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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555979997
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry, including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media. She is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain, and lives and teaches in Minneapolis.

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.



Excerpted from "New Poets Of Native Nations"
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Copyright © 2018 Heid E. Erdrich.
Excerpted by permission of GRAYWOLF PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction Twenty-One Poets for the Twenty-First Century Heid E. Erdrich xi

Tacey M. Atsitty 3




Paper Water

Elegy for Yucca Fruit Woman

Hole through the Rock

Layli Long Soldier 15


Whereas I Did Not Desire in Childhood

Whereas Resolution's an Act

Obligations 1

Obligations 2

Tommy Pico 29

From IRL

From Nature Poem

From Junk

Margaret Noodin 45

Waawiindamojig / The Promisers

Okanan / Bones

Winiiam Aagimeke / William Making Snowshoes

Agoozimakakiig Idiwag / What the Peepers Say

Jiikimaadizi / A Joyful Life

Mazinbii'amawaan / Sending Messages

Laura Da' 55

A Mighty Pulverizing Machine

The Haskell Marching Band

Passive Voice

Quarter Strain

Gwen Nell Westerman 65

Owotanna Sececa

Linear Process

Genetic Code

Quantum Theory

Dakota Homecoming

Theory Doesn't Live Here

Undivided Interest

Jennifer Elise Foerster 75

Leaving Tulsa

Pottery Lessons I



Blood Moon Triptych


Natalie Diaz 91

Dome Riddle

Other Small Thundering

American Arithmetic

The First Water Is the Body

Trevino L. Brings Plenty 107

For the Sake of Beauty

The Sound of It

Part Gravel, Part Water, All Indian

Blizzard South Dakota

Northeast Portland

Not Just Anybody Can Have One

Red-ish Brown-ish

Plasmic Kiln

Song Syntax Cycle

dg nanouk okpik 121


Her/My Arctic Corpse Whale

The Weight of the Arch Distributes the Girth of the Other

A Year Dot

Dog Moon Night at Noatak

She Travels

Julian Talamantez Brolaski 131

Blackwater Stole My Pronoun

In the Cut

What Do They Know of Suffering, Who Eat of Pineapples Yearround

As the Owl Augurs

Stonewall to Standing Rock

Horse Vision

The Bear and the Salmon

When It Rains It Pours

The Bear Was Born

Sy Hoahwah 145

Anchor-Screws of Culture

Toward Mount Scott

Ever Since I Can Remember

What Is Left

Before We Are Eaten



Hillbilly Leviathan

Craig Santos Perez 155

From Lisiensan Ga'lago

From The Legends of Juan Malo [a Malologue]

Ginen the Micronesian Kingfisher [I Sihek]

Ginen Tidelands [Latte Stone Park] [Hagåtña, Guåhan]

(First Trimester)

(Papa and Wakea)

(I Tinituhon)

Gordon Henry, Jr. 167

Simple Four Part Directions for Making Indian Lit

How Soon

Dear Sonny:

Among the Almost Decolonized

The Mute Scribe Recalls Some Talking Circle

Brandy Nalani McDougall 181

The Petroglyphs at Olowalu

On Cooking Captain Cook



This Island on Which I Love You


M. L. Smoker 193




We are the ones

Heart Butte, Montana

LeAnne Howe 203

A Duck's Tune

Finders Keepers: Aboriginal Responses to European Colonization



Catafalque II

The Rope Seethes

Cedar Sigo 213

Now I'm a Woman


Green Rainbow Song

Things to Do in Suquamish

Taken Care Of


Light Unhuried, Unchained

Double Vision

Karenne Wood 227

Amoroleck's Words

My Standard Response

In Memory of Shame

Abracadabra, an Abcedarian

Bartolomé de las Casas, 1542

The Poet I Wish I Was

Eric Gansworth 239

Speaking through Our Nations' Teeth

It Goes Something Like This

Repatriating Ourselves

Snagging the Eye from Curtis

A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function

… Bee

Janet McAdams 253

The Hands of the Taino

Leaving the Old Gods

Ghazal of Body

From "The Collectors"

Tiger on the Shoulder

Hunters, Gatherers


Author Notes 269

Editor's Acknowledgments 279

Permissions 281

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New Poets of Native Nations 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
New Poets of Native Nations holds hundreds of different poems written by authors in this century. Each author has a different story, so I really enjoyed reading all the pieces the authors created. One of my favorite poems in this book is “Hole in the Rock” by Tacey M. Atsitty. This author is Tsenahabilnil (Sleep Rock People) which means she is part of the Navajo Tribal Clan. Tacey M. Atsitty is also from Cove Arizona. The reason I really enjoyed “Hole in the Rock” is because Tacey M. Atsitty really challenged my thinking. When I first read through this poem I was confused and unsure as to what she was getting at when she was referencing the hole in the rock. But, I read through it again and really focused on each word and tried to understand what they each stood for. I thought of the rock as our world and the hole in the rock to representing Indigenous people. I personally felt so much truth inside this poem and I hope this is one you will really think about. Transitioning to another poem I enjoyed was “It Goes Something Like This” by Eric Gansworth. Eric Gansworth is an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation and he has received many writing awards. What I loved about his poem “It Goes Something Like This” was the story of his grandparents. Even as bad as boarding schools were, without that particular boarding school his grandparents wouldn’t have met and he wouldn’t be here today. Eric Gansworth was definitely one of my favorite authors just by his word choice and the formation of his poems. He pulled me in making me really focus and think on each statement made. Lastly, this book has a lot diversity among the writing. Each poem is written in its own form that goes along with the story. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain more insight on the feelings and stories of Indigenous people. New Poets of Native Nations was filled with powerful, life changing poems for me. By life changing I mean, I got a look into each of these authors lives and understand their feelings, which helped me grow not only as a learner but also as a person.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This book has 21 authors so you get many different perspectives! They talk about their feelings and experiences they've had in both the past, present, and future. There is a wide variety of different forms of poems which made it a great read! I learned quite a bit from reading this book. There all all different kinds of poems. Some are written in their native language. Others are portray happy, or sad emotions as you read. The poems expose a light that is shed on many issues in today's world.
Anonymous 8 months ago
New Poets of Native Nations is an anthology that provides twenty-one Native poets a place to share their poetry. Each poet is from a different Native Nation and was published after the year 2000. The book has the theme of diversity. Each poet is diverse in their style, culture, and languages. Erdrich writes, “enjoy this place, this space, this dimension these writers open where we can engage deeply with the work of poets whose nations long tenure in this place tell us something new and enduring at once.” I feel like this was an amazing way to begin this book. When I first opened the book, I found myself learning. At the beginning of each poet’s section of the book, there is a little blurb about each author that really helped me learn about them. Each one tackles their life experiences, challenges, and history in an interesting way. The first poet that I turned to was Tacey M. Atsitty. I was able to learn more about her culture, and from her writing, her beliefs. One poem that I really enjoyed was the poem titled, 38 by Layli Long Soldier. One of my favorite pieces that I had the opportunity to read because it allowed me to see the hardships the Native people have faced and still facing. Another poem that I found myself extremely engaged in was “A Duck’s Tune” written by LeAnne Howe. This poem specifically was one that I could never seem to stop thinking about (even after I read it three times). As a future educator, this is something that I really want to keep in mind for my classroom. Both of these poems were easy to read and engaging. I found myself thinking about different ways that I can incorporate these into my classroom for my students. I think by having my students learn about different cultures they will be more accepting and willing to adapt their lifestyles. I want my students to learn more about diversity as I did after reading this.
Anonymous 8 months ago
While reading this book, I was enlightened of many things that I did not know beforehand. In the poem “The First Water Is the Body” by Natalie Daiz showed me that Native Americans are being judged for their skin color just as much as other minorities. This issue is becoming very predominant in today's society and is receiving the name called #Whiteness. This book goes on to talk about more events that occurred such as the Dakota 38 in the poem “38” by Layli Long Soldier. The information that is being told in throughout this book throughout various poems is very informative and interesting. Growing up in American Public Schools I wish they taught us more about the situations that occurred, and more about information that is mentioned in this book. This book would have made an excellent addition to my education with poetry. It has many different styles of writing within it from free style to narrative. The audience for many of them have a large range, and I think everyone who reads this book will be please by one or more poems upon completing it. I enjoyed learning about the many different stories these authors had to tell through their poetry.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Native American literature is subject that is not present in America’s public school system. I’ve grown up in American schools, and I did not read anything, novel or poetry, by a Native American author until my sophomore year of college. It’s so sad that this whole section of literature has been absent from my education, but as a future English teacher, this is one of the books I think could be taught. The book New Poets of Native Nations is a collection of poetry by Native American authors edited by Heid E. Edrich. This book has poems by nineteen poets from different backgrounds and tribes. The poets have different educations, histories, and reasons for writing. A short bio of each author is provided before a selection of poetry, which allows the book to transition from one poet to the next easily. Because there are so many authors represented, the reader is bound to find a style of poetry that they like the best. I have two favorite poems from this collection that represent the diversity of poetry styles. The first is “American Arithmetic” by Natalie Diaz, which is upfront and angry about how broad American culture replaced Native American cultures. The second is “What Is Left” by Sy Hoahwah, which has a more gentle reminder of lost land and ancestors and images of nature. The different views and ways of speaking about the issues that surround Native American people and culture make this book interesting and a good fit for a diverse audience. I’d recommend it for use in a high school or college classroom setting, or for anyone with interest in poetry. It’s edited in a way that helps the reader learn and enjoy the poetry. I enjoyed it!