Song Buried in the Muscle of Urgency

Joy Harjo. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015. Print.

Casandra Lopez. Where Bullet Breaks. Little Rock, AR: Sequoyah National Research Center, U of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2014. Print.

Kimberly L. Becker. Words Facing East. Cincinnati, OH: WordTech Editions, 2011. Print.

Kim Shuck. Clouds Running In. Petaluma, CA: Taurean Horn, 2014. Print.

Allison Adele Hedge Coke, Effigies II: An Anthology of New Indigenous Writing. Cromer: Salt, 2014. Print.

 

Recently, when Chad Harbach asked the hard questions about the "two cultures of American Fiction," it awakened the questions I have harbored off and on for years about the evolution of Native American poetry(ies). You can find in my own past writing on the subject various ideas including a defense of the possibility of a "Native poetics" and descriptions of exactly what that might entail.1 Among those elements I identified early on was a "celebration of influence" (in direct counterpoint to Harold Bloom's "anxiety of influence"). Cultural continuity with ancestral tribal knowledge, traditional songs, and poetic performances by literary predecessors and contemporary peer poets seemed key components and strengths of the tradition of Native American poetry—one the practicing poets were indeed celebrating and building on by conscious intertextuality and various rhetorical gestures.

When younger Native poets began to speak of difference from older tribal writers, I assured myself they were thinking about thematic concerns and the way their own experiences— sometimes of urban reality rather than reservation life—naturally resulted in different focuses (and therefore metaphors and sometimes formal structures). Although I may not have had as much company in my stance this time, I still believed there remained an identifiable poetics, although now I was expanding the circle in my thinking and writing of an "Indigenous" aesthetic. This indigeneity also encompasses the tribal nation contexts which have also gained critical attention.

Now we have arrived at another new era for Native poets—that of the MFA, AWP, and NYC. Recent graduates of prestigious MFA programs (including the recent low-rez IAIA— Institute of American Indian Arts—MFA), have begun to amass well-placed publications, gain critical recognition, and win awards the dearth of which had previously seemed a mark of marginalized status for all but a select handful of Native writers since the first swoon of notice came in the 1970's. When N. Scott Momaday won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1969 and a Pulitzer committee member noted "the arrival on the American literary scene of a matured, sophisticated literary artist," at least one Native writer, Louis Owens (Choctaw), wondered if that phrase rather suggested that "at last an indigenous writer had emerged who could emulate and imitate the discourse of the cultural center—Euramerica—so well that he could be accepted, perhaps canonized?"2

We are living in a time when we have publishing Native poets such as accomplished Chickasaw writer Linda Hogan who have worked their way onto the literary scene without institutional writing degrees situated alongside those who have a full slate of literary credentials including MFAs, PhDs, and mentors with name recognition and cachet with prominent presses. Publishers such as Copper Canyon showcase the work of young Native writers like Natalie Diaz (Mojave) and Sherwin Bitsui (Diné), and many awards come the way of newly minted Native MFA degree holders. Iñupiaq writer Joan Naviyuk Kane, for example, earned her MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts, and her second book Hyperboreal was chosen as the winner of both the 2012 AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and the 2014 American Book Award. In 2015, Creek poet Joy Harjo (MFA from Iowa Writer's Workshop) was selected by the Academy of American Poets to receive the prestigious Wallace Stevens Award, which recognizes "outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry."

Clearly much is afoot in the field of Native poetry. In this vital time, should we simply relish the new-found acclaim and attention or need we take a breath to understand the roots and flowering of this rich period? Is the idea of a Native literary aesthetic or the rhetorical space Leanne Howe calls "tribalography" more or less viable today in a global society so keenly aware of transnationalism or indeed among the complicated origins of Native writers themselves (even when we leave the questionable CDIB out of the equation)? How shall we characterize a Native poetics in an era when Native identities and lifestyles themselves vary so drastically? In an era of MFA-educated writers, what remains Native about Native poetry? Or should we introduce Junot Díaz's idea of the POC and ask which MFA, which cohort, which writing community? As I read the several volumes sent to me for this review, these are among the questions I hoped to unravel.

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Whether writing about the brutal death of a brother, the reclamation of Native place, the toxicity of historical representations, or the path for healing conflict, the Native women poets whose work I discuss here all sing with their own urgency, but the very urgency of subject that taps a collective experience and hearkens toward a certain polyvocality seems key in marking these works as within an always evolving circle of Native literary sensibility that often plays itself off the still intact (largely white) site of supposed literary authority. Likewise, each of the writers seems keenly aware of the limits of their craft—of language itself—and equally invested in the relational aspects of both their poetry and the lives there represented. Little has been easy or simply defined in the experience of most of the speakers in the poems; neither then is the poetic embodiment of their understanding.

Just as Owens, in his discussion of Momaday's award, went on to suggest, the "sophistication" recognized by the Pulitzer judges was "of a different order from that in canonized texts," one that entailed not just an "undeniable facility with… techniques and tropes… but more significantly, the profound awareness of conflicting epistemologies;" from these volumes of poetry, too, arises a poetic epistemology that hearkens back to various Native and tribally specific ideas regarding being and knowing. Among the several most readily identified are various non-linear understandings of time and history, the concept of lived community and the acknowledged sentience of many elements of our natural world, an investment in various spiritual and ceremonial practices, and a clear awareness of both just practices and the many ironic justifications that continue to create "legal" pathways for undermining basic rights. Although the kinds of experience recounted in the present day voice of many of the poems has indeed altered in particulars since the advent of written Native poetry, the searching analysis of that experience as originating in colonization remains steady, as does the attempt to expose the many inherent hypocrisies of contemporary U.S. policy and politics. It seems there is still a particular urgency in being an Indian even, or particularly, in this supposedly "post-racial" America.

The work in these volumes—as much as any that has gone before—gains part of its strength in giving voice to a discourse of what Owens called "otherness." The works and the ways the various authors elect to manifest the reality of the experience of otherness or a rhetorical stance grounded in tribal identity varies—as it always has. In these books by both new and established poets, some works place Native reality more to the fore than others, just as some works take an activist stand while others employ understated allusion with little or no actual mention of political expediency.

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In Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, in which she writes, "Every poem is an effort at ceremony," Joy Harjo strikes a balance between the affective and the effective reaches of art, imbuing her poetic performances with philosophical musings and calls to action. As in several of her early books, here too, Harjo—who is both musician and writer—weaves together song lyrics, prose, and poetry. Some poems such as "For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet," clearly take up the mission of the title of the collection and employ an imperative voice to direct the reader: "Call your spirit back. It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse;" "Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters," or "Help the next person find their way through the dark" (4-6). Indeed, the sections of the title poem themselves offer instructions or steps for "conflict resolution," from setting "ground rules" to using "effective communication skills," to reducing "defensiveness" (77-80). Other poems underscore the role of poetry (and music) in working for healing and change. The poem "No," for example, claims, "I expected our words might rise up and jam the artillery in the hands of dictators" (11); and "It's Raining in Honolulu" declares, "We will plant songs where there were curses" (109).

However, the poems don't only speak about healing, teach, or call for action on the behalf of justice, but Harjo would give us to understand, that in coming into being artistically, they actually engender good. Of singers, "Indian School Night Song Blues" declares, "some heal the sick, some make the dead rise up and dance" (68). Of songs, the poem "Entering the Principality of O'ahu by Sky Roads" speaks of how they:

lift the most humble spirits

To the grass houses of the heavens—"

and

aren't paid for

By the money and influence

Of rich, fat corporate gods (19).

 

Harjo's own work in the collection traces this aesthetic of artistic healing, with poems describing the persona's journey from being "Indian in a strange pastiche of hurt and rain" seemingly numbered among those in "Suicide Watch" who see themselves as an "unworthy soul," to becoming one among those "Who know ourselves to be part of mystery" (96, 71, 135).

Consisting of four movements, the book also attends to the larger destructive forces that have been unleashed on our planet and actions we can take in healing that human breech with earth. Prefacing each poem is a short prose piece or prose poem. These seem to narratively trace the speaker's epic journey as she comes to both personal and communal knowledge. Frequently, the passages voice a hunger or longing and center around the inspiration or fulfillment of jazz, poetry, music, the saxophone. Then the lyric language almost curves, rising and falling, like a full-voiced horn:

            For any spark to make a song, it must be transformed

by pressure. There must be unspeakable need, muscle of

            belief, and wild, unknowable elements. I am singing a

            song that can only be born after losing a country. (7)

 

As in previous collections, much of the beauty in Harjo's poetry comes in its reach toward the unknowable—"that perfect song… just beyond the field of perceptible sound" (95).

 

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An unspeakable need and awareness of the limits of our humanity likewise fuel the search given voice in Where Bullet Breaks, a first chapbook by Casandra Lopez, a Cahuilla, Luiseńo, Tongva, and Chicana writer. As in Harjo's writing, there is lament in Lopez's poetry, but here the origin of the loss explored is more personal. Narratively, the chapbook takes us through the brutal death of the speaker's brother, the reactions of the speaker—through roughly a year of grief and healing—and out the other side to "what remains." Poetically, the collection investigates various manifestations of connection and loss including, in the aftermath, the break-down of language and meaning. Lopez cleverly manipulates language to mirror the distance of shock as the poems touch the now seemingly unfamiliar objects—the door, cement, and of course, the Bullet. "Words," the speaker tells us, "are always collapsing;" therefore, she learns "to speak in metaphor" (19, 15). Among the many moving poems gathered here is "A New Language" in which the narrator longs for "… a new language… with at least / 50 words for grief / / and 50 words for love" (19).

Lopez's haunting collection of seventeen poems seems partly tableau, partly palimpsest. She has constructed intricate overlapping narratives that deftly employ repetition of words and image. Each new appearance of the voiceless flutter of Brother's lips, for example, become the narrator's own inability to speak, her search for language. The many fractures created "where bullet breaks" include the speaker's own disconnection from herself—even her physical body. In "Open the Door: Eye Witness," the narrator laments, "I… think I am living someone else's life" and she represents herself in pieces: "ear, mouth, and hands" then "arms and legs" and "pin-pricked follicles" (9-10). Among the few reaches beyond the tableau of family is the poem "An Unknown" in which Lopez aligns Jim Thorpe's loss of his twin brother with her/her persona's loss of her twin. The perhaps compulsive running of Thorpe the speaker likens to her own "always running from something" (27).  Where Bullet Breaks renders in carefully crafted poems both the "sweet / rind of history" and the "rib ache of the left behind" (21).

Indeed, like her narrator, Lopez herself has learned efficient use of metaphor. In "Those Who Speak to Trees Remember," she recalls her Father's teaching: "Trees have ancestors, a lineage, a history" (13). She envisions herself and "Brother" "grafted like our citrus trees." The narrative and images of the rest of the poem call up vivid memories of the lovely globed fruits of her and Brother's mutual childhood, but also the fateful tumbling of the fruit followed by "splats" and "skin splitting," language and images that, of course, recall the death scene as well as echo words and images from earlier poems: "split," "fractures," "break." In the opening poem, "Where Bullet Breaks," the speaker and Brother, "split into before and after," just as in "Those Who Speak to Trees Remember," the poem itself is divided into memories and aftermath. In the chapbook narratives, the language of metaphor works to create distance, but also to keep the experience close—transformed, but vivid.

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Language and loss also figures into Kimberly Becker's Words Facing East, a first collection by a writer who identifies herself as "Cherokee/Celtic/Teutonic." Although in this volume, Becker's poems trace a connection to what one poem calls "The Cherokee in Me" (17), the author does not turn away from a sometimes troubling sense of distance and regress from identification as Native as these lines in "Bumping Up Against the Stories" demonstrate:

I fish my smart phone from my purse and with camera,

snap a picture of a picture of my great-grandmother, Emma.

Her face swims behind curved glass

as I try to gauge her Indianness.

 

Blood from her flows down to me,

Just as hers from full-blood Cherokee.

Stories coagulate, go untold, until such time as when

Someone picks enough to let them run again. (30)

 

Potent loss is in evidence throughout the collection, sometimes suggested through metaphor as in the poem "Edges," which recounts the squeezing out of the wild fox by encroaching civilization. The sympathetic speaker, denied a longed for connection to the wildness of the foxes—"I never could gain entry"—instead pictures them in this lovely image: "… imagine foxes / asleep around cleaned bones, / tails muffed around muzzles" (45). Still, despite acknowledging both metaphorical and historic "removal," the works in the collection voice just the kind of reclamation, "Bumping Up Against the Stories" suggests could take place. The poet herself may be the one who makes the stories "run again." Indeed, the book's proem, "Circling the Mound," attests to things that "can never be erased," and opens with the line: "So this is what it's like to come home" (13).

Like Linda Hogan's early book Calling Myself Home, Becker's intention in this collection seems partly to claim her Cherokee "home." In the book, this home becomes strongly aligned with the Cherokee language as several poems ("Language Class," "The Catch," "River of Words," etc.) attend to the speaker's relearning the language her ancestors "drank at infancy" (18). Among the more satisfying of the poems in this vein are "Distant, Early, Warning: Lines" and "Words as Fish." In the first, in which the narrative is complicated by the simultaneous search for some lost family history through photos and story, the speaker laments, "but all I have are these poor words, / these shards of story, these artifacts, / I sift through, / searching for splinters of bone that connect somehow to mine" (57). In "Words as Fish," the author reveals the sweat it takes to make these bone to bone connections. Here she employs the Cherokee phrase "Doadt" (How do you say), and the poem proceeds as a litany of phrases each containing an English word in bold for which the speaker wants the Cherokee. The intriguing accumulated phrases show an engaged imagination and promise for poetry to come as in this example: "Doadt / how in the violence of [love] you fell free of your knife?"

Becker's consistent attention to the tell of language does not mean the collection lacks variety in focus. The author also turns for inspiration to various physical places, to stories like that of Anna Mae Aquash and the mythic Selu, to news accounts as well as personal stories, and to cultural critique. Throughout the collection, there is a gentle celebration of heritage and inheritance, and there are observations and lines to be prized. For example, "Ghost Dance Dress" showcases both a sensibility that recognizes how "Even a poem must keep its distance," and the memorable line: "Some things you don't defame by cataloguing" (20). Walking the Cherokee lands with Becker we witness discovery and personal investment in forging connection; blessedly, we do not witness an academic cataloguing.

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If Becker's book is searching for a connection to her Cherokee language and heritage, Kim Shuck's Clouds Running In is screaming she has one and telling you the joke about the one that got away. Although the focus of these two books is indeed similar (Shuck, too, is going "Back to Cherokee"), the style and voices diverge significantly. From the onset, Shuck's book sets itself apart visually by its use of all caps throughout and the frequent companion landscape drawings to the poems (by collaborator Marcer Campbell); it sets itself apart aurally through its humor and "North Eastern Okie terse" style. When the first person narrator in "I Always Catch the Old World Diseases," declares "I am an unlikely / post-columbian ndn / hill billy Polish / union agitator and career military DNA / inheritance from my grandfathers," a reader would be correct to assume the various stances of the volume will challenge easy expectations (58). Again and again the sassy and smart lines delivered in a clipped understatement provide critique or a new perspective. But most intriguing to me in reading Shuck's collection together with those already discussed, is her constant awareness of language colonization and the related imposition of epistemological foundations.

While Shuck's poems voice a kind of outrage and lament about the theft of Native languages (here specifically Cherokee) and the cultural understandings there embedded, they simultaneously work in various ways towards recovery and indeed enact what Vizenor might call survivance. The many engaging ways the poet tackles ideas about language, belief, and resistance convince this reader that the "clouds running in" may be threatening, but the vibrant many-voiced "singing" these poems report and enact might be one bead in the remaking of the community story.

"Cultural Exchange," for instance, opens with the line, "Bring your expectations," and then seemingly characterizes one of these cultural expectations: "Outlaw my language then ask me to speak it / A parlor trick" (6). The lines, of course, allude to historical assimilation policies—here specifically surrounding language, (as well to contemporary stereotyping and commodification of Native peoples and cultures). The kind of irony at work here figures significantly in Shuck's playful poetics and her critique, as when she introduces various "foreign" languages including the written and the scientific, and implies the speaker's troubled relationship to these systems of thinking. "Myth of the Immigrant," for example, opens with a stanza about "these straight lines on paper" and the poet figures them as complicit in the colonial enterprise, noting they: "have a kind of magic / bestow authority that / seems to overcome that of / rivers / history before soldiers," one that is only "an excuse to / fail in sacred responsibilities" (57). The historic failures in acting responsibly have resulted in the offspring of global warming given image in the poem—floods, fires, and risks of skin cancer; as well as in the colonial machismo that disvalues women and "just over the border," results in "Indian women… being murdered daily." The speaker is "tired of the plausible lies" and offers instead an other language system and, through the imperative voice, calls the reader to the same: "put on your singing clothes / change the names of each cousin we have / unstitch these boundaries."

Throughout the volume, Shuck's poems, in answer to the failings of colonial lifestyles, offer songs in many guises and circumstances, offer the recollection of older teachings—from humans and the earth—even suggest small wisdoms through the language of food. And in these various poetic offerings, the gesture is broad enough that we understand their connections to one another and to a different way of being, an other epistemology. The poem "Mud and Words," for example, suggests something about the work of the poet, opening with the lines:

Trying to find the word

that can hold off the water

hold up a town

just one more word

another way to ask that people

pay attention there is

work to be done here (62).

 

The poem closes with the declaration: "You will know the poets by the / dirt under our nails."

Here as in other poems, even as the author comes out for poetry, song, tribal teachings, etc. the poems simultaneously contain the possible futility of these tools. In "Mud and Words" the poem sets troubles like broken levees against the efforts of the poets who, Shuck writes, "can try to hold water with a sieve of words." The trying fills these poems, but as "Close," laments, "No amount of praying / dancing, song / will hold back rain now and / I'm already a marsh" (48). Still, this realism is tempered with belief as when Shuck writes in "Sacred Spaces":

… There are

Some things that you can lose and

Regain and I'll stand on any stage you

Want and say that wonder is one of them

Wonder and community (23).

 

Clouds Running In places us in medias res (or perhaps rather in medias rez); the struggle continues with outcome not determined. But the poems offer many moments of humor and grace. The unexpected perspective in the opening poem—"Today's history lesson will be written / by ants / under the bark of a tree / in Tilden Park. / I won't know how to read it either."— should prepare us for the delightful turnabouts and surprises to follow (1). Among my favorite poetic aphorisms from the text could be said of the volume itself: "If you aren't delighted you aren't paying / attention" (68.) Despite the distraction of constant capital letters and my desire to tinker with line breaks, I was delighted by the wit, warmth, and, yes wisdom, of this poet's work.

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If the preceding volumes by Harjo, Lopez, Becker, and Shuck range widely in subjects, voice, and style, the final book I examine in this discussion captures a similar variety between the covers of a single volume. Effigies II, edited by Allison Hedge Coke (Cherokee/Creek/ Huron/Metis) and following the example of the 2009 Effigies by creating a "community" of new poets in one release, presents the debut chapbooks of five different Indigenous women poets: Laura Da (Eastern Shawnee), Ungelbah Davila (Diné), Kristi Leora (Anishinaabe), Lara Mann (Choctaw/Cherokee/Mohawk), and Kateri Menominee (Chippewa); with their work arising from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes, from the Eastern Woodlands to the desert Southwest.

Two telling lines from the early poems of Laura Da's The Tecumseh Motel can draw us back to the queries with which I opened this essay regarding the possibility of an ongoing Indigenous aesthetic in poetry. Da writes, "Colonialism had children and grand-children too;" and "We have always been the frontier" (4, 7). As imperialism continues to breed or morph into new "honors" such as the wildly inaccurate and stereotypic dramatic representation of Tecumseh's life about which Da writes, so too must new poetic responses to these imperial tendencies appear. They do. Here. In the work of these talented younger poets, the legacy of writers like Harjo and Hedge-Coke herself continue. But these are not cookie-cutter, paint-by-number copies of what has already been said. Each of the writers in this volume adds a unique voice and take on what it means to be Indigenous, to write Indigenous in the twenty-first century.

I look in some depth at The Tecumseh Motel as a series of poems that together demonstrate the kind of "sophistication" arbitrator's of the canon-worthy might recognize while they simultaneously enact what Owens labeled a certain "otherness." They achieve a reappraisal of historical accounts and specific cultural conditions through a complex layered poetics praiseworthy among any gallery of critics. At the same time, Da's poetics are still aesthetically and thematically connected to the earlier published or performed work associated with the tradition of Native letters.

The author opens the collection with lively, shrewd poems, filled with mythic figures, humanized historic and contemporary images, and the breath of gesture. She hands them to the reader like flint and stone. Without heavy-handed interpretation, they soon catch fire in our imagination. Da describes the focus of her chapbook as "a parallel path of Shawnee culture and personal history" (2); but in the complex vision that unfolds, inevitably these distinctly named paths converge. The powerful "American Towns" declares:

Here is the voyage,

conjured homeland to conjured homeland,

 

No, not that clawed trajectory of the past,

but a fierce conception

 

that quickens and scraps inside just the same. (8)

 

The path—from the "casino jangle," curated dioramas, and warped educational system in which tribal council members are perceived as "remnants of the once great Shawnee tribe," to boulders with "deep groves in the center / for grinding corn" and the memory of Old Chillicothe—is both map and palimpsest. Chillicothe, for example, is a contemporary place name and "… in the subtle semantics / of Shawnee, a tightened fist of connotation: / clan name and principal city, / all human systems working in harmony" (8).

Through unflinching images of Shawnee removal (many given in the story of Lazarus Shale), Da depicts the outcome of the Dawes Allotment Act Roosevelt duped "a mighty pulverizing machine" (which becomes another of Da's poem titles). But she also traces the daily heroism of those who made the starvation journey and characterizes the continuance of contemporary descendants. Like Da's persona in "Wars of Attrition," we are reminded, "A map is not a neutral document" (34). Indeed, Da's poems deliver readers from many romantic notions about Native Americans to which they might have previously clung. In "American Towns," the author reports the wording of a museum plaque which claims: "The ground on which this council house stands is unstained / with blood" (9). Throughout The Tecumseh Motel, Da's well-crafted poems strip down the rhetoric and supposed veracity of such unfounded historic claims, and Da closes the poem with lines that could be the raison d'être of the collection: "I want my ink to bellow— / where is this ground unstained with blood?" Bellow it does.

But note also that to achieve the emphatic here, Da employs the question as she does elsewhere to good effect. Among the more evocative questions is this one in "No Longer": "What tremor can be measured / in the pale wave of light / that blazes a path of eviction?" (28) Through the interrogative and the imperative, through gaps and other poetic gestures, Da entrusts her reader to enact the convergence of pathways, and to speak the bellow with their own voice. In continuing the depiction of eviction in "No Longer," for example, she asks the reader to invite the felt experience into their own bodies:

            To weather that expulsion path—

                        hunch the shoulders into a perpetual wince.

            Look back often.

            Squint in the light

            that shines on the backs of the knees. (28)

 

The power of the Native poetics in this opening chapbook of Effigies II derives from that "song buried in the muscle of urgency"3 and in Da's ability to awaken the sense of that song in a reader.

The other authors in Effigies II likewise invest their words with power. The poetic range—from Ungelbah Davila's "honkey tonk hymns" to Kristi Leora's collective genealogy, Lara Mann's sometimes humorous apologia for mixedblood reality to Kateri Menominee's revisiting of myth and history—showcases the still perhaps unexpected reach of contemporary Native poetry. Although the "who's who" of Native writers has included a similarly wide-ranging variety of poetic performances, including Carter Revard (Osage) who draws from the classicists, Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe) contemporary haiku writer, Allison Hedge Coke's effective use of the persona poem, Sherman Alexie (Spokane) who has given the sonnet a new twist, N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) a formalist in his early work, Simon Ortiz who drew so powerfully on tribal myth, and of course, Harjo who incorporates elements of Jazz tradition, the poetry of Native America has often been conflated and misread as merely confessional or a plain spoken political exercise. As Leora writes in her fascinating poem on other voices, "It's not how you talk, but / how you listen" (133). Among the powers of the poems by the nine writers featured here is their ability to show readers new ways to listen to or read the work of Native writers, and their ability to pull them into the rhetorical space of tribalography.

Kimberly M. Blaeser, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

 

Notes

 

1.   See, for example, Kimberly Blaeser, "Cannons and Canonization: Native Poetries through Autonomy, Colonization, Nationalism, and Decolonization," The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States Since 1945, ed. Eric Cheyfitz (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006) 183-287.

2.   Louis Owens, Other Destinies: Understanding the American Indian Novel (Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P, 1992) 90-92.

3.   Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (New York, W.W. Norton: 2015), 21.

 

Works Cited

Joan Naviyuk Kane Hyperboreal. Pittsburgh, Penn.: U of Pittsburgh, 2013. Print.

Linda Hogan, Calling Myself Home. Greenfield Center, NY: Greenfield Review, 1978. Print

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Copyright (c) 2016 Kimberly M. Blaeser