Acclaimed Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz shares his way to dealing with the harsh winters of South Dakota while teaching at Sinte Gleska College on the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation.
Ortiz's way of dealing with the hard elements of winter was to write After and Before the Lightning, prose and verse poems that were his response to that long season between the thunderstorms of autumn and spring. "I needed a map of where I was and what I was doing in the cosmos," he writes.
In these poems, which he regards as a book-length poetic work, he charts the vast spaces of prairie and time that often seem indistinguishable. As he faces the reality of winter on the South Dakota reservation, he also confronts the harsh political reality for its Native community and culture and for Indian people everywhere.
Paperback: 127 pages