2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Finding Flowers on a Concrete Island in the Dark: Urban Indian Writers Lighting Matches to Locate Culture
Nathan J. Moore
Dr. Martha Bartter, Faculty Mentor

Nathan Moore Student Research Conference Abstract Finding Flowers on a Concrete Island in the Dark: Urban Indian Writers Lighting Matches to Locate Culture This essay will study the use of reservation landscape as a cultural healer in Native American relocation novels from the renaissance era, and will demonstrate the differing cultural reconnection tools of literature currently being written by urban raised Native Americans. (Paragraph) The renaissance period of Native American Literature focused on the theme of relocation and return: going from the mainstream world back to their heritage geographically, spiritually and emotionally. We see this in a foundational work of this period, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony (1977). (Paragraph) This belies the fact that now a majority of Native Americans reside permanently away from the reservation. This essay study works by two urban Native American writers. Esther Belin’s From the Belly of My Beauty (1999) voices an internally felt re-connection to culture, and Greg Sarris’ Grand Avenue: A Novel in Stories (1994) creates a fusion of native epistemologies and urban realities.

Keywords: Native Americans, Locating Culture, Reservation, Landscape connection, Urban Connection, Esther Belin, Leslie Marmon Silko, Greg Sarris

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 37-1
Location: OP 2115
Time: 2:15

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