Wendy Rose

American anthropologist, poet, painter

Wendy Rose (born May 8, 1948) is a Hopi/Miwok writer. Having grown up in an environment which placed little emphasis on both her Native American and white background, much of her verse deals with her search for her personal identity. She is also an anthropologist, artist, and social scientist.

Quotes edit

Interview in Survival This Way by Joseph Bruchac (1987) edit

  • One way that they [Kachinas] can be thought of is if you think of the entire earth as being one being and we as small beings living on that large being like fleas on a cat.
  • I think it's impossible to be governed with any sense of integrity when you don't recognize each other and have no obligation to each other.
  • What a lot of people don't realize is there were a number of revolts against the Spanish mission by the Indians. But they don't tell you this in the museums. In fact, the museum right here in Oakland paints a ridiculous picture of the missions with the happy little natives making baskets in the shade of the adobe with the benevolent padres walking around rattling their rosaries. That just is not the way that the missions were.
  • the way I think of it-now I don't really know where the poems or where the art comes from, I don't know where the images come from-but however they come or wherever they come from is like communicating with a person. It's a whole person. That person shows you things and has a certain appearance but also tells you things. So as you receive images, they are either received through the ear or through the eye or through the tongue and that's just the way it feels.
  • We are parts of the earth that walk around and have individual consciousness for awhile and then go back.
  • This is a plural society and all of us have to work at it a little bit to get the full flavor of the society.
  • I would much rather be respected by the Indian community through my writing than to have my books reviewed in the New York Times.

Interview in Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak by Laura Coltelli (1990) edit

  • if Indians are left out of every other class on the university campus, even where they are pertinent-for example, leaving Scott Momaday out of a class on twentieth-century American literature, something like that somewhere else there has to be a balance. There has to be someone somewhere else who is going to emphasize Scott Momaday to the exclusion of the ones who are emphasized in the other class. I hope that at some point that will become balanced. I hope that pretty soon an American literature class will just automatically include someone like Scott Momaday-and some of the other people: Charles Eastman, you know, the other writers in our history.
  • (Could you describe your writing process?) Well, I explained it one time, on radio, as the sensation of being sick in your stomach, in that you suddenly have to throw up, suddenly, you have to vomit. There is no way you can stop it. It has to happen. It's a bodily process in which the material is expelling itself from your body. That's what it feels like to me in a mental or emotional way. Suddenly it's there and it has to be expelled. It's going to come out whether I want it to or not. If I don't have something to write on, it comes out of my mouth. It's got to come out one way or another.
  • anywhere in America, if you take a university-level course on American history or American literature, particularly in literature and the arts, it only has the literature and the arts that are produced by Americans of European heritage, even then largely Northern European. We are left out of the books. Black people are left out; brown people are left out; Indian people are left out. So you get the impression, going through the American education system, that the only people here are white people. It's not just a cultural matter, but it's a political matter. There is a reason for a society to be that way, that has the literary capacity and the technological capacity that America has; there's no excuse for the people being so blind, for the people to be wearing a blindfold that way. The only possible reason it could happen is because it's not an accident; that it's planned. Somebody is benefiting by having Americans ignorant about what non-European Americans are doing and what they have done; what European Americans have done to them. Somebody is benefiting by keeping people ignorant.

Quotes about Wendy Rose edit

  • Wendy is an intensely serious person-though not slow to laughter-and her well-informed anger showed in both the poem she chose to read and in the directness of her responses.
    • Joseph Bruchac Survival This Way: Interviews with American Indian Poets (1987)
  • Over the years, she has gained a solid reputation as a poet. She is also an accomplished painter. One of her favorite subjects, the centaur, reflects what she calls "my hybrid status...like the centaur, I have always felt misunderstood and isolated-whether with Indians or with non-Indians."
    • Laura Coltelli Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak (1990)

External links edit

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