com

 

Online resources by or about John E Smelcer:

John Elvis Smelcer
Author: John E. Smelcer
Type: gensource
Description: Official website for the Ahtna author and linguist John Elvis Smelcer.
URL: http://www.johnsmelcer.com

Books by John E Smelcer:

Smelcer, John E. The Ahtna Noun Dictionary
Oxford/MLT, 2011.
Genre: Reference
Language: English and Ahtna
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. Alaskan: Stories from the Great Land
Syracuse, NY : Standing Stone Books, 2011.
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. The Alutiiq Noun Dictionary
Oxford/MLT, 2011.
Genre: Reference
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. Beautiful Words: The Complete Ahtna Poems
Kirksville, MO : Truman State University Press, 2011.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English and Ahtna
Audience: Adult
ISBN: 9781935503927

Smelcer, John E. The Binghamton Poems
New York : Foothills Press, 2009.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English
Audience: Adult

Smelcer, John E. Changing Seasons
Australia : South Head Press, 1995.
Genre: Poetry
ISBN: 1887573003

Smelcer, John E. A Cycle of Myths
Anchorage, AK : Todd Communications, 1992.
Genre: Folklore
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0963400024

Smelcer, John E. The Day That Cries Forever
Anchorage, AK : Chenega Heritage Foundation, 2006.
Genre: Nonfiction
Language: English
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry
Anchorage, AK : Salmon Run Press, 1994.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English
Audience: All Ages
ISBN: 978-0963400079

Smelcer, John E. Edge of Nowhere
London : Anderson/Random House, 2010.
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Audience: All Ages
ISBN: 978-1-84839-196-2

Smelcer, John E. The Great Death
New York : Henry Holt, 2009.
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Audience: Adult
ISBN: 978-0805081008

Smelcer, John E. In the Shadows of Mountains
Glenallen : Ahtna Heritage Foundation, 1997.
Genre: Nonfiction
ISBN: 0965631001

Smelcer, John E. The Indian Prophet
New York : Cross Cultural Communications Press, 2012.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English and Ahtna
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. The Language Raven Gave Us
Madison, NJ : Farleigh Dickinson University, 2009.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English and Ahtna
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. Lone Wolves
Freedonia : Leap Frog, 2013.
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. Loonsong and other Poems
Columbus : Pudding House Publications, 2004.
Genre: Poetry
ISBN: 1589982096

Smelcer, John E. Native American Classics
Graphic Classics, 2013.
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. The Raven and the Totem
Todd Communications, 1992.
Genre: Nonfiction
Language: English

Smelcer, John E. Raven Speaks
New York, NY : Split Oak Press, 2010.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English
Audience: Adult

Smelcer, John E. Riversongs: poems
Nashville : Poetics, Inc. and the editors of the Cumberland poetry review, 2001.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English
Audience: Adult

Smelcer, John E. Songs from an Outcast: poems
Los Angeles : American Indian Studies Center, 2000.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English
Audience: Adult
ISBN: 093562645X

Smelcer, John E. Tracks
Australia : South Head Press, 1998.
Genre: Poetry
Language: English
Audience: Adult

Smelcer, John E. The Trap
New York : Henry Holt, 2006.
Genre: Fiction

Smelcer, John E. We Are the Land, We Are the Sea
Anchorage, AK : Chenega Heritage Foundation, 2008.
Genre: Nonfiction
Language: English
Audience: All Ages

Smelcer, John E. Without Reservation: New & Selected Poems
Kirksville : Truman State University Press, 2003.
Genre: Poetry
ISBN: 1931112304


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