The Poetics and Politics of Water, a series curated by the American Indian Studies Program and the Department of English at the UA, presents Sherwin Bitsui, who will read from his work. After the reading there will be a short Q&A session and a book signing.
Originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation, Sherwin Bitsui is the author of two collections of poetry, Flood Song (Copper Canyon) and Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press). He is Diné of the Tí³dích’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizílaaní (Many Goats Clan) abd holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and a BA from University of Arizona in Tucson. His recent honors include a 2011 Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a 2011 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. Bitsui has published his poems in Narrative, Black Renaissance Noir, American Poet, The Iowa Review, LIT, and elsewhere.
Steeped in Native American culture, mythology, and history, Bitsui’s poems reveal the tensions in the intersection of Native American and contemporary urban culture. His poems are imagistic, surreal, and rich with details of the landscape of the Southwest.
“Sherwin Bitsui sees violent beauty in the American landscape. But above all else, there is an indigenous eccentricity, ‘a cornfield at the bottom of a sandstone canyon,’ that you will not find anywhere else.” --Sherman Alexie
“[Bitsui] preserves the feeling of myth yet shows myth as an essential mode of thinking.” --American Poet
“Bitsui’s poetry returns things to their basic elements and voice in a flowing language rife with illuminating images. A great reading experience for those who like serious and innovative poetry.” --Library Journal