Richard Hugo taught me that anyone with a desire to write, an ear for language and a bit of imagination could become a writer. He also, in a way, gave me permission to write about northern Montana.
My poems were just kind of all over the place. They had no focus, no location, nothing. Kind of a series of images that could have been set anywhere. A lot of the poems were just exercises for myself.
In the general population of Montana, it's about 7 to 8 percent Indian. But the population in prison is always between 20 and 25 percent Indian.
I wrote a lot in study hall to while away the hours.
I wander around, get the lay of the land and try to imagine what kind of people would have lived there in that historical period. What would they eat What kind of clothing would they wear How did they shelter themselves How did they get around
I used to object to being called an Indian writer, and would always say I was a writer who happened to be an Indian, and who happened to write about Indians.
I think ethnic and regional labels are insulting to writers and really put restrictions on them. People don't think your work is quite as universal.
I do believe in the viability of Indian spiritualism.
I am definitely a storyteller, but probably not a traditional Storyteller.
It's nice to win.
I've liked lots of people 'til I went on a picnic jaunt with them.
I'm no different from anybody else. If I don't have a card, I can't check out these books.
I won't lock my doors or bar them either if any of the old coots in the pictures out in the hall want to come out of their frames for a friendly chat.
I have a strong tennis arm.
I'm so glad I never feel important, it does complicate life
Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Autobiographies are only useful as the lives you read about and analyze may suggest to you something that you may find useful in your own journey through life.
Anyone who thinks must think of the next war as they would of suicide.
It is done... the precious portrait placed in the hands of the gentlemen for safe keeping.
Disaffection stalks around us.
At this late hour a wagon has been procured, and I have had it filled with plate and the most valuable portable articles, belonging to the house.
Not my power, but the power of the position, a power which could be used to help.
You must accept that you might fail then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you don't try - you don't take the risk.
If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you don't try - you don't take the risk.