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September 2015 in Missoula, Montana: A Celebration of the Written Word
avatar for Vic Charlo

Vic Charlo

Victor Charlo was born in 1938, a child of World War II. As a child, he contracted infantile paralysis, and he was expected to die. But Jerome, a medicine man, doctored him only once,and he got well. In Put Šeỳ: Good Enough, Victor says this about his writing: “There are a lot ofthings I was told I shouldn’t write about, and so to compensate, I write around those things. .. . I write about things that are Native because that’s what grounds me, things I understand.”Charlo attributes his writing style—with “as few words as possible, conjuring up the old sayings, those words I grew up with that come out every now and then,” to his early childhood experiences. After attending a seminary, “to make the folks proud,” he came back to Montana and graduated from The University of Montana, Missoula. For ten years, Victor served as a counselor with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes at the Kicking Horse Job Corpsin Montana. He is at home at Old Agency, Dixon, Montana, just outside the national Bison Range, and his daughter, April, translates his poems into Salish.