The Nature of Native American Poetry
Wilson's scope is both broad and specific as she draws from contemporary criticism, tribal histories and folklore, interviews with writers, and, of course, from the poetry itself. Her study is firmly grounded in the oral traditions and personal and tribal histories of the eight poets on whom she focuses -- Carter Revard, N. Scott Momaday, Simon Ortiz, Lance Henson, Roberta Hill, Linda Hogan, Wendy Rose, and Joy Harjo. A final chapter on the "new generation" considers younger poets such as Sherman Alexie, Cheryl Savageau, Tiffany Midge, and Elizabeth Woody, among others.
At the same time, Wilson's broad understanding of the literary heritage of East, West, and First nations allows her to place Native American poetry in global and historical context. Wilson points out Native American writers have been influenced by such well known Western "canon" poets as Blake, Whitman, and Ginsberg. Her study further elucidates the clear mark that Native American literature, culture, and oral-poetic traditions have left on five centuries of British and American literature.