Until now, the study of American Indian literature has tended to concentrate on contemporary writing. Although the field has grown rapidly, early works—especially poetry—remain mostly unknown and inaccessible. Changing Is Not Vanishing simultaneously reinvents the early history of American Indian literature and the history of American poetry by presenting a vast but forgotten archive of American Indian poems. Through extensive archival research in small-circulation newspapers and magazines, manuscripts, pamphlets, rare books, and scrapbooks, Robert Dale Parker has uncovered the work of more than 140 early Indian poets who wrote before 1930.
Changing Is Not Vanishing includes poems by 82 writers and provides a full bibliography of all the poets Parker has identified—most of them unknown even to specialists in Indian literature. In a wide range of approaches and styles, the poems in this collection address such topics as colonialism and the federal government, land, politics, nature, love, war, Christianity, and racism. With a richly informative introduction and extensive annotation, Changing Is Not Vanishing opens the door to a trove of fascinating, powerful poems that will be required reading for all scholars and readers of American poetry and American Indian literature.