Now with an introduction from celebrated poet James Tate, Riding the Earthboy 40 is the only volume of poetry written by acclaimed Native American novelist James Welch. The title of the book refers to the forty acres of Montana land Welch's father once leased from a Blackfeet family called Earthboy. This land and its surroundings shaped the writer's worldview as a youth, its rawness resonates in the vitality of his elegant poetry, and his verse shows a great awareness of a moment in time, of a place in nature, and of the human being in context. Deeply evoking the specific Native American experience in Montana, Welch's poems nonetheless speak profoundly to all readers. With its new introduction, this vital work that has influenced so many American writers is certain to capture a new generation of readers.
About the Author
James Welch (1940 – 2003) was the author of the novels Winter in the Blood, The Death of Jim Loney, Fools Crow (for which he received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an American Book Award, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award), The Indian Lawyer, and The Heartsong of Charging Elk. Welch also wrote a nonfiction book, Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighornand theFate of the Plains Indians, and a work of poetry, Riding the Earthboy 40. He attended schools on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap reservations in Montana, graduated from the University of Montana, where he studied writing with the late Richard Hugo, and served on the Montana State Board of Pardons.
James Tate’s honors include a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Riding the Earthboy 40 is the most important book of poetry in all of Native American literature. James Welch is our Frost, Donne, Dickinson, and Stevens. (Sherman Alexie)