Indian Life Newspaper -

By Larry Spotted Crow Mann
Review by Dr. Honey Dawn Karima Pettigrew 

Nipmuc Notes

Tales from the Whispering Basket


Last updated 9/26/2012 at 10:22pm

“Remove me from time, leave me in space and free my dreams.

My ear to the water, listening to the sublime chant.

Let the breathing Sun stir the shadows.

Another year upon the horizon, something new, waits in time.”

The opening lines of the poem, “Remove”, featured in Larry Spotted Crow Mann’s recent book, Tales from the Whispering Basket, offer an intriguing description of Mann’s writings. This unique text allows the reader to transcend time in order to join the author in his journey through Northeast Native life. Poetic inspirations, storytelling, fiction and creative non-fiction blend together as “something new” in this collection.

Mann moves fluidly through the timeline of the Northeast tribes. Evoking the passion and plagues of early contact, Mann involves the reader in the chaotic effects of genocide in “Mattawamp”. “The Basket” uses the wisdom of the elders and the progression into modernity to demonstrate the resilience of Mann’s Nipmuc Tribe. A Trickster tale blends with life experiences in “Deal Me In,” while Mann includes the humanity and delicacy of interpersonal relationships in “Soul Inspiration”.

Powerful rhythms represent an invaluable strength of Mann’s poetry. Whether “fettered to the bosom of the avarice beast” in “Pressing to the Womb” or exploring “Incandescent Madness” in “Melting Candle”, the author addresses the significant issues facing Indian Country and the details of daily life with equal ease. A citizen of the Nipmuc Tribe, Larry Spotted Crow Mann, has distinguished himself as an actor, educator and now, as an author.

Tales from the Whispering Basket is an important addition to libraries for many reasons. The author’s dedication to his tribe and his detailed discourse on the Native Northeast may educate readers about the dynamic life of Indian peoples beyond the more commonly publicized lives of the Plains and Southwest nations. A variety of genres assures that readers are entertained and educated simultaneously. Mann’s debut is a fascinating look into a powerful tribe and a persevering culture.

Dr. Honey Dawn Karima (Creek/Cherokee) hosts “A Conversation with Dawn Karima” on and its affiliated stations and the author of two novels, The Way We Make Sense and The Marriage of Saints. Her new CD, “The Desire of Nations” is a recent release (


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