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Reader Response: Pat Mora and James Welch Reader Response: Keith Gilyard and Mourning Dove Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin Inquiry: Tomás Rivera and Esmeralda Santiago Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong Critical Pedagogy: Octavia E. Butler and Abiodun Oyewole Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada
Theory Overview Lesson Plans Authors and Literary Works Resources
Session 1 Cultural Studies: Pat Mora and James Welch - Resources

Reader-Response Theory
Teaching Strategies
Authors and Literary Works
Additional Resources


REFLECTION - Interactive Forum

Explore two poems using four approaches.


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Authors and Literary Works

 Pat Mora: Works by the Author
 Pat Mora: Works about the Author
 James Welch: Works by the Author
 James Welch: Works about the Author

Pat Mora

Works by the Author
Works about the Author

Works by the Author

Mora, Pat. Agua Santa: Holy Water. Boston: Beacon Press, 1997.
This book of poems focuses on feminist themes, describing the lives of Mexican women, both earthly and celestial. Included along with poetry on motherhood, death, and displacement is a poem about Frida Kahlo and one about an Aztec goddess.

----. Aunt Carmen's Book of Practical Saints. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.
Each of these poems is a fervent prayer from the heart of "Aunt Carmen," a fictional 80-year-old sacristan. Mora pairs each poem with an illustration of a saint carving, which Catholics from northern New Mexico have traditionally created as part of their worship.

----. Borders. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1986.
In Borders, Mora explores how borders both separate and bring people together, whether they be political, professional, gender-related, or personal borders.

----. Chants. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1984.
Mora's poetry focuses on the tension of belonging to two cultures at once, the divisions between people and cultures, family relationships, the desert landscape, and poetry itself. In Chants, Mora's first book, she explores desert culture and, according to Nicolás Kanellos, publisher of Arte Público Press, acts almost as a "shaman" in imparting a spiritual message of healing.

----. Communion. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1991.
Communion brings Mora's first two volumes of poetry, Chants and Borders, full-circle by exploring a variety of ways in which people can come together.

----. House of Houses. Boston: Beacon Press, 2002.
In this innovative memoir, Mora introduces the reader to her extended Mexican family through a series of first-person narratives. Drawing on Mexican history to tell the story of the family's narrow escape from Mexico during the bloody days of Pancho Villa and the Revolution, House of Houses then richly evokes their struggle to begin a new life in the United States.

----. Nepantla: Essays From the Land in the Middle. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993.
Containing essays, speeches, poetry, memoirs, and lectures, this book fleshes out some of Mora's most familiar subjects, such as bilingualism, women, family, and the need for ethnic groups to preserve their cultural heritage.

----. My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults 1984-1999. Texas: Arte P?blico Press, 2000.

----. The Night the Moon Fell: A Maya Myth. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2000.
In this early-childhood tale, Mora retells a Maya Indian myth about the night the moon fell from the sky and broke on the ocean floor. With help from some friends, the moon rises again, new and whole. Evocative illustrations by Mayan artist Domitila Dominguez -- who also illustrated La Historia de los Colores (The Story of Colors) by Zapatista rebel Subcomandante Marcos -- help bring the story to life.

----. Tomás and the Library Lady. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
In this award-winning children's book, Mora tells the true story of author Tomás Rivera, a child of migrant farm workers. Helped by a kind librarian, Rivera discovers the world of books, and his own imagination, at a town library. Rivera's novel ...y no se lo tragó la tierra (...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him) is also featured in Session 4 of this series.


Works about the Author

Barrera, Rosalinda B. "Profile: Pat Mora, Fiction/Nonfiction Writer and Poet." Language Arts, 75:3 (March 1998): 221-227.
This profile offers biographical information and a critical appreciation.

Hurado, Aida. "Sitios y Lenguas: Chicanas Theorize Feminisms." Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 13:2 (Spring 1998): 134-160.
This article considers Mora's work from an ethnic and feminist perspective.

Mora, Pat. Pat Mora's Web site.
This site offers samples of work, biographical information, and news.

Rosenmeier, Rosamond. "Three Poets: Three Feminist Worlds." Sojourner: The Women's Forum, 17 (1992): 39-41.
This article offers a look at Mora's treatment of women's issues.


James Welch

Works by the Author
Works about the Author

Works by the Author

Welch, James. The Death of Jim Loney. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

----. Fools Crow. New York: Viking Press, 1986.
Set shortly after the Civil War, this is the story of a young Blackfeet and his spiritual initiation into manhood. Transformed from "White Man's Dog" into "Fool's Crow" in the course of his quest, the young tribal leader must decide whether to fight white society to preserve his people's way of life, or to assimilate.

----. The Heartsong of Charging Elk. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
Based on the true story of an Ogalala Sioux, this novel tells the tale of Charging Elk, who is touring France in the late 1880s with the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show, performing sham Indian pageants for European audiences. Left by the troupe as he lies sick in a Marseilles hospital, Charging Elk wakes up alone in a world he has no way to negotiate or understand. When he kills a white man who rapes him, he is sentenced to 12 years in prison. The narrative moves back and forth between Charging Elk's memories of his life on the plains and his painful adaptation to this new world. When he is finally pardoned, Charging Elk must decide whether to adapt to the white man's world or find his own.

----. The Indian Lawyer. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990.
Drawing on Welch's own experience serving on a Montana parole board, his fourth novel is a psychological thriller that explores the conflict between two men. Sylvester Yellow Calf has become a prominent lawyer and has put his poverty-stricken past on the Blackfeet reservation behind him. But when an angry convict who was denied parole tries to destroy his career, the paradoxes and problems of life in two worlds become clear.

----. Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.
In this nonfiction work, Welch tells the Native American side of the story of General George Armstrong Custer's disastrous attack at Little Bighorn. Though the Native Americans were the "victors" in the battle, Welch chronicles how disastrous the attack was for them, as they were subsequently stripped of their freedom, power, and ancestral hunting grounds.

----. Riding the Earthboy 40. Lewiston, ID: Confluence Press, 1971.
Welch's only volume of poetry to date contains many of the themes he would go on to explore further in his fiction. These poems, including the title work, which refers to a family on the reservation and the acreage of their farm, are grounded in the Montana reservation life Welch knew intimately.

----. Winter in the Blood. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.
The narrator in Welch's first novel, Winter in the Blood, describes himself as "as distant from myself as a hawk from the moon." Searching for connection to his Indian heritage, and tormented by memories and visions, the narrator tells a discontinuous narrative that draws on elements of the tribal storytelling tradition. The novel, for all its bleakness, has a strong comic undercurrent that ranges from ironic to absurd to outright slapstick. Though little changes for the nameless character outwardly, inwardly he reflects on his ancestry and the deaths of his father, brother, and grandmother.


Works about the Author

Antell, Judith A. "Momaday, Welch, and Silko: Expressing the Feminine Principle Through Male Alienation." American-Indian Quarterly, 12:3 (Summer 1988): 213-220.
This article considers Welch's work in comparison with other great Native American authors.

Bovey, Seth. "Whitehorns and Blackhorns: Images of Cattle Ranching in the Novels of James Welch." South Dakota Review, 29:1 (Spring 1991): 129-39.
This article considers the politics of Welch's thematics.

McFarland, Ron. James Welch. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2000.
McFarland's biography offers a critical interpretation of Welch's works.

Nelson, Robert M. Place and Vision: The Function of Landscape in Native American Fiction. New York: Peter Lang, 1995.
This is a critical analysis of the work of Momaday, James Welch, and Leslie Marmon Silko.

Sands, Kathleen M. "Closing the Distance: Critic, Reader and the Works of James Welch." MELUS, 14:2 (Summer 1987): 73-85.
This article offers a reader-centered perspective on Welch's work.

Stromberg, Ernest. "The Only Real Indian Is a Dead Indian: The Desire for Authenticity in James Welch's The Death of Jim Loney." Studies in American Indian Literatures, 10:4 (Winter 1998): 33-53.
This article offers a critical analysis of Welch's work.

Vangen, Kate. "Thirteen Lumpy Stones for Luck and Friendship: Influences on James Welch's Poetry." Wooster Rev 8 (Spring 1988): 157-167.
This article presents a study of the influences on Welch's work.

----. Four American Indian Literary Masters: N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Gerald Vizenor. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982.
This book compares the thematics and structures of several Native American authors.

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