New Poets of Native Nations

New Poets of Native Nations

by Heid E. Erdrich


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A landmark anthology celebrating twenty-one Native poets first published in the twenty-first century

New Poets of Native Nations gathers poets of diverse ages, styles, languages, and tribal affiliations to present the extraordinary range and power of new Native poetry. Heid E. Erdrich has selected twenty-one poets whose first books were published after the year 2000 to highlight the exciting works coming up after Joy Harjo and Sherman Alexie. Collected here are poems of great breadth—long narratives, political outcries, experimental works, and traditional lyrics—and the result is an essential anthology of some of the best poets writing now.

Poets included are Tacey M. Atsitty, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Laura Da’, Natalie Diaz, Jennifer Elise Foerster, Eric Gansworth, Gordon Henry, Jr., Sy Hoahwah, LeAnne Howe, Layli Long Soldier, Janet McAdams, Brandy Nalani McDougall, Margaret Noodin, dg okpik, Craig Santos Perez, Tommy Pico, Cedar Sigo, M. L. Smoker, Gwen Westerman, and Karenne Wood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 06/18/2018
Erdrich (Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media), an Ojibwe writer and scholar, goes some way toward rectifying a noticeable dearth of anthologies of contemporary Native poets with this essential volume. To do this, Erdrich selected 21 writers of varying backgrounds and statures who published their first collections in the 21st century, which she describes as “an era of witness, of coming into voice, an era of change and of political and cultural resurgence.” Given that there are 573 recognized Native nations across America, the volume is far from comprehensive, yet it demonstrates the remarkable breadth of formal styles and substantive concerns among even this small cohort of Native writers. Several of the poets here have garnered recognition in wider literary circles, including Cedar Sigo, Layli Long Soldier, and Tommy Pico, and others—such as dg nanouk okpik, Brandy Nalani McDougall, and Eric Gansworth—deserve greater attention. Through this first anthology of Native poets since 1988, Erdrich offers readers a path into a “brilliantly lit dimension” that has long been obscured by colonialism in the worlds of academia and cultural production. (July)

From the Publisher

A wonderful introduction to the diverse landscape of native voices.”The Washington Post

“This collection is a breathtaking, wide-ranging work of art. . . . It is a modern classic.”BuzzFeed

“A revelatory anthology.”BBC Culture

“[New Poets of Native Nations] is distinctly contemporary in its urgency, diversity and vibrancy.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“This book is a wonderful, needed, vital breath of air. . . . New Poets of Native Nations is a wonderfully conceived collection, full of exciting juxtapositions, rich language and a fine equipoise between generosity and restraint. It’s safe to say New Poets of Native Nations is an essential read.”Paste Magazine

“The artists collected in New Poets of Native Nations occupy a powerful role culturally, and a book like this, at this moment, acts as a looking-glass for white-dominated culture. As challenges to the status quo of global capital, environmental degradation, and underserved communities rise in pitch, the perspectives held by these poets offer vital reading.”3:AM Magazine

“A gorgeous volume of poetry.”The Coil

“[A] marvelous and much needed new anthology.”Shelf Awareness

“Essential. . . . Through this first anthology of US Native poets since 1988, Erdrich offers readers a path into a ‘brilliantly lit dimension’ that has long been obscured by colonialism in the worlds of academia and cultural production.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An immensely important anthology that belongs in every library.”Booklist, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555978099
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 265,849
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt



Tacey M. Atsitty, Diné, is Tsénahabilnii (Sleep Rock People) and born for Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle People) from Cove, Arizona. She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Literary Trust Award in Creative Writing, Corson-Browning Poetry Prize, Morning Star Creative Writing Award, and Philip Freund Prize. She holds bachelor's degrees from Brigham Young University and the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA in creative writing from Cornell University.

Atsitty's first book is Rain Scald (2018).


Layli Long Soldier is an Oglala Lakota poet, writer, and artist. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, and she holds an MFA from Bard College. Long Soldier is a recipient of a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry, a 2015 National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a 2016 Whiting Award, the 2018 PEN/ Jean Stein Award, and the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.

WHEREAS (2017) is Long Soldier's first collection of poetry.



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