John E. Smelcer The Complete Ahtna Poems

John E. Smelcer

Thursday, November 18, 2010
7pm – 8pm

Book Reading and Signing

This forthcoming publication is a comprehensive collection of Smelcer’s bilingual poems.

The forward was written by Noam Chomsky and The Dalai Lama.

Publisher: N/A
Genre: Poetry
Pre-Order The Complete Ahtna Poems from Amazon and get it signed on November 18, 2010 at Africa House, 50 Washington Avenue, Endicott, NY.
Free entrance


John E. Smelcer

John Smelcer is one of the most prolific writers in America, with over 40 published books, as many as James Michener or James Patterson. Over the past decade, his books have been contenders for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, and dozens of others honors. His most recent novels include The Great Death and the award-winning, The Trap, both of which are published worldwide. The poems in his The Binghamton Poems, were personally selected and edited by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, John Updike. The late Allen Ginsburg called him, “one of the best younger poets in America.” Carl Sagan wrote, “John Smelcer is the voice of nations and all people.” Tony Hillerman called him “a talented and unforgettable storyteller.”

As one of the last people on earth who can speak, read, and write in two endangered Native American/Alaska Native languages, John is the editor-compiler of The Ahtna Noun Dictionary (1998, 2009 revised) and The Alutiiq Noun Dictionary (2009), both archived by Yale University. Tribes across the nation invite John to their reservations to speak about language and cultural preservation. In 1998, John was nominated for the Alaska Governor's Award for the Humanities. His bilingual poetry collection, The Complete Ahtna Poems, includes a foreword by Noam Chomsky, the world's foremost linguist and one of the century's greatest intellectuals. John is the author of numerous books on Alaska Native/Native American mythology, including his award winning,The Raven and theTotem, which includes a foreword by Joseph Campbell, the world's greatest mythologist, who helped George Lucas create the archetypal stories and characters in Star Wars.

Smelcer's education includes advanced studies in English literature at Cambridge and Oxford. He has taught at colleges and universities around the world. For fifteen years, he has been poetry editor and associate publisher at Rosebud, one of America's premiere magazines for contemporary writing, where has edited and published many of the world's greatest writers and pop icons, such as Norman Mailer, Studs Terkel, Philip K. Dick, Allen Ginsburg, Alice Walker, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nikki Giovanni, John Gardner, John Updike, Seamus Heaney, Jewel, Paul McCartney, John Denver, and Jim Morrison. He currently serves as a consulting editor at Parabola, the world's foremost magazine on spirituality, religion, mythology, and the search for meaning. An essay of his on compassion appeared alongside an essay by the Dalai Lama. His article on space pollution, published by NASA, is one of the most cited references on the subject.

His career has been eclectic. While he has taught at college and universities around the world, he has also been  an archeologist, a linguist, a grants administrator, a university chair, a vocational college dean, and even a hospital administrator at the Alaska Native Medical Center, one of the most successful and imitated customer-based hospitals in the world. In 2004, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation appointed him a nominator for the prestigious $500,000 MacArthur Fellowships. That same year, the Elihu Foundation of Chicago recognized him for his advocacy for rural Alaskan communities.


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