For Immediate Release — Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
Native American Poet Carter Revard to Speak at SUNY Geneseo
GENESEO, N.Y. — Native American poet Carter Revard will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Sturges Auditorium at the State University of New York at Geneseo.
The event is free and open to the public. Revard is the author of "How the Songs Come Down: New and Selected Poems" and several other important works. Raised on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma, Revard taught medieval and American Indian literatures at Washington University in St. Louis until his retirement in 1997.
Revard, part Osage on his father's side, was born and raised in the Buck Creek Valley, Oklahoma, 20 miles east of Pawhuska. As a child, he worked in the hay and harvest fields, trained greyhounds and attended the one-room, eight-grades Buck Creek School with his six brothers and sisters. He and his twin sister served as janitors in eighth grade.
He graduated from Bartlesville College High, winning a radio quiz scholarship to the University of Tulsa, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1952. His Osage name, Nompewathe, was given to him in the same year. Revard won a Rhodes Scholarship, which allowed him to go to Oxford University in England, where he received his second bachelor's degree. He also received support from Franklin Eikenberry, his professor from the University of Tulsa, who also helped Revard go on to earn a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1959.
In addition to Washington University, Revard taught at Amherst College, the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma. He focused his scholarly work on medieval English literature, linguistics and American Indian literature.
Point Riders Press in Oklahoma published two collections of his poems: "Ponca War Dancers" (1980) and "Cowboys and Indians Christmas Shopping" (1992). More recently, "An Eagle Nation" and "Family Matters, Tribal Affairs" were published by the University of Arizona Press. Revard's poems and stories have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including "Talking Leaves" (Dell, 1991) and "New Worlds of Literature" (Norton, 1989).
In 2005, the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Revard. The 2003 issue of the journal "SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures" was devoted to Revard's work. In 2000, he was named Writer of the Year by Woodcraft Circle of Native Writers. In 2002, he was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in the non-fiction category for "Winning the Dust Bowl." In 1994, his book "Eagle Nation" was the winner of the Oklahoma Book Award in the poetry category. "Family Matters, Tribal Affairs" was a finalist in the non-fiction category for the Oklahoma Book Award in 1999.
Revard is a member of the Modern Language Association, the American Indian Center of St. Louis, the Association for Studies in American Indian Literature, the River Styx Literary Organization, the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, the University of Tulsa Board of Visitors, the St. Louis Gourd Dancers and Phi Beta Kappa.
Revard's visit is sponsored by Geneseo's Native American Studies Program and co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the English, history and anthropology departments, and the Geneseo Literary Forum.