- Get it by Thursday, July 26 , Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.
"A name creates life patterns," Allison Adelle Hedge Coke writes, "which form and shape a life; my life, like my name, must have been formed many times over then handed to me to realize." Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer is Hedge Coke's narrative of that realization, the award-winning poet and writer's searching account of her life as a mixed-blood woman coming of age off-reservation, yet deeply immersed in her Cherokee and Huron heritage. In a style at once elliptical and achingly clear, Hedge Coke describes her schizophrenic mother and the abuse that often overshadowed her childhood; the torments visited upon her, the rape and physical violence; and those she inflicted on herself, the alcohol and drug abuse. Yet she managed to survive with her dreams and her will, her sense of wonder and promise undiminished.
The title Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer refers to the life-revelations that brought Hedge Coke through her trials, the melding of language and experience that has brought order to her life. In this book, Hedge Coke shares the insights she has gathered along the way, insights that touch on broader Native issues such as modern life in the diaspora; the threat of alcohol, drug abuse, and violence; and the ongoing onslaught on self amid a complex, mixed heritage.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is the author of Dog Road Woman: Poems, winner of the American Book Award. She is the coeditor of Voices of Thunder and It's Not Quiet Anymore.
About the Author
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke currently teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Oklahoma, is a Great Plains Fellow at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is the author of The Year of the Rat, Dog Road Woman (winner of the American Book Award), Off-Season City Pipe, and Blood Run, and she most recently edited Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas and Effigies.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. Of Seeds
2. From Winds
3. When Fire and Water Meet
5. Back to the Lands
6. Oceans, Rivers
What People are Saying About This
In this memoir Allison Hedge Coke shows how 'story was part of everything' in her troubled childhood and in the adult world she came to write into poetry. Hers was also a 'childhood forged schizophrenically.' But the molten terror of a girl ringed round with her mother's imagined demons hardens into a shining imagination. Hedge Coke's love of land and people rings out as hard as steel and as true."-Heid E. Erdrich, coeditor of Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community and author of Fishing for Myth.
"What I've always admired about Allison Hedge Coke's poetry is her astounding courage. And the ability to seamlessly weave the tobacco fields of childhood with the stark plains and hills of South Dakota. And more than all that-the shining spirit of compassion.
Mvskoke poet and musician
Telling is one thing. That's what we do when we tell stories. But coming to know by experience and telling about it is another. Allison Hedge Coke in Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer shows us 'knowing' in her unique and wonderful way.
author of Out There Somewhere