MAY 10, 1991

MUSCOGEE POET WOTKOCE (LOUIS OLIVER) DIED

Born in Coweta, Indian Territory, on April 9, 1904, his Creek name meant “Little Coon.”  After finishing high school, Oliver graduated from Bacone College in Muskogee in 1926.  He began to write poetry in high school, but put writing aside for nearly 50 years.  In the early 1980s, at a workshop for American Indian writers in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, writer Joseph Bruchac encouraged Oliver to write and offered to critique and distribute his poems.  Writing about Creek heritage and history, his works appeared in the Greenfield Review, Vintage, the Beloit Poetry Journal, Northeast Indian Quarterly, Mildred, the Wooster Review, and others.  His works include: The Horned Snake (1982), Caught in a Willow Net (1983), Estiyut Omayat: Creek Writings (1985), and Chasers of the Sun: Creek Indian Thoughts (1990).  In 1987, Oliver received the first Alexander Posey Literary Award from the Este Mvskoke Arts Council and was Poet of Honor at Oklahoma Poets Day at the University of Oklahoma.  He died in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Source:  Carsten Schmidtke, “Oliver, Louis (1904-1991),” Oklahoma Historical Society.  Retrieved 3/6/2020, ttps://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=OL005
Photo:  Jeanetta Calhoun, 1990.  Permissive Use. 

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