About the Book
"Roberta Hill is a poet who understands struggle, and generously imparts her passion for renewal. Her work always stems from the toughness of a compassionate survivor."Louise Erdrich
Cicadas: New & Selected Poems gathers together seventy-five poems from Roberta Hill's two previous poetery collections, Star Quilt and Philadephia Flowers, along with a generous selection of new poems, culled from the past thirty years. Roberta's poems are powerful lyrical expressions of love and respect for family, friends, fellow artists with a wide context for contemporary politics especially as protest against imperial governments, class conflicts, and racial injustice.
Roberta's poems are always informed by her deep knowledge of native culture and respect for the earth and fellow humanity.
You carried the cicada to the alder tree
whose leafy shadow made the yard an arbor.
After you left, his buzz song eased me
through lonely afternoons of sun and wind.
Desire changed his skeleton.
Desire--that green shoot in a gut.
That tendril twining with memory until new life emerges
on the opposite side
from where we first supposed. He lured his mate
to the arbor. Even after you were gone,
all the years you loved me
Roberta Hill is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in The American Indian Culture and Research Journal, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Luna, and Prairie Schooner. She has received a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund Award and a Chancellor's Award from the University of Wisconsin.
About the Book
Roberta has been an instructor for the Poets-in-the-Schools Program in several places, including Minnesota, Arizona, and Oklahoma. She is currently an Associate Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She serves on the Advisory Board for wicazo sa review. Roberta is currently working on a biography of Dr. L. Rosa Minoka-Hill, her grandmother, the second American Indian woman doctor, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press. She has 3 children.
Roberta's fiction, poetry and essays have most recently appeared in The American Indian Culture and Research Journal, The Beloit Poetry Journal , Luna and Prairie Schooner. She is currently at work on her first novel, A Century of Sad Madness, a story about trauma and love in the context of ongoing colonzation. She previously published as Roberta Hill Whiteman.
Roberta has a two poems included in the St. Paul Sculptural Garden, Language of the Land Project, where her "room" in the garden contains sight-lines developed with reference to the Native American burial grounds that are visible from the site.
The Wisconsin Library Association cited her collection of poetry, Star Quilt (Holy Cow! Press 1984), with an Outstanding Achievement Recognition.