Tending the Fire: Native Voices & Portraits

Christopher Felver (Photographer) Simon J Ortiz (Foreword by)
& 1 more


2017 INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist

Christopher Felver's Tending the Fire celebrates the poets and writers who represent the wide range of Native American voices in literature today. In these commanding portraits, Felver's distinctive visual signature and unobtrusive presence capture each artist's strength, integrity, and character. Accompanying each portrait is a handwritten poem or prose piece that helps reveal the origin of the poet's language and legends. As the individuals share their unique voices, Tending the Fire introduces us to the diversity and complexity of Native culture through the authors' generous and passionate stories.

Felver's insightful epilogue reminds us that "Native Americans today are as modern as the Space Age, and each in their own way carries forth the cultural heritage 'from whence they came.' Their abiding legacy as the first people of this continent has found its voice in the hard-won wisdom of their art and activism. Let's learn from this belated opportunity to look and listen to these Native voices."

Product Details

$49.95  $44.96
University of New Mexico Press
Publish Date
April 15, 2017
9.1 X 1.0 X 11.2 inches | 3.2 pounds

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About the Author

Christopher Felver's previous books include American Jukebox: A Photographic Journey, The Importance of Being, The Late Great Allen Ginsberg: A Photo Biography, The Poet Exposed, and Ferlinghetti Portrait. His photographs are distributed worldwide and collected by museums and university libraries. They have been featured in international exhibitions, including the Centre Pompidou, London's National Theatre, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, and MOCA.

Simon J. Ortiz, an Acoma Pueblo Indian, is a poet, lecturer, and writer whose collection of poems Going for the Rain won a Pushcart Prize.

Linda Hogan, a renowned Chickasaw poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, speaker, educator, and activist, served as a professor at the University of Colorado and is currently Writer in Residence for the Chickasaw Nation. Her 1990 novel, Mean Spirit, and poetry collection Rounding the Human Corners were considered as finalists for Pulitzer Prizes. Among the many honors garnered by Hogan's books are the Oklahoma Book Award, the Colorado Book Award, an American Book Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. In addition to works offered through major publishing houses, Hogan also coauthored Chickasaw Press's inaugural publication in 2006, Chickasaw: Unconquered and Unconquerable. In 2007 the Chickasaw Nation inducted Linda Hogan into its Hall of Fame.


"Felver's portraits, and excerpts from Native American writers, emphasize the interconnectedness of Native communities. . . . A compelling visual and literary introduction to indigenous American authors."--Foreword Reviews