Native American poet to read from his book addressing politics, science and nature infused in “A Large Dent in the Moon”

Monty Campbell, Jr., will recite from his book of poems for a Night of Poetry on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the University Bookstore.

“Ink-stained existence.” “Buzzing appliances.” “Humble grass.”– These phrases of description penetrate the pages of Monty Campbell, Jr’s, book of poetry titled, “A Large Dent in the Moon.”

Campbell will read from his book for a Night of Poetry on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the University Bookstore. The event is sponsored by the English Language and Literature Association (ELLA) and student government.

Campbell wrote his poems from an indigenous perspective; also one that people can relate to, according to Cody Slauson, president of ELLA and a graduate student of English.

“He makes his subject relatable about being Cayuga and Native American,” Slauson said. “He’s especially good for SIUE because there’s a strong poetry community and you’re going to grow in some way from the reading.”

Campbell is a member of the Cayuga Tribe of Six Nations, the tribe being one of the constituents of the Iroquois, a confederacy of American Indians in New York.  He was raised on the Cattaraugus reservation and in the inner city of Rochester, N.Y. His poetry appears in literary journals such as “Spaces Lit Mag” and “Yellow Medicine Review, a Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought.”

Slauson said he considers Campbell an accomplished poet at age 30. “He’s as young if not younger than many people on campus,” Slauson said.

Ali Vlahos, vice president of ELLA and graduate student in English said Campbell’s poetry is a mix of Native American perspectives, politics, science and nature with “an emotional poignancy that is really beautiful.”

Slauson said he was really excited about Campbell coming, especially as the poet addresses “what we are ignoring, what we aren’t considering and thinking about.”

The poem “River” is about the Hudson in New York.

Slauson said he interprets the poem as addressing the history of oppression when it refers “dead dogs, Indians,” beneath it, but says his message is subtle.

The poem also mentions “wall street millionaires, and their anchors:” contrasting imagery.

“I don’t think he’s blaming people, but just pointing out what we’re not paying attention to,” Slauson said.

According to Slauson, Campbell’s poem, “Note to Brother,” is about addiction and “how we let people with these kinds of issues down.”

Slauson said there is an irony in a phrase in the poem that says, “Shedding tears manifests sincerity.” According to Slauson, the word “manifests” could be interpreted as alluding to Manifest Destiny, a 19th century widely held belief that American settlers were destined to expand across the continent.

“Monty does a pretty good job pointing out our real American history,” Slauson said.

According to Slauson, most people when they think about poetry think, “Oh it’s stuffy, but his is not.”

“He’s very down-to-earth,” Slauson said.

Other poem titles in his book include “Depiction of an American Identity,” “Lamentation” and “Organic Turmoil.”

Vlahos said Campbell’s poetry is accessible and he will have a lot to offer students-not just creative writing students.

Vlahos said she considers Campbell a talented Native American poet whose writing style and subject matter would enhance the SIUE community. He would do so by “offering refreshing perspectives and being a role model not only through his writing, but also his dedication to history, ancestry, and nature.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: English Language & LitGeneral CAS Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site