McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 8, 2013

Award-winning poet to read selections Tuesday at NOC

ENID, Okla. — Lance Henson, an award-winning poet who has taken his work from western Oklahoma to the world, will read a selection of his works at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Marshall Hall chapel at Northern Oklahoma College Enid.

Henson, raised in Calumet, is of Cheyenne, Oglala and Cajun French descent. He was actively involved in Southern Cheyenne tribal culture.

He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and later earned a bachelor’s degree from the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts in Chickasha, and a master in fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Tulsa.

He is a member of Cheyenne Dog Soldier Society, Native American Church and American Indian Movement. He has participated in Cheyenne Sun Dance rituals.

After working as an Oklahoma artist-in-residence for the State Arts Council for several years, he took his work on the road, eventually reading and conducting poetry workshops in venues across the U.S. and in Europe and Asia. He has been a featured reader at One World Poetry Festival in Amsterdam, International Poetry Festival in Tarascon, France, and at Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey.

Henson’s numerous publications, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and often appear in bilingual editions due to his popularity in Europe, include “Naming the Dark: Poems from the Cheyenne,” “A Cheyenne Sketchbook: Selected Poems 1970-1991,” “Strong Heart Songs: Lines from a Revolutionary Text,” and his newest book of poems, “One Who Whispers Softly.”

Henson has lectured on issues related to native and indigenous peoples for the United States Information Service in Singapore, Thailand, New Guinea and New Zealand, and has twice attended the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Conference in Geneva. He also has written two plays, “Winter Man” and “Coyote Road,” and collaborated with jazz and world musicians.

He lives in Italy and is in the U.S. for a limited number of readings. His appearance is sponsored by the NOC Division of Language Arts through the NOC Foundation.

There is no admission charge. Henson will have books available for purchase at the event.

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