Margaret Noodin | Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po)

Margaret Noodin

Vice-President, Indigenous Nations Poets

Margaret Noodin received a PhD in Literature and Linguistics, an MFA in Creative Writing and bachelor's degrees in English and Education from the University of Minnesota. She is currently Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she also serves as the Associate Dean of the Humanities. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature, and two bi-lingual books of poetry in Anishinaabemowin and English: Weweni and What the Chickadee Knows. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Michigan Quarterly Review and Yellow Review. To see and hear current projects, visit www.ojibwe.net where she and other students and speakers of Ojibwe have created a space for language to be shared. She is not enrolled in any nation but  is currently Vice-President of InNaPo where she works to support poets who are citizens of native nations.

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Publications

What the Chickadee Knows

Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Publication Date: 2020 Margaret Noodin explains in the preface of her new poetry collection, What the Chickadee Knows (Gijigijigaaneshiinh Gikendaan), "Whether we hear giji-giji-gaane-shii-shii or chick-a-dee-dee-dee depends on how we have been taught to listen. Our world is shaped by the sounds around us and the filter we use to turn thoughts into words. The lines and images here were conceived first in Anishinaabemowin and then in English. They are an attempt to hear and describe the world according to an Anishinaabe paradigm." The book is concerned with nature, history, tradition, and relationships, and these poems illuminate the vital place of the author's tribe both in the past and within the contemporary world.

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Weweni: Poems in Anishinaabemowin and English

Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Publication Date: 2015 Depending on dialect, the Anishinaabemowin word "weweni" expresses thanks, exactitude, ease, and sincerity. In addition, the word for "relatives" is "nindenwemaaganag": those whose "enewewe," or voices, sound familiar. In Weweni, poet Margaret Noodin brings all of these meanings to bear in a unique bilingual collection. Noodin’s warm and perceptive poems were written first in the Modern Anishinaabemowin double-vowel orthography and appear translated on facing pages in English.

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Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature

Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication Date: 2014 Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature combines literary criticism, sociolinguistics, native studies, and poetics to introduce an Anishinaabe way of reading. Although nationally specific, the book speaks to a broad audience by demonstrating an indigenous literary methodology. Investigating the language itself, its place of origin, its sound and structure, and its current usage provides new critical connections between North American fiction, Native American literatures, and Anishinaabe narrative. The four Anishinaabe authors discussed in the book, Louise Erdrich, Jim Northrup, Basil Johnston, and Gerald Vizenor, share an ethnic heritage but are connected more clearly by a culture of tales, songs, and beliefs. Each of them has heard, studied, and written in Anishinaabemowin, making their heritage language a part of the backdrop and sometimes the medium, of their work. All of them reference the power and influence of the Great Lakes region and the Anishinaabeakiing, and they connect the landscape to the original language. As they reconstruct and deconstruct the aadizookaan, the traditional tales of Nanabozho and other mythic figures, they grapple with the legacy of cultural genocide and write toward a future that places ancient beliefs in the center of the cultural horizon.

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