Lance Henson


Lance David Henson, born in Washington, D. C. in 1944, is Cheyenne, Oglala and French. He was raised on a farm near Calumet, Oklahoma by his great aunt and uncle, Bertha and Bob Cook. His great uncle was the groundskeeper for Chapter One of the Native American Church of Oklahoma. Lance was the last of five boys raised by this couple. He grew up living the Southern Cheyenne culture. He served in the U. S. Marine Corps after high school, during the Vietnam War, and is a graduate of Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts (now University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) in Chickasha. He holds a MFA in creative writing from the University of Tulsa.

After ten years of conducting poetry workshops through the Artist in Residence program of the State Arts Council of Oklahoma, Lance began to travel, working both in the U.S. and in Europe.

Lance is a member of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier Society, the Native American Church and the American Indian Movement (AIM). He has participated in Cheyenne Sun Dance on several occasions as both dancer and painter.

Lance has published 17 books of poetry, half in the U.S. and half abroad. His poetry has been translated into 25 languages and he has read and lectured in 9 countries. His readings include the One World Poetry Festival in Amsterdam, the International Poetry Festival in Tarascon, France, and the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey. He has co-written two plays, one of which, Winter Man, had a successful run at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Company. His play Coyote Road played to sell out audiences in Versailles, France in December 2001. A new remix of a jazz and poetry CD titled Another Train Ride (1999) has appeared in collaboration with Brian Eno, titled The Wolf and the Moon, from Materiali Sonori, Milan, Italy (2001)

Lance represented the United States Information Service as a Featured Lecturer in Singapore, Thailand, New Guinea and New Zealand in 1993. He has also represented the Southern Cheyenne Nation at the European Free Alliance in Leeuwarden, Netherlands and at the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Conference in Geneva in 1988. He returned to speak at another conference there in 1997.

In April 2006 Words From the Edge will sponsor a mini-tour in Italy of Indigenous poets from endangered tribes, organized by Lance.

A short biography from the Internet Public Library's Native American Author's Project is available.


On Oct. 16, 2004, Lance was named to the Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.

In the summer of 1995, Lance had a residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts.

In the spring of 1993, he was poet-in-residence at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Lance had two books, Cheyenne Sketchbook and Another Distance, among the five poetry finalists in the 1992 Oklahoma Book Awards sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

During the summer of 1992, Lance was in residence at the Mad River Theater in West Liberty, Ohio, where the play Coyote Road, co-authored with Jeff Hooper, was performed.

A Ford Foundation Fellowship supported Lance's attendance at the University of Tulsa.

Writing available online

This is a selection of new and recent poems, chosen by Lance from his work.

The basho project
The elba texts
every emergence from the shadows
here in a gathering rain
And here is the same wind
anniversary poem for the buffalo wallow fight
five dreams
pariah songs
revolutionary song
another train ride
Twelve songs written in the enemys language
Two Poems, Here is the Long Night & All the Names for Rain Have Changed [PDF]
Prayer For The Lenape and other poems in Weber Studies

Books by Lance Henson or containing his work       icon

Paria, Paris Méditerranée, Paris, France 2004.
7 Books, with Steffen Basho-Junghans,
Double cd, solo 12 string guitar and poetry, Blue Moment Arts, Berlin, Germany, 2004.
nous sommes tous americains, les editions du mont popey, Carnoux-Ancy, France, 2000.
Lieder in der Sprache des Feindes (songs in the enemy's language),
Big Mountain Aktionsgruppe, Munich,Germany,1999.
another train ride, Materiali Sonori, Florence, Italy, 1999. [Jazz C.D.with spoken poetry]
Revolutionslied, Selene Edizioni, 1998 [in English and German]
canto di rivoluzione, Selene Edizione, Milan, Italy, 1999. [In English and Italian]
un moto di improvvisa solitudine, Selene Edizione, Milan, Italy, 1998. [In English and Italian]
Entre Rage et Liberté, editions Poesie-Rencontres, Lyon, France, 1998. [In English and French]
Strong Heart Songs : Lines from a Revolutionary Text, West End Press.
Poems for a Master Beadworker, OBMA, 1993.
Tra il Buio e la Luce / Between the Dark and the Light, Selene Edizioni, 1993.
A Cheyenne Sketchbook : Selected Poems 1970-1991, Greenfield Review Press.
A Motion of Sudden Aloneness: Expatriot Songs, American Native Press Archives,
University of Arkansas Press, 1991.
another distance: new and selected poems, Point Riders Press.
Le Orme de Tasso/The Badger Tracks, Soconos Incommindios, 1989.
this small sound / dieser kleine klang, with German translation by Hartmut Lutz,
Institut für Indianische Kulturen Nordamerikas, 1988.
un altro canto per l'america, (bilingual edition)
with introduction and translation by Franco Melli.
another song for america, Point Riders Press.
tonger út stiennen / thunder from stones, with Frisian translation by Jelle Kaspersma,
Fryske Nasjonale Partij, 1987.
Tepee, Cooperative La Parentesi/Soconos Incommindios, 1987.
a circling remembrance, Blue Cloud Quarterly Press. (Bilingual English/Cheyenne)
selected poems 1970-1983, Greenfield Review Press.
In a Dark Mist, (bilingual English/Cheyenne), Cross-Cultural Communications. (Hardcover)
Buffalo Marrow on Black, Full Court Press.
Mistah: New Poems, Strawberry Press.
Naming the Dark: Poems for the Cheyenne, Point Riders Press.
Keeper of Arrows, Renaissance Press.


Winter Man, with Andy Tierstien, New York Dance Theater Workshop, Feb. 1991.
Coyote Road, with Jeff Hooper, Mad River Theater Works, West Liberty, Ohio, June 1992.

Anthologies       icon

Around the World in Eighty Poems, James Berry (Editor), Katherine Lucas (Illustrator),
Chronicle Books.
Native American Songs and Poems : An Anthology, Brian Swann (Editor), Dover Books.
Une soudaine solitude, editions Paroles D'Aube, Paris, France, 1997. [In English and French]
La neige Écarlate, dans la poesie de Yves Bonnefoy, Paul Celan, Alain Tasso, Salvatore Quasimodo, Lance Henson,
Gisele Vanhese (Editor), Editions Dar An Nahar, Beyrouth.
Reclaiming the Vision : Past, Present, and Future : Native Voices for the Eighth Generation,
Lee Francis & James Bruchac (Editors), Greenfield Review Press.
Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival
(Sun Tracks Books, No 29) University of Arizona Press.
Home Places : Contemporary Native American Writing from Sun Tracks (Sun Tracks, Vol 31)
Larry Evers (Editor), Ofelia Zepeda (Editor), Univ of Arizona Press.
Smoke Rising : The Native North American Literary Companion, Janet Witalec,
Visible Ink Press.
Poetry in Motion : 100 Poems on the Subways and Buses, edited with Molly Peacock
and Neil Neches, W W Norton & Co. (Hardcover)
De Aarde is Ons Vlees: Bloemlezing uit het werk van zeventwintig Indiaanse dicters
(The Earth is our Flesh edited and translated by Jelle Kaspersma), In de knipscheer, Amsterdam: Netherlands.
The Clouds Threw This Light, Phillip Foss (Editor), Institute of American Indian Arts Press.
Point Riders Great Plains Poetry Anthology Arn Henderson and Frank Parman,
Editors, Point Riders Press.
Wounds Beneath the Flesh, Maurice Kenny (Editor), White Pine Press.
Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back : An Anthology of Poetry by American Indian Writers
Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press
The Remembered Earth : An Anthology of Contemporary Native American Literature
Geary Hobson (Editor), Univ of New Mexico Press
New and Old Voices of Wah'Kon-Tah, Robert K. Dodge, Joseph B. McCullough (Editors),
International Publishers Co.
Words in the Blood : Contemporary Indian Writers of North and South America,
Jamake Highwater (Editor), New American Library.
American Indian Literature : An Anthology, Alan R. Velie, Univ. of Oklahoma Press.
Voices of the Rainbow : Contemporary Poetry by Native Americans
Kenneth Rosen (Editor), R.C. Gorman, Aaron Yava (Illustrator), Arcade Pub.
The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Margaret Ferguson (Editor), Mary Jo Salter (Editor),
Jon Stallworthy, 4th Edition , W W Norton & Co.
Harper's Anthology of 20th Century Native American Poetry
Duane Niatum (Editor), HarperCollins
Carriers of the Dream Wheel, Duane Niatum, HarperCollins. AMbooks
The Written, Spoken and Unspoken Word,
University of Oklahoma Press.

Textbooks       icon

New Worlds of Literature : Writings from America's Many Cultures,
Jerome Beaty, J. Paul Hunter (Editors), W.W. Norton & Co.

Books Containing Interviews with or Articles on/by Lance    

Lance has an article in Il Manifesto on the anniversary of Wounded Knee, November 29, 2005
Lance was interviewed on radio citta, Bologna, Italy, 2005.
Interview with Lance Henson, by Silvana Fracasso, Carta Magazine, Rome Italy 03.
Long Streets Full of Ghosts, Silvana Fracasso, Revista Del Voluntarato, Bologna, Italy 03.
The Nature of Native American Poetry, Norma C. Wilson, Univ. New Mexico Press.
Another Distance: New and Selected Poems (book review) by Craig Womack, An article from: The American Indian Quarterly
lieder in der sprache des feindes / songs in the enemy's language (book review) by Robert L. Berner, An article from: World Literature Today
Revolutionslied (book review) by Robert L. Berner, An article from: World Literature Today
Native American Writers of the United States, (Dictionary of Literary Biography, V. 175),
Kenneth M. Roemer (Editor), Gale Research.
Handbook of American Indian Literature, Andrew Wiget (Editor), Garland Press.
Survival This Way : Interviews With American Indian Poets
Joseph Bruchac III (Editor), (Sun Tracks Books, No 15) University of Arizona Press
I Tell You Now : Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers
Brian Swann, Arnold Krupat, Brompton Books Corp.
American Indian and Eskimo Authors: A Comprehensive Bibliography,
Arlene B. Hirschfielder, Association on American Indian Affairs.
The Magic of Names: Three Native American Poets:
Norman H. Russell, Lance Henson & Jim Weaver Barnes., Patrick D. Hundley, Blue Cloud Quarterly, Marvin, SD, 1978.
"A Harvest of Native Poets," Maura McDermott, Oklahoma Today,
43, Sept-Oct 1993, 42-47.
"Interview with Lance Henson," Jacob Freydont Attie, Cuyahoga, The Oberlin Quarterly,
Spring 1993, 24-29.
"The Conceptions Southwest Interview with Lance Henson", T.D. Cameron, Conceptions Southwest,
Spring 1993, 24-28.
"Lance Henson: Poet of the People", Robert L. Berner, in World Literature Today,
64(3):418-421, 1990 Summer. Norman, OK

In Association with

This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboration of the poet, Lance Henson. The website "author" is Karen M. Strom.

© 1998 - 2002 Lance Henson and Karen Strom.

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