John Neihardt Biography | Author of Black Elk Speaks

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John G. Neihardt

John Gneisenau Neihardt was born on January 8, 1891, near Sharpsburg, Illinois. His family later moved to Kansas, where Neihardt became interested in Greek epic poems, before settling in Nebraska. While ill with a fever as a young boy, Neihardt claimed to have had a vision that convinced him his calling was to write poetry. He published his first book of poetry, The Divine Enchantment, when he was just nineteen.

Neihardt continued living and writing in Nebraska, making his home in a town on the edge of the Omaha Indian Reservation. In 1930, while researching the ghost dance movement for his epic poem series A Cycle of the West, Neihardt met with Oglala medicine man Nicholas Black Elk; the two became fast friends. Black Elk was sixty-seven years old when he met Neihardt and began telling the story of the first twenty-seven years of his remarkable life...

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This section contains 3,649 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Black Elk Speaks Study Guide
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