Diane Glancy (1941 - )
Diane Glancy, of Prairie Village, Kansas, has German/English and
Cherokee heritage. She writes about her family, American Indian histories, and the Midwest. Her novel Pushing the Bear is one of the best known accounts of the Trail of Tears. Her novel Stone Heart is about Sacajawea.
She often blends experimental forms with strong storytelling elements. “Indian Summer,” for example, tells the story of a farm break-up, but also it suggests the season’s changes and historic changes. She uses a pastiche of images to suggest the process of time. The
images—farmhouse, leaves, bugs, cornfields, dress, tools, and barn—appear on a fictitious country road. The narrator drives by them and sees an “open sea” and finally the “white iceberg” barn. The barn’s isolation is highlighted by the comparison to ice, and also
the narrator is alone within time and “migrating daily.”
There’s a farm auction up the road.
Wind has its bid in for the leaves.
Already bugs flurry the headlights
between cornfields at night.
If this world were permanent,
I could dance full as the squaw dress
on the clothesline.
I would not see winter
in the square of white yard-light on the wall.
But something tugs at me.
The world is at a loss and I am part of it
Everything is up for grabs
like a box of farm tools broken open.
I hear the spirits often in the garden
and along the shore of corn.
I know this place is not mine.
I hear them up the road again.
This world is a horizon, an open sea.
Behind the house, the white iceberg of the barn.
Education: B.A. in English, University of Missouri, 1964; M.A., Central State University, 1983; M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers Workshop, 1988.
Career: Diane Glancy has written over 20 books of poetry from Michigan State, Salt, University of Arizona and other presses; over 20 books of prose; plus a number of plays produced and published. She is professor of English at Macalester College, where she is
taking sabbatical/early retirement. She has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Lannan foundation, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and others.
© 2008 Denise Low, AAPP18 © 2007 Diane Glancy, ”Indian Summer” in Asylum in the Grasslands (University of Arizona Press). © 2005 Denise Low, photograph.