Wendy Rose, born Bronwen Elizabeth Edwards in Oakland, California, is of Hopi, Miwok, and European descent. The daughter of a Hopi father, Rose grew up feeling distanced from both Hopi and white society. She spent a troubled adolescence before attending college and eventually earning her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. As a Native American, she has claimed to have often felt like a spy in the field of anthropology. Her poetry is influenced by ethnography, her personal experience of identity, and both her political and feminist stances; her subjects include alienation and ecology. She has written of aboriginal cultures outside of the United States, including a persona poem on the Tasmanian woman Truganniny. In addition to poetry, Rose writes nonfiction, often addressing issues of appropriation of Native American culture, including “whiteshamanism,” the misuse of the shaman identity by white writers.
More By This Poet
Women Like Me
making promises they can’t keep.
For you, Grandmother, I said I would pull
each invading burr and thistle from your skin,
cut out the dizzy brittle eucalypt,
take from the ground the dark oily poison–
all to restore you happy and proud,
the whole of you...