Frank Pommersheim Symposium — Gloria Valencia-Weber

An Ode to Frank Pommersheim from a Grateful Non-Poet Law Professor

Caveat: It is impossible to properly title you. Long ago you went beyond a mere Indian Law professor. Unquestioned, we are all in your debt for the great law professor stuff.


Engaged in the imaginative reach past the everyday task of thinking hard about Native Americans and their misadventures among the centuries of U.S. law.

Who keeps asking the “why not” questions.  Challenging us by invoking alternative ways to look at the real-life quandary facing the now-breathing persons caught in a tribal law problem that sometimes spins out into the perilous space of state and federal law.

Propagating reality- based contemplations that do not allow the evasive work around if justice is to be delivered and made real among the living.

Then you take us along on the ultimate personal poetic spin into a universe of nature and ancient wisdom from other lands and cultural imaginations.

Creating missals of non-rhyming poetry that fly into your life at just the right moment.  They have gently landed in my life at times when it seemed you knew there were some rough patches to overcome.

Even the paper was comforting to hold. The poetics soothed the momentary not-really a crisis as well as the absolutely a crisis.  Later readings produce a contemplative appreciation of the “then” moment and where one is now.

Gratitude when words are inadequate.