Dream Drawings: Configurations of a Timeless Kind (Paperback)
There is something about poetry that is endlessly attractive to me. Here, Momaday draws on many sources of inspiration, like nature, friendship, his own indigenous heritage, love, and many other fundamental human experiences to write pieces that truly speak to his readers. His words make it clear that while people might not always speak like this, they often think like it. These poems are at once material and effervescent, grounding and fantastical. Sitting down to this little book left me feeling my humanity a little more tangibly, and seeing colors a touch more vibrantly. Momaday writes poetry that inspires his readers to be more poetic.
— From Jumpin' January Staff Picks
“[Momaday] must be ranked among the greatest of our contemporary writers.”—American Scholar
"Momaday’s poems are rich with description, lush with dreaming, and filled with magic." — Library Journal (starred review)
From Pulitzer Prize winner and revered literary master N. Scott Momaday, a beautiful and enchanting new poetry collection, at once a celebration of language, imagination, and the human spirit.
“Language and the imagination work hand in hand, and together they enable us to reveal us to ourselves in story. That is indeed a magical process. . . . We imagine and we dream, and we translate our dreams into language.” —from the Preface
A singular voice in American letters, Momaday’s love of language and storytelling are on full display in this brilliant new collection comprising one hundred sketches or “dream drawings”—furnishings of the mind—as he calls them. Influenced by his Native American heritage and its oral storytelling traditions, here are prose poems about nature, animals, warriors, and hunters, as well as meditations that explore themes of love, loss, time, and memory. Each piece, full of wisdom and wonder, showcases Momaday’s extraordinary lyrical talent, the breadth of his imagination, and the transformative power of his writing. Dream Drawings is also illustrated with a selection of black-and-white paintings by Momaday that capture the spirit of his prose.
Poignant, inspired, and timeless, this is a collection that will nourish the soul.
About the Author
N. Scott Momaday is an internationally renowned poet, novelist, artist, teacher, and storyteller whose works celebrate and preserve Native American heritage. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel House Made of Dawn and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Academy of American Poets Prize, the National Medal of Arts, the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, and the 2021 Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. A longtime professor of English and American literature, Momaday earned his PhD from Stanford University and retired as Regents Professor at the University of Arizona. He lives in New Mexico.
"The 100 poems and short sketches . . . are as simple and complex as our collective existence. . . . Each is a small gem, a glass seed that is part of the pattern on a piece of Native beadwork: By itself it has its own character and texture, its own beauty and completeness. Woven or sewn into the pattern created by the artist, the individual beads together anchor the art and become the design that tells the larger story." — Minneapolis Star Tribune
“The iconic Kiowa writer. . . [draws] deeply from dreams, fantasies, personal remembrance, and the wellspring of Native American spirituality to dissolve distinctions between the real and the surreal. . . . Bite-size snacks for the metaphysical appetite.” — Kirkus
"Add another entry of mystical lyrics to the still-expanding oeuvre of prolific Kiowa folklorist, novelist, and illustrator Momaday. . . . The book's long view and even pace bring out the best insights of this octogenarian's flourishing career." — Booklist
"Momaday’s poems are rich with description, lush with dreaming, and filled with magic. Essential for Indigenous collections and highly recommended for poetry lovers generally." — Library Journal (starred review)
"A collection that celebrates language, invention, humanity, and the natural world." — Publishers Weekly
"We couldn’t imagine a better soundtrack for a thoughtful weekend walk down whatever dream-like springtime trails you might have at hand." — Paste Magazine (on the audiobook of Dream Drawings)
"In many ways, to read Momaday is to read the land. It is to encounter the earth alive with wind and sunlight, with plants and animals, and to know all of it—each aspect of the world—by name. It is also to renew a reverence for beauty and a feeling of hope." — Stanford Magazine