Image credit: Tom Jones

Barney Bush, not to be confused with George W. Bush’s dog by the same name, is a Shawnee/Cayuga poet and activist. Bush was born in 1946 in Illinois. After completing high school, Bush hitchhiked across the United States for several years. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where he studied Art and History, and then the University of Idaho, where he earned an M.F.A. in English.

Bush’s poetry focuses mainly on nature, family, and his Native American heritage. He has published two poetry collections, By Due Process (2004) and Petroglyphs (1982). He has also published some spoken word poetry performances, such as Left for Dead: Prisoners of the American Dream (1994).

Bush has dedicated his time to Native American causes, such as establishing Native American studies programs in universities across the nation and establishing the Institute of the Southern Plains, a Cheyenne Indian school in Oklahoma. He has also served on the chair of the Council of the Vinyard Indian Settlement. He currently lives in New Mexico.