In conjunction with Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud state finals, guest judge Henry Real Bird will be conducting a public poetry workshop on Sunday, March 4 at the Laramie County Public Library from 1-3:30 p.m.
Real Bird was born and raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in the tradition of the Crow by his grandparents. He has punched cows and worked in rodeos. Real Bird began writing poetry in 1969 after an extended stay in the hospital. He still speaks Crow as his primary language and feels this has helped in writing his poetry.
Real Bird holds a master’s degree in general education from MSU Billings and has taught school from kindergarten to college levels. He currently teaches K, 4th and 6th grades at Northern Cheyenne Tribal School and is also the director for Crow Tribe Head Start and the Seven Hills Healing Center, and was Interim President at Little Big Horn College from 2001-02.
Henry began working with the YMCA Writer’s Voice in 1992 as a visiting poet and has since shared his work and the Crow language with thousands of students and teachers across Montana. As an instructor he infuses a love of language and an appreciation of landscape into the minds of his audience and students.
In 1996 Real Bird won the Western Heritage Award for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 2002, he and Stephanie Davis performed her song, “Why the Cowboy Sings” at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Arts Festival. He also performs annually at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Hank has had six anthologies, five poetry collections and twelve children’s books published, along with many other articles, tapes and CDs.
Real Bird’s workshop, “Shadows of Home” will “take participants beyond reflection so our thoughts can search for rhyme, exploring the sounds and tunes of life.”
The workshop is free and open to the public. Real Bird will also be signing his selected publications for purchase.