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Walking in Stone
John Spaulding

Wesleyan New Poets

1989 • 63 pp. 5 figs. 6 x 8"

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1176-8

Remarkable poems exploring the relationship between the colonists and Native Americans.

Colonists and Native Americans alternate in these poems of encounter between the intruding culture and the culture the colonist found. Walking in Stone refers to spiritual sources powerful enough to sink their footsteps into rock.
Against such a background, John Spaulding finds voices of encounter (in a way he speaks for them by inheritance—his ancestors came to New England in 1750 and one married a Native American). His poems resemble journal entries, oral testimonies. The “knife people,” the “iron men,” as the Indians call them, come in “floating islands” across the sea. The colonists saw them as “wild people,” “Satan’s children.” Separately and together in these powerful poems they suffer cold and pestilence, capture and slaughter, and although one is the military victor, both suffer spiritual loss.

Reviews / Endorsements

“These poems do the hardest thing: they imagine the lives of people who are long ago and cast away; they do it accurately and with dignity. In the plainsong spirit of a pioneer journal, Spaulding has evoked a harsh and unforgiving world.”—Steve Orlen

JOHN SPAULDING’s book is, in a sense, a mythic story of his own roots. His family had emigrated to New England in 1750; one of his ancestors was a Native American. He was born in Hanover, New Hampshire; since 1982 he has been a clinical psychologist with Native North American peoples in Ontario, Oklahoma, and Arizona, where he served at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. Now in the state of Washington, he is chief of mental health and social services for the Puget Sound Service Unit of the Indian Health Service. He has also worked as an editor, at the University of Arizona Press, and taught high-school English in Pomona, California. Spaulding received two M.A.’s, in English and in Psychology, and a Ph.D., in psychology, from the University of Arizona, Tucson. He has received two awards from the Academy of American Poets, a fellowship from the Millay Colony for the Arts, in 1987, and an achievement award from the U.S. Public Health Service, also in 1987. This is his first book. His home is in Maple Valley, Washington.

Tue, 15 May 2018 12:59:39 -0500