Poet Lance Henson to visit USD Nov. 7 Poet Lance Henson will visit The University of South Dakota on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Henson will speak to English and American Indian literature students and will present a reading and booksigning in Old Main's Farber Hall from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Author of more than 20 collections of poetry, including Strong Heart Song (1994), Another Distance (1991), A Cheyenne Sketchbook: Selected Poems 1970-1991 (1992), and Naming the Dark: Poems for the Cheyenne (1976), Henson writes in both Cheyenne and English. His work has been translated into German, Frysian, and Italian. Henson has traveled widely, presenting readings and workshops in the United States, Europe, and New Guinea. During the fall of 2000 he directed a "Words from the Edge" project, bringing together five indigenous poets from endangered cultures throughout the world for a European reading tour.
According to Dr. Norma Wilson, professor of English and American Indian Studies at The University of South Dakota, "The poetry of Lance Henson is filled with awe and respect for the creation. His poetry laments the terrible destruction to indigenous people and the earth during the past two centuries."
Henson was born in Washington, DC, but was raised near Calumet, OK, by his grandparents, Bertha and Bob Cook. Upon graduation from high school, he joined the marines during the Vietnam War. After serving in the military, he attended Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts, where he completed a B.A. in 1972.
Henson's first book, Keeper of Arrows, was published in 1971. He attended Tulsa University as a Ford Foundation Scholar and is a member of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier Society, the Native American church, and the American Indian Movement.
Henson's visit is sponsored by The University of South Dakota English Department, the Institute of American Indian Studies, the IdEA and TRIO programs, and the South Dakota Humanities Council.