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Meskwaki author Ray Young Bear wins award for poetry collection






Ray Young Bear. Photo courtesy Toledo Chronicle / Tama News-Herald / Inside Iowa Today

Ray Young Bear, a member of the Meskwaki Tribe, has won an American Book Award.

Young Bear, who lives on the Meskawki Settlement in Iowa, won the award for Manifestation Wolverine, a collection of poems. Some of the works were previously published but others -- including a series inspired by his tribal traditions and a Lazy-Boy recliner -- are new.

“That was a great honor to be recognized for all of those years that I’ve sat here at home plugging away at some of these poems that took four to eight years to revise,” Young Bear told Radio Iowa. “All those years of being extra careful with my words has paid off.”

Young Bear isn't only the Native citizen being recognized either. Laura Da', who is a member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, won an award for Tributaries, another collection of poems.

And Chiitaanibah Johnson is receiving the Andrew Hope Award. The a young Navajo and Maidu student challenged a professor who denied that genocide was committed against Native peoples in California.

The American Book Awards, administered by the Before Columbus Foundation, will be presented October 30 in San Francisco, California.

Read More on the Story:
Iowa author’s ‘Manifestation Wolverine’ wins 2016 American Book Award (Radio Iowa 8/24)