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Release: Immediate

Native American novelist-poet Ray A. Young Bear will give reading Oct. 6

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Ray A. Young Bear, a highly acclaimed Iowa poet, novelist and performance artist, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in Tippie Auditorium of the University of Iowa Pappajohn Business Administration Building. The reading, sponsored by the International Writing Program and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Young Bear has emerged as a leading voice in Native American literature. He is a tribal member of the Meskwaki Nation (People of the Red Earth) of central Iowa and is one of a handful of tribal-affiliated writers who speaks, writes and thinks in his first language, Meskwaki.

Young Bear writes on diverse subjects ranging from tribal culture of centuries past to the Vietnam War. In his work Young Bear explores the dilemmas inherent in the genre of contemporary Native American literature as well as the fragmented state of the Meskwaki in the 20th century.

James Kincaid, in the New York Times Book Review, says Young Bear's work "mixes voices, landscapes and tones in such a way as to move us deeply without letting us settle into any sense of tragic participation."

Carl L. Bankston, writing in Bloomsbury Review, calls Young Bear's "Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives" a "magnificent piece of literature. Its multilevel design and the richness of its language enable it to bear continual rereading."

Young Bear has taught at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and Eastern Washington University. His most recent novel, "The Tribal Chair Shall Conduct All Meetings," will be published by Grove press next year.

His books include the poetry collections "The Salamander" and "The Invisible Magician" and the fiction volumes "Black Eagle Child" and "Remnants of the First Earth."