Ivy Vainio
Ojibwe poet/authors Al Hunter and Jim Northrup flank Gabor G. Gyukics, a Hungarian poet who has translated both of their works for publications in Hungary. Northrup leaves for Hungary on February 8 and has speaking engagements there from February 10-14.

Ojibwe Author Brings Indian Country to Hungary

Konnie LeMay

Columnist, poet, playwright and humorist Jim Northrup, Fond du Lac Ojibwe, will take on the role as an ambassador for Indian country next week during a speaking tour sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Hungary from February 10-14.

Many Hungarians already know Northrup’s work thanks to Hungarian poet Gabor G. Gyukics, who translated Northrup’s poetry into Hungarian for the book Nagy Kis-Madár (Big Little Bird). Gyukics, the catalyst for Northrup’s invitation to Hungary, has translated the works of several Native writers.

“I was told about Jim’s poetry by Carter Revard, an Osage poet, and another American poet, Chad Faries,” Gyukics said. “When I visited the States a few years ago, I wanted to meet Native American poets because I was and still am working on a contemporary North American Indigenous poetry anthology.”

“Gabor came to our house to learn about the Anishinaabe,” Northrup said about the visit. “It was sugarbush, and so we put him to work right away. We had to tell him it was safe to drink the sap out of the tree.”

Hungarian poet Gabor G. Gyukics joins Jim Northrup, an Ojibwe author, and his dog on a trail to sugarbush to tap trees for syrup. Gyukics visited the Northrup home in Sawyer, Minnesota, and will serve as his translator when Northrup speaks at events in Hungary from February 10-14. (Ivy Vainio)

At the Northrups’ Sawyer, Minnesota, home “we’ve had visitors from all the Scandinavian countries—Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway—and Scotland, England, Macedonia, Japan, China, New Zealand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Germany, Italy, France … and Red Lake,” said Northrup, ending with a typical tease referring to the Red Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.


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