In Ears of Corn: Listen, Native American potter and poet Max Early gracefully details both the everyday and the extraordinary moments of family and community life, work and art, sadness and celebration at the Laguna Pueblo of New Mexico. Within the four seasons — Ty’ee-Tra, Kushra-Tyee, Heyya-Ts’ee, and Kooka — the beauty of Early’s writing beckons the reader to accompany him on the journey between ancient and modern times. Including an historical Preface by the author, an Introduction by Simon J. Ortiz, and photographs of Early’s family and award-winning art, this debut poetry book is profound in its welcome and its teachings.
Early’s poems take us into the cultural continuum of a contemporary Laguna Pueblo artist. Each poem is pottery of words, complete with designs to bring rain, to remember and praise the earth and sky path we humans travel. Early’s poems are earthy, real and compelling. I keep hearing them, like songs emerging from the creative earth.
We are thankful for these poems that cup us through the seasons, past the drought of a spiritual slumber. Like a weathered olla recalling the hold of cold water, we are replenished and bathed anew. We should heed our want and need to the bounty of their beauty and submit ourselves to the lessons therein. Shhh…the poems are speaking: Listen!
Max Early was born into a tradition of potters and clay. He creates traditional pottery in order to help save the art of pottery making in Laguna Pueblo. When he began to focus on writing, he continued his passion for celebrating his family,culture, language, and the enchanting New Mexico landscape.
Honors and awards for Early in pottery include a Fellowship from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts; a Native American Community Scholar Appointment: Office of Fellowships and Grants, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Judge’s Award in Sculpture; the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial–First in Effigies/Special Elkus Memorial Award; and the Santa Fe Indian Market-First in Traditional Pottery/Wedding Vases.
Early’s work appears in the permanent collections of the Dr. J. W. Wiggins Collection of Native American Art, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, IN; the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; the Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH; the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM; the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM; and the San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego, CA.
Early’s work also is shown at the Case Trading Post, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian; Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery; and the Adobe Gallery, all in Santa Fe, NM; at Bryan’s Gallery, Taos, NM; and the King Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ.