Monday, July 11, 2016

Diane Glancy

Diane Glancy is a Christian writer with a joint Cherokee and English/German family heritage. She is professor emerita at Macalester College. She has received many honours, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, and the 2016 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Her Christian faith and native heritage intersect within her writing.

In her book The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris says:
-----"I once had the great pleasure of hearing the poet Diane Glancy
-----astound a group of clergy...by saying that she loved Christianity
-----because it was a blood religion. People gasped in shock; I was
-----overjoyed, thinking, Hit 'em, Diane; hit 'em where they live...
-----Diane told the clergy that she appreciated the relation of the
-----Christian religion to words. "The creation came into being when
-----God spoke," she said, reminding us of Paul's belief that "faith
-----comes through hearing." Diane saw this regard for words as
-----connected not only to writing but to living. "You build a world
-----in what you say," she said. "Words — as I speak or write them —
-----make a path on which I walk."

Some of Glancy's recent publications include three novels from Wipf & Stock — Uprising of the Goats, One of Us and Ironic Witness — and her most-recent poetry collection Report to the Department of the Interior (2015, University of New Mexico Press).

How to Explain Christ to the Unsaved

An awkward cousin who could not get a date, and you didn't know anyone who would go out with him. Too dark and ruddy. Too swarthy and crazy in the eye. He had a slow walk you could out-pace. He was someone you thought you could outrun. But he could stop you dead with something he said. Or his voice could break into thunder. He was? Concerned. Preoccupied. You remember Crazy Horse with his eye on the next world. His horse with a mission too. Not just holy but knowing how to get down to it of late. No one else would come by or call, but this cowboy who rode a donkey and would end up wearing a briar or thorns, would hang around. Who was this prophet, this traveling man, this nomad born with animals who never seemed to connect? He was jovial as a penitentiary. He became a grandfather spirit, and his believers, Black Elks who saw into the sky. He was too tall, too lanky. He was not always at the table for his cabbage and rabbit. He was a loner. Atonement was never a group act but for the sheep and bullocks and rams, I suppose, over the burnt alters of old encampments. But he was self-possessed. A mean Jesus and the soldiers nailed him to a cross. He was in hell three days and brought out everyone who wanted to take a salt bath in his seas and peel off their mind and squeal to enter his kingdom he had just named, heaven. Now he sleeps, they taunt, but it may be the sleep Adam slept when a rib was taken for you know who, and if Christ sleeps, it is the sleep while the cross is taken from him, called, rib bone for a bride.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.