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Bone Light

4.47 of 5 stars 4.47  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Orlando White explores language from a Diné (Navajo) perspective. One idea that interests him, inspires him to think and write, is the idea of the English language as a forgotten language.

Imagine if we as a people, all people in the United States, are speaking an Indigenous language rather than English; that the English language exists merely as a language of the colonial
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Paperback, 64 pages
Published February 15th 2009 by Red Hen Press
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Red Hen Press
In Bone Light, Orlando White’s debut volume, he explores the English language from a Diné (Navajo) perspective. He invites us to imagine that we, as a people--all people in this imaginary country called the United States--are speaking an Indigenous language and that the English language exists merely as a remnant of the colonial past.

Despite its tenuous existence in this re-imagined present, English remains a danger to Indigenous thought, as it threatens to impose an alien worldview through its
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Jeff T.
The other day I read a couple poems from this collection, and they've been in my head since. Today I sat down and read them all. Poured their letters into me, first thinking, slow, be slower, and then, I am not done with this. Orlando White exposes the bones of letters, the skeleton of the sentence, without losing the sense of language. Also, he reveals how, in writing a book, one becomes the book. But there is clearly a person here, nudging from the margins. He handles his letters, ours, with c ...more
Teniesha Kessler
An interesting poetry collection exploring the constructs of the alphabet, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. While I found the idea intriguing and some of the pieces enjoyable, the collection as a whole seemed a bit redundant to me, since the same words were repeated over and over throughout the book, which, I'm sure, were part of the point, but I just prefer variety. This isn't to say, however, that the book doesn't demand a second read--I'll probably notice most relevant details that form ...more
Mills College Library
811.6 W5869b 2009
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Orlando White is originally from Tólikan, Arizona. He is Diné (Navajo) of the Naaneesht’ézhi Tábaahí (Zuni Water’s Edge Clan) and born for the Naakai Diné’e (Mexican Clan).

He holds a BFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Brown University. His poems have appeared in Bombay Gin, In Posse Review, Oregon Literary Review, Ploughshares, They Are Flying Plane
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More about Orlando White...
Scrimshaw: Neo Modern Literature From The Institute Of American Indian Arts, 2005 2006

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