Title

Resistance and Continuance through Cultural Connections in Simon Ortiz’s Out There Somewhere

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2004

Publication Title

Studies in American Indian Literatures

Volume

16

Issue

4

First page number:

79

Last page number:

88

Abstract

Simon J. Ortiz explains that the title of his 2002 collection of poetry, Out There Somewhere, is intended to mean “out there somewhere in everyday experience somewhere in America” (ix). He adds, “But while I have physically been away from my home area, I have never been away in any absolute way” (ix). The poems in Out There Somewhere attest to the cultural connections that Ortiz maintains even though he might be in some location other than the Acoma Pueblo. The resistance one finds in the poems—against mainstream political, social, and economic forces—results in continuance of Ortiz’s Acoma heritage. That natives can still be natives when they are away from their tribal homelands speaks to those who are urban natives, which is over two-thirds of the native population in the United States: those natives who have left the reservation for economic reasons; those native tribes who have no land base; those natives who have no federal recognition as official native tribes; and those natives who for reasons of patrilineal or matrilineal descent have no tribal affiliation. Although they are “out there somewhere,” they continue to be native, as Ortiz so deftly demonstrates. A political thread runs through Ortiz’s earlier poetry collections, and this essay looks at a few of the poems in Out There Somewhere to see how this literature of resistance continues through cultural connections.

Keywords

American literature--Indian authors; American poetry--Indian authors; Indians of North America; Poetry

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Indigenous Studies | Literature in English, North America | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

Identifier

DOI: 10.1353/ail.2005.0009

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