Ray Young Bear appearing at SCC

Ray Young BearRay Young Bear was born in Iowa in 1950. Growing up on the Meskwaki Tribal Settlement near Tama he began writing poetry as a teenager in his native language and translating them into English.

He is now releasing a new collection of his work, Manifestation Wolverine, and will be reading selections from it during an April 3 appearance at Scott Community College’s Kahl Educational Center, 326 W. 3rd St., Davenport. Scott Community College is one of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. on the Kahl’s 10th floor and is free of charge.

Manifestation Wolverine is described as contemporary Meskwaki poetry.

"With the past 12 years focused on being an adoptive parent of six kids, finding time to write contemporary poems was becoming a rare event,” said Young Bear. "Often, though, when I couldn't wrestle inspiration onto the canoe at daybreak, I'd go outside with a hand drum and make songs for family members. Having such a cultural outlet was nice because those word-songs are now being translated from Meskwaki to English and added to Manifestation Wolverine."

Young Bear’s books include The Rock Island Hunting Club, Remnants of the First Earth, Black Eagle Child, Winter of the Salamander and others.

Young Bear was influenced by his maternal grandmother Ada Kapayou Old Bear. His poems retain the heightened formal style of Meskwaki oratory and he often includes hand-drum performance in his readings.

Young Bear attended Claremont College in California, as well as Grinnell College, University of Iowa, Iowa State University and Northern Iowa University. He and his wife, Stella L. Young Bear, co-founded the Woodland Song and Dance Troupe of Arts Midwest in 1983. The group has performed traditional Meskwaki music in this country and the Netherlands.

He has served as visiting artist in elementary and high schools, and been a visiting faculty member at Eastern Washington University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.

His presentation is made possible by Davenport SCENE with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Scott Community College, one of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.

Davenport SCENE (Sustainable City Empowered Network for Education) is a unique partnership of several local agencies including Eastern Iowa Community Colleges/Scott Community College Library and the college’s Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center, Figge Art Museum, Davenport Public Library, Nahant Marsh Educational Center, Quad Cities Food Hub, Junior Achievement, Living Lands and Waters, and River Music Experience.

The goal of the partnership is to advance the science and information literacy of Davenport residents of all ages regarding environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in order to move Davenport toward becoming a sustainable city.

For more information call 563-441-4156.