Dancing with the Gods
Written as a gift to aspiring artists in all disciplines, Dancing with the Gods takes readers inside the creative process for a glimpse into the hidden joys and unseen challenges of a life in the arts. A contemporary companion to Rilke’s famous “Letters to a Young Poet.”
“With his usual mix of ideas, personal stories, and deep philosophical analysis, Nerburn displays his enthusiasm for the arts, imagination, and creativity in every section of the book. Many times — and we predict you will have this experience too — we felt he was speaking directly to our situation. We have had to make crossroads decisions about what is ours to do; we have suffered the yearly angst over budget deficits and fundraising appeals to make the case for our ministry in the arts and media. And yet, like Nerburn, we have rejoiced in the freedom, the fulfillment, and the joy of a life in the arts.”Book Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The Wolf At Twilight
The long awaited follow-up to Neither Wolf nor Dog. A note is left on a car windshield, an old dog dies, and Kent Nerburn finds himself back on the Lakota reservation where he traveled more than a decade before with a tribal elder named Dan. A touching, funny, and haunting journey begins.
“After my prison cell began to cool from the day’s heat, I opened Kent Nerburn’s creative and compassionate book, which I found humorous, hilarious, and at times very sad. Thank you, Kent, for a good book to read. Doksha.” – Leonard Peltier, author, artist, and activist
The Soul of an Indian (and other writings from Ohiyesa)
Ohiyesa, a Dakota Indian also known as Charles Alexander Eastman, is one of America’s most fascinating and overlooked individuals.
“A man to whom I would entrust my country or my son.” – Kent Nerburn
This book is a journey into the sacred moments that illuminate our everyday lives.
“Through this poetic and eye-opening collection of brief essays, we are touched by the beauty, the grandeur, and the meaning in ordinary moments and experiences.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat (Spirituality and Practice Magazine)
From the vast grandeur of the Great Plains to the dark solitude of the northern woods, from the fierce intensity of a summer storm to the quiet redemption of a perfect blanket of snow, Kent Nerburn’s new book, Native Echoes, pays homage to the power of the land to shape our hearts and spirits.
“Native Echoes is a rare work, at once stark and poetic, that acknowledges both Native American traditions and the insights of our western way of thinking and believing. NAPRA review calls it a “beautiful book that will touch not only those who find Spirit in Native American paths, but anyone who has felt the presence of something powerful beyond the known.”
Voices in the Stones
A sketchbook of reflections and life experiences that reveal the beauty and insight of the Native way of understanding life and the world around us.
“Confronting events at Standing Rock—either through news reports and social media or a personal visit—is a dive into very deep waters of Indian culture. In this new book, Nerburn once again takes on his beloved role as a non-Indian traveler on our behalf—a guide to the expansive shape of this cultural realm.” – David Crumm, ReadTheSpirit Editor
Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce
Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark lies another journey every bit as poignant, every bit as dramatic, and every bit as essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation — the 1,800-mile journey made by Chief Joseph and eight hundred Nez Perce men, women, and children from their homelands.
“A remarkable job of research…a poignant, touching tale.” – Howard Zinn, author( A People’s History of the United States)”
From a meditation on his father’s forgotten toolbox to a description of a funeral on an Indian reservation, Nerburn takes us on journeys into the spiritual dimension of ordinary events that we too often take for granted.
“Nerburn’s lyrical prose is a delight to read. He has an artist’s eye . . . and a knack for speaking from the heart about little acts of kindness and reverence that others might easily miss.” – Spirituality and Practice Magazine
The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo
The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo is a book that defies categorization. It will appeal to lovers of history, mysteries, good novels, and the magic of this American land.
“Nerburn’s ambitious, satisfying new book — the third in the “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” trilogy — is a nonlinear journey on many levels. It is the story of a search to understand what happened to a young Dakota girl named Yellow Bird who was sent to an insane asylum for Indians many decades ago, and it is also a trip back through centuries of painful American Indian history.” – Chuck Leddy, StarTribune
To Walk the Red Road: Memories of the Red Lake Ojibwe
The book that started the journey to Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight.
The Wisdom of the Native Americans
These thought-provoking teachings from respected Native American leaders and thinkers provide a connection with the land, the environment, and the simple beauties of life.
“A beautiful and exciting work.” – Louise Erdrich, author (Love Medicine & A Plague of Doves)
Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace
Be immersed in the spirit of one of the most universally inspiring figures in history: St. Francis of Assisi. The Prayer of St. Francis boldly but gently challenges us to resist the forces of evil and negativity with the spirit of goodwill and generosity.
“This book is a pearl of great price, revealing how the most potent, authentic prayer is also tender and very human. Kent Nerburn…has given us a blessing to be cherished again and again.” – Wayne Muller, author(Legacy of the Heart and How, Then, Shall We Live?)
Calm Surrender takes readers on a moving, poignantly written journey toward such forgiveness.
“…Kent Nerburn walks me through the ordinary days of a normal life and shows me how to tuck forgiveness into every task, errand, and event… a supremely practical and deeply healing book.” – Hugh Prather, author (Notes To Myself and The Little book of Letting Go)
Neither Wolf Nor Dog
Realists wanting a truthful, fiery, and, ultimately, cleansing dialogue between Indian and white will definitely want to read this book.
“I expected to find Black Elk between these covers. What I found instead was more modern, more alive, and every bit as poignant and moving.” – NAPRA Review
Native American Wisdom
These fascinating quotations include both familiar and obscure pieces of Native American philosophical and religious thought.
“Readers will be challenged intellectually and touched emotionally by these remarks. Teachers will find the arrangement of the book very convenient for reference and startling discussions.” – Library Journal
Letters to My Son
In an attempt to gather what wisdom he could to guide his son into adulthood, Kent Nerburn published a powerful collection of essays that touched the hearts of parents and children everywhere.
“Nerburn…bequeaths a legacy about marriage, fatherhood, infidelity, wanderlust, war, work, aging, and death.” – Publishers Weekly
Simple Truths: Clear and Gentle Guidance on the Big Issues in Life
Kent Nerburn offers clear and gentle guidance on such central life experiences as love, work, possessions, strength, solitude, and death.
“Seldom does a book come along that speaks to the core issues in life with the clarity and wisdom of Simple Truths.” – Bookpage.com
58 thoughts on “Books”
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Oh my gosh!!!! Just had to read your into to “The girl who sang to the Buffalo” to see what tribe it was about ……and WOW!!! Am rather shocked to see it’s along the same track of what I think happened to Sarah!! Except maybe this girl didn’t earn the diagnosis? Now I am REALLY intrigued!!!
Mr.Nerburn….This weekend I read Neither Wolf Nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight…one on Saturday and one on Sunday….My tears are still falling…tears of anger,tears of sorrow,tears of joy,tears of truth,tears for yesterday,tears for tomorrow…I cannot put into to words my feelings except to say my spirit cries….Mitayuke oyas’in
Hau Mr. Nerburn Anpetu Waste
My best friend bought me this book as a gift and I have read many books on Native American’sin my life time. I must say that this is one of the best books I have read in a long time and it is one of those books you never wanted it to end. It was splendid, the way you described the people and their character. I want to thank you for this great book and will recommend it to my family and friends. Next project is Neither Wolf nor Dog! Pilamaya
Just finished your book, “Simple Truths”…what a great book and now I’ve found a new writer THAT I LOVE.
Rachel Worthy Steen
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Love your books and like know if you would have any more books on this guys Dan like you have The girl who sang to the buffalo and other books for enjoys his books for if he does let me know check with me on this website for my mailing address is Jerry Youngbeck 415 Fraine Barracks Rd Bismarck N.D 58504 apt 202 let me know if you get this like all that he does and would write other books too
I assume you have read Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight, the first two books in the series. If not, you can order them from Amazon or from wolfnordog.com (autographed copies). I have written no other books quite like those three, though you might consider looking at my book on Chief Joseph — Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce. Again, it speaks to the Native experience and reads very much like a novel. Plus, there is a long section about the time when Joseph and his band was in Bismarck and at Fort Abraham Lincoln just down the river. I’m sure you would find it interesting.
I was gifted the Wolf nor Dog book about 10 years ago by a native woman. We got acquainted on a native forum. She’s from US i’m from Belgium Europe.
Some strange things happened to me during reading it.
Now, 10 years later i’m catching up with the 2 sequels
There’s one sentence in The Girl Who Sang To The Buffalo that caught my eye: “The smile on his (Dan’s) face was almost beatific”. It made me think back with a smile myself. Those who recognize will lnow what i’m talking about.
Thanks for the read. The books changed my life.
I have read several of your books. As a long time student of Native American history, I appreciate the window you give us to the Native American experience, both historical and present time.
I look forward to reading more. From a fan.
I was introduced to your book thru my oldest son. He was given the book, “The girl who sang to the buffalo”, as a gift. We went on a trip to visit family and I started reading the book, not intending to read it at, as I am not much for reading, but the book piqued my interest and I finished it in three days. Shortly, after that I went to the local bookstore and purchased the first two books in the series, and recently finished both of them. I am now a fan forever! Your writing has brought life and excitement and makes me want to read more and more, especially about our culture, as I was not taught our way of living. Now I want to read more of your writings. Thank you for your gift to us.
Just finished reading “The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo”. What an awesome book!
I find myself in this story and understand me better after reading this book. Each night and day as I read your book I felt I was on the reservation. You truly are a great writer for you can put the reader in the place you write about. This is sad, funny, horrible, inhuman, and informative with much lessons for all to learn. Enjoyed this book and have 2-3 other books of yours and plan to reread them in correct order. Hope for more books to come. Thank you for your writings with the lessons I gleaned.
I learned last night from a friend that Kent will be at the Cannon Falls library, Tuesday, Oct 7th next week. I am so pleased that I will meet this man that has helped to open my spiritual heart. He must embody the very same qualities wisdom, integrity, spirituality, and recognition/love of the sacred in all life – that he has described and shared with us as the 1st Nations way of Living and Being. It will be an honor to meet him!
Mr, Nerburn’s books are new to me. Where should I start?
I would counsel you to start with Simple Truths if you are interested in issues of general spirituality, and with my trilogy of Native American works — Neither Wolf nor Dog, The Wolf at Twilight, and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo — if you want to gain insight into the people and cultures whose lives and hearts are at the core of our American experience. Thanks for asking, Beverly.
My class and I are reading your book, Neither Wolf Nor Dog. We are all very impressed with your way of writing and the story itself is very inthralling. All my classmates say they can’t put this book down. I just wanted to say that. Thank you.
And thank you to you and your classmates for the fine compliment. I hope that some of you will continue to the second and third books of the trilogy — The Wolf at Twilight and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo — when you are done with Neither Wolf nor Dog. To get a sense of what I’m trying to do in these three books, I suggest you go to Goodreads.com and look at the review of The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo by a woman named Robin. She puts things in context very well, and explains what each of the three books is attempting to do. Again, thank you for your kind words, Daniel. My best to you and your class.
Mr. Nerburn, Thank you for writing ” The Wolf at Twilight”, “Neither Wolf nor Dog”, and “The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo”. I have read and totally enjoyed all three of these wondnerful books. I have been encouraging my friends and family to read these books because of the story lines that so accurately tell about our Native culture, values, customs, and traditions. Thank you for getting it right! I am very moved and impressred with the compassion and respect you have/had for Dan. You are one of my favorite authors.
I came to this web site because I would like to read another one of your books….what do you recommend?
Books are like children. It is hard to choose a favorite. If you want to stay with Native issues, I would recommend Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce. It took me four years and 20,000 miles of travel and tells a truly important American story from the ground level. Maybe some other reader can give Laurel some suggestions? Another route is to go to Goodreads.com and look up the comments on my books. The most thoughtful readers tend to post there. You can trust the advice you receive at that site.
Thanks for writing, Laurel. Your kind words mean a great deal to me.
I luv luv your books!!! I have read Neither wolf nor Dog (1ST BOOK), The wolf at Twilight (2ND BOOK), and currently almost finished with The girl who sang to the Buffalo (3RD BOOK). I am native and can relate to these books, I will always charish them forever. Please don’t stop writing,I can’t wait for the 1ST BOOK – Neither wolf nor Dog to hit the big screen.
Thank You Mr. Nerburn.
i wish i could meet you someday.
I just finished The Wolf at Twilight, for me an amazing look at the difference between mainstream society and the Native American way. The truths expressed by Dan, the elder, are so needed to be heard and read by more people in America. Though I am of German ancestry, I have similar feelings about how our society could benefit from the influences of Native ways. Part of my life experience is teaching high school at White Shield on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Your book is something I wish I would have had at that time some 40 years ago. By the way, I am curious if you ever fully identify Dan or where in South Dakota he lived. Thanks for your research and your insightful writing!
I’m an N’De (Apache)library assistant in a high school in southern NM and absolutely LOVE your books! I recommend them to teachers, staff members and students who are interested in modern Natives. Keep up the great work! Maybe someday NDNs will be seen as people as opposed to mascots.
Thanks, Michael. I try to do my part, as do you. Slowly we can make a change. The Native peoples should be raised up as the leaders and guides for the rest of us. As Chief Oren Lyons is fond of pointing out, the rest of us are going to have to come back to what the Native peoples have always known. Our survival depends on it.
I read one of your books and it started me on the path of getting all of them. I should have stuck with just reading history books. ha ha
I discovered ‘ Letters to My Son’, by pure chance, in a secondhand book stall,in Brighton, UK. At the time, I was suffering from trauma in my life and this book had a profound affect upon me by helping me see the world in which we live from another perspective. It provided great solace, healing and a greater understanding of humankind and, most importantly, touched my heart. The wisdom the book imparts was, and indeed remains, priceless in helping me forge my own life as a father, artist and teacher. I read the prologue to the book, ‘A Father’s Wish’, on the occasions of my sons’ naming ceremonies, because it perfectly encapsulated the struggles and joys of fatherhood. Kent Nerburn’s beautifully written wisdoms were there to comfort me when I lost my father to cancer three years ago; and now they are ever present as I face uncertainty through redundancy. I have often thought of writing to the author, to profoundly thank him for writing one of the most important and relevant books I have been fortunate to have read. Now, finally I have that opportunity
Thank you, Tim, for taking the time to write. That book was written from the heart and has a purity that I don’t think I ever achieved again. Just so you know, there will be a treat coming soon: my son, Nik, whose birth inspired the writing of the book more than 20 years ago, has just recorded it for New World Library. There are a few things left to be done before it becomes available, but it will be a father’s joy to hear the son for whom the book was written read the words that were penned for him more than two decades ago.
I hope all is well with you in my favorite country. I miss England so much, though I never got to Brighton. If I ever get across the pond again, I will post something on my website so I can perhaps get together with a few folks like you who have written over the years. Your note has made my day.
I need to say Thank You giving us your gift. I have admired your work for many years now and have often suggested your many books to people so they can learn from them also.
We named my son, Kent and I love the name even more now knowing that you also hold that name.
Thank you for conveying your wisdom.
This great book opened my eyes. I’ll have to read it thrice to appreciate its messages /teachings
Thanks Kent for sharing your wisdom and knowledge
I love having a namesake out there. Kent is a great name–it’s not too common and it’s not too weird. It’s just a good, solid, personal name that you can claim for your own. I hope he enjoys it; I enjoy knowing he has it. Thanks for the nice story.
I just discovered and finished the trilogy. When I was done, I just could not walk away. From the family, from the friends, from all of it. Nothing left to do but start over and read them again. Neither Wolf Nor Dog and the next two books have been life changing for me.
I have also read The Wisdom of Native Americans, and am in the process of reading Chief Joseph.
Thank you for writing these books. You have a good heart, and I am thankful that one old Indian man realized this.
I read with great enthusiasm your article on guns in the Startribune. Has fear driven us to think we need a gun to protect ourselves? If so we are indeed in a sad situation. I have read and recommended your books to a number of people who wish to understand our brothers and sisters who were here long before us. Having lived in Bayfield, WI we know a bit about the situation on that reservation. We also served as director of Plymouth Christian Youth Center in Mpls so was exposed to the reality of city life for native peoples. My wife did home visitation in the Philips neighborhood and taught there.
Having spent a year in Nome, AK some 60 years ago we learned to love the native people.
Kent, I read your work with strong interest and have recommended ‘Neither Wolf Nor Dog’ to many people. I noticed the comment above, on your article in the Star Tribune on gun culture, and so I read the ‘It’s our gun culture that’s mentally ill’
article. I noticed prejudice and one-sided, indoctrinated, rigidity in your essay on guns and feel the essay detracts from your life work. I happen to be a chain-smoking, longbow or gun-toting pagan, “yogi,” and a European American.
You disenfranchised me with your essay against guns and white people.
You built a barrier between us and you even alluded to this in your article where you suggested you don’t care about creating this barrier to your white gun-owning readers. I feel you need to understand and learn that one does not need to reject one’s own people and culture, to appreciate another one. You still have not learned this, nor how to do this mentally and spiritually. I feel like Dan trying to shine a light on your prejudices and false judgments, but this time against white people and white culture, rather than Indian.
There was an international consensus on the declaration of indigenous human rights which most civilized nations agreed upon and it stated that indigenous peoples have the right to their own ethnic and cultural identity and history and nations, and the right to preserve those things (the U.S. government did not sign this U.N. agreement). You must understand that white europeans share these indigenous human rights with all other tribes on the face of the earth. All humans are indigenous, therefore all humans have the right to their own cultural and ethnic identity and nations and the right to preserve those things.
The Lakota and others like them, were overrun by the U.S. government. This was done using physical coercion which was ultimately the weapon called a gun (in the past it was done with longbows and swords). The reason the 2nd amendment exists is to protect people from their own government and from other people. Please read a book titled: ‘The 2nd Amendment Primer’ by Les Adams which goes over the history of the 2nd amendment and the reason it exists. Then, you will begin to understand.
Furthermore, it is not against spirituality to defend oneself. Weapons or guns enable us to defend ourselves. You can read stories from Yeshua, Ramakrishna and others, who advocated defending oneself with weapons, even though they taught love. It does not mean that one lives in paranoia and fear of one’s neighbor or government, but the people who formed the government were practical people and they knew wishful thinking would not prevent tyranny and oppression.
I am like you in my heart, but not in those mental ways where your generation has strayed. My life work will be to undo and rebut part of the work of your generation and aliens in their midst. Whites, and white men in particular, are the most discriminated against, and disenfranchised group of people in America and Europe. I shall have to undo that damage. White Europeans have had their roots and identity destroyed as well, think about Christianity and how all of Europe was forced by the sword (in those days guns did not exist) to convert to Christianity or die. Whites were forced to take up alien beliefs, worshiping alien people, and discard their ancestral worship and ways of life closer to nature and gaia. Europa is a goddess, after all. The tragedies that happened to the Lakota and others, have also happened to white-europeans.
This message to you, is of the future and future values. I understand it is a radical message. It is also Truth.
A concerned anthropologist
Dear Kent Nerburn.
Over the last few weeks I have reread for the fifth time your trilogy about “Dan” and his family.
Each time I discover and each time I learn more.
Some 10 years ago I was initiated in the ManKind Project. It has changed my life dramatically. Your books and Iron John by Robert Bly are the spiritual background of my work in men’s circles.
Before I discovered MKP and your books, my most exciting teachers were dogs.
They allowed me to observe them, what enabled me to finally beginning to understand them and myself.
Today they still are.
Living in a small and old house in the Spanish mountains I each day feel the connection with nature and with the animals.
I agree with what you wrote about the gun culture in the USA.
Please keep on writing.
Sending you my love and my blessings.
I teach what I need to learn.
Dear Kent Nerburn:
I have never written to a published author as yourself, but I was wondering if you might know the answer to this. I have always, for some unexplained reason, had a great curiosity of the Indians and their way of life. I respect their beliefs and find them to be very spiritual and honest. I have heard that Thomas Jefferson studied the Indians and based some of the Constitution upon their way of government. I do not know if this is true or not but if you know anything of this, I would appreciate clearing this up for me.
I had the privilege a number of years ago to go camping cross country and we went through the Badlands and even stayed one night on a Lakota reservation! I wish I had known of your books then and would have appreciated the trip even more than we did.
Keep up the good work and I will continue to enjoy your wonderful books. As an aside, I only came to know of your books purely by chance as my dentist has a “lending library” where you are free to take any book and put back whatever book or books you want. The Wolf at Twilight caught my eye and I knew I had to read it. When I finished, I recommended it to my husband (who is not a great reader) and he finished the book in a few days! He also loved it so now I will scour our local library and see if I can get to read the rest. One never knows when serendipity will happen and it sure did in this case to my good fortune.
Good luck in your future endeavors.
I am no historian, so I cannot speak with any confidence about Thomas Jefferson. It is well-known, however, that Benjamin Franklin was quite taken with the governance of the Iroquois confederation, and used his influence to bring their thinking to bear on the Articles of Confederation and, subsequently, the Constitution. It has been years since I’ve delved into this, but it is a worthy study. As to Jefferson, he was a grand student of all modes of spiritual and political thought, having produced his own edited version of both the Bible (the sayings of Jesus from the NT) and the quran. I have no doubt that a bit of digging would reveal a similar interest in and respect for the spiritual and political values of the Native tribes with which he had acquaintance. I hope you will make the effort to seek this out. You are on a good road, my friend. I have great respect for your journey.
When reading your books, it is like reading about my own people, I am of celtic origin, born on a small Island where old ways are still observed, now I live in northern Japan where I recognize the same spirit, your books are not just about the “indian” people, they are about all of us.
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I just started reading Voices in the Stones. The prologue is one of the most beautiful and thoughtful pieces of writing I think I have ever read…and I read a lot! Thank you for yet another beautiful book!!
Kent, saw the film. Congratulations on how well it turned out. I know Dave for 45 years and the fact that his film career ended like this is a tribute to him that will last. For an ultra low budget film the sound, the camera work, the acting all top flight and proves it can be done. I would love to see something I have written go to film so I know how you must feel. Again congratulations to all involved.
I have been writing screen plays for the last 10 years but being isolated on the Rez and not nearly as well known as you it may never happen. Working on memories of real Lakota People who influenced my life before I forget. I want it to be a good read but also be rich in he values these folks shared with me.
Hi, I am Spanish and I really love your trilogy, God! There is so much we need to learn, our ignorance is destroying this beautiful planet and I think only Natives from all over the world are the ones who keep the knowledge already lost in our industrial and mechanized society. I am really greatful for the knowledge, respect and love you are transmmitting in your books. I was just wondering if you ever thought to translate them in Spanish, there is an awful lot of Spanish speakers (not only in Spain but the whole South America) who can really help them to understand, not only at Native Americans, but the importance to go back to Nature, an eye-opener for the crazy life we are living in. Actually I can only lend these books to English speakers whom are not so many in this country.
Thank you again for your immense contribution.
I wish I were in control, Beatrix, but New World Library is the owner for purposes of translations, etc. It is possible that Canongate publishers in the UK now has the rights for Spanish translations of Neither Wolf nor Dog. You should write to each of those publishers to see if they have plans for Spanish translations. I would love to see this happen, but I am the writer, not the publisher. All the business decisions take place far above my head. Thank you for caring. It is good to know that there are people like you who want to share the words and thoughts in my books. I’m honored and appreciative.
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Ijust finished reading The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo and recently read Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight. My husband and I raised our 2 daughters on the Ft. Peck Reservation in Poplar, Mt. I taught elem. grades there for 37 years. I loved working with these delightful students and we appreciated and enjoyed the Indian culture. However, even after living there as long as we did, I never knew a lot of the deep culture learnings and heartaches especially about the boarding schools. Thank you for opening my eyes even more about our past journey and for reminding me how fortunate our family was to live mostly in harmony with so many fine Indians. We also lost our house there to a fire just 6 mos. before I retired and we returned to N.Dakota where I was raised. The entire Poplar community banded together and did so much for us to ease the pain of our loss. Thank you again for these fascinating, true, and important writings.
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I read the triology ending with The Girl That Sang To The Buffalo. I have been painfully aware of the true history of America for a long while. It is one of the horrible sad truths that shames me to claim to be an American. You help lift the clouds of lies from the eyes of your readers. I thank you for that. I only pray that it is not too late for our ‘first people’ to salvage a significant portion of their old ways and heritage. I am lucky to have an Ojibwa friend that was trained in the old ways, he shares what he can and schools by example. You sir write with heart, please continue to enlighten your readers. Your skills are powerful and truly needed on both sides of the blanket.
I just finished reading The Wolf at Twilight, which I found only because of the library book club in which I participate. Thank you for your writing. You have opened my eyes, my ears, and my heart. I will back on this website frequently.
Thanks, Joe. The Wolf at Twilight is the second in a trilogy that begins with Neither Wolf nor Dog and ends with The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo. You might enjoy each of them if you liked The Wolf at Twilight. Check them out.
I just finished reading Dancing With the Gods. What a beautiful, beautiful book. Thank you.
I have wanted to read this book for some time, but it felt a bit beyond me as I have let many an opportunity and dream pass me by. My Thoreau quote would be more of the “quiet desparation” kind and I sure don’t want this for my kids! I finally did read it because my daughter is considering a life in the arts, in her case fashion design. I thought your book might help her hold true to her heart so I committed to reading it.
As I was reading, I was, at first, going to decline giving it to her even though I was really enjoying the book. I was afraid that my giving her the book might be taken as a push by me for her to choose a direction in her life other than her own. However, today at the kitchen table, I listened to my daughter describe what her college professors and friends have said will be the many challenges she will face. I think your book will really help her with these challenges. As or more importantly, you have beautifully expressed heartfelt thoughts on staying true to one’s heart and creativity all the way from the spiritual to the practical. Your book offers so many wonderful guideposts that just the feelings and convictions she may gain from them will hopefully give her strengh and hope as she meets her own challenges, questions and doubts (and greatly offset and overshadow any aspect of it coming as a “parenrial advice” kind of thing!).
So, thanks for a wonderful book. Also, I wanted to say that the binding is just beautiful. It has the strength, weight, and functionality of a hard cover with the beauty of the cover graphics directly printed on the cover rather than a separate dust jacket which is subject to slipping and tearing.. It really hits the mark if that was the intention for a book about art!
Lastly, I am a music lover also. There is so much wonderful music past and present, one could never listen to it all! So, I would like to mention a not very well known folk singer I particularily enjoy by the name of David Mallett as you may never have heard of him. Fine song writer, and beautiful musically. I saw him for the first time last year and he puts on a great concert, gives it all he has. Just throwing it out there, of course!
All the best in 2020. I look forward to all of your future work.
Thank you, Bob, for your kind words. DWTG is written for people like your daughter. I like to say it is a book of consolation as much as inspiration, because the course of the artistic life is a lonely one. But it is also incredibly rewarding and, though people do not often realize this, incredibly important. You become the caretaker of the cultural imagination. My single line to folks going into the arts is, “It’s a bad living, but a great life.” Give your daughter my best. I’m off to listen to David Mallett.
Dear Kent, I’m reading my first book by you – Neither Wolf Nor Dog – and I’m loving it so much, and also feeling so sad for all the pain – the wrongness – our race has caused for the native peoples. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and that it was meant to be. But I know it was all so very cruel and terrible. What can we do to help now? I do donate monthly to the St. Joseph Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, but I wonder if this is truly beneficial, caring school for the children. It seems to be but I just don’t know for sure. Can you tell me if there is a better way to help? I’m planning to read all of your books! Thank you so much for your insight and good heart!
I’m not sure about the St. Joseph school. I have heard things both directions, and I think a lot of the concern has to do with whether or not the person assessing the place sees a Christian focus, no matter how benign (and I don’t know if it is benign in this case) as a means cultural destruction. I would be more concerned with how much of the money is going to promotion of the charity and how much is going to direct service. Over the years I have seen some muckraking articles speaking poorly of St.Josephs, but when I have been there it seems like a caring operation. Personally, I would want to know more before sending my money there, and that is not an indictment. It is just an acknowledgment of the frequent mismanagement of funds by service agencies purporting/attempting to serve the Native community. One group with whom I have been involved and whose work I like is Re-Member on Pine Ridge. Again, check it out for yourself. Good intentions, both in the giving and the receiving, often go awry.
Dear Kent – Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I can understand exactly what you mean. I noticed right away that when I set up the monthly donation, they began to send “gifts” that I did not want. I wanted the money to go to the children, and not to be spent on useless items sent back to me. I told them if they sent more gifts, I would stop the donations. This same thing has happened with other organizations that I supported – it seemed I got more items back I did not want instead of being spent on the goals of the group, in this case, wildlife.
I am glad you mentioned the Re-member option for Pine Ridge reservation. I found that on your FB page an sent a donation. Maybe that would be a better one to support long term.
I want to thank you for all you have written. During the Pandemic of 2020 your words and story telling abilities were my escapes, to your insights to different worlds and there meanings to me.
A good author relay stories by their words, but a GREAT author allows the reader to walk with them as their stories unfold by their use of words from their palette of insights and observations.
Authors like yourself Mr. Nerburn, create the 4th dimension which the reader learns how to enjoy and cry your stories unfold and stir ones emotions, and challenges ones beliefs.
Thank you for allowing me to travel and learn from your experiences and observations into society and humanity.
Thank you for your kind words. You understand what it is I try to do and you articulate it beautifully. If someone with your insight says I am doing it well, I take that as a great compliment. Thank you for starting my day on such a good note.
Kent, you are, in my opinion the best non-fiction author in the United States today. I have learned so much about Native Americans and the way to deal with both internal and external troubles in life. You deserve a Nobel prize for your writing and the great things you set forth in the trilogy. Thank you. I am forever in your debt.
Thank you, Richard. I could make time in my busy schedule to accept the Nobel. If you know any influential Swedes, give them a call. But, ultimately, I have to be satisfied with kind words like yours, and those, truly, are enough.
I’ve read your book ‘Dancing with the Gods’. A friend lent it to me. He bought it in a store in Paris because the title and the appearance of the book were drawn to him. I read it a while ago, and now I’m reading it again. I bought a copy myself. The words hit me like a father speaking to a daughter, from artist to artist. And I’m confident with the fact that your words will always stay relevant to me. Besides the content, your way of writing is a valuable addition to my modest poetic mind.
It’s an exceptional share for every vivid spirit of the arts. Not yet am I there, whatever ‘there’ may be. But this book, you, brought me a step closer to embracing the path that’s laid out for me.
Let me thank you with the words I’ve written just after finishing your book:
My fingers feel like new
As I’m writing with my pen
My heart is full of spirit
I’m reborn, I am
I’m dancing with words
Romancing with rhyme
My fantasy plays
With the rhythm of time
Grateful for all things
That helped me discover
To finally embrace
Creation like a mother
Sophie de Graaf
(a Dutch musician)
My husband and I have been reading your books over the past year starting with the trilogy and moved on to your smaller books of prayer and meditative stories. We have found them to be humble and profound. This summer (August 14th) we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Last winter when we spoke about how to celebrate, family members offered to have a big party for us. We declined and instead decided to have a lobster bake on the beach for our immediate family and wanted to pay for it ourselves. About a week before our gathering, we were reading “Voices in the Stones” and came across the story “Donna’s Gift”. That story became the focus of words of welcome to the family and as gifts to the family we bought 15 copies of your book to distribute to guests. Just wanted to share this experience with you and the ripple effect in RI. Thank you for sharing your stories and wisdom. Mike and Betty Merner, Earthcare Farm, Charlestown, RI.