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Cover photo by Melissa Groo
An award-winning poet turns to her indigenous background to consider loss, memory, and the fate of the planet.
"Allison Adelle Hedge Coke's fierce new poetry collection, Streaming, takes her always brave and startling sonics into new narrative spaces. These poems are full of needful improvisation and piano runs. Hedge Coke makes music from tornados and glyphs, from cranes spiraling overhead, and from the grumbling stomachs of hungry children. She sings these stories because she has to and because we need her to. And when the speaker in “Sudden Where” says “maybe we’d find something magnificent, give it up to make somebody happy,” it is clear that in these urgent poems, and in this necessary book, we've found both the magnificent and the unforgettable."—Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke
compilation of five debut books by Laura Da', Ungelbah Davila, Kristi Leora, Lara Mann,
Kateri Menominee as edited by Allison Hedge Coke
These five first books join to represent a freshly emerging 21st Century Indigenous Mainland poetry. This collection releases a reader into parallel spaces of Native culture as diverse as the US-occupied landscapes they embody; the desert Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, Eastern Woodlands, Great Lakes Region, Kansas and Oklahoma, bringing a bit of urban and rural symphony by resisting folds into Americana with courageous unfolding imagery in a serious range of departure. Five debut books present a fistful of furious nature, supple with beauty and brilliance and packing the punch intentional poetry delivers. This is a fearless collection of evocative and challenging verse. Effigies II is a road trip through Indian Country with five American Indian women poets who bring it all back home.
Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer
2014 paperback release, memoir
Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer refers to life-revelations guiding the award-winning poet and writer through her many trials, as well as her labors in tobacco fields, factories, construction, and fishing; her motherhood; her involvement with music and performance; and the melding of language and experience that brought order to her life. Hedge Coke shares insights gathered along the way, insights touching on broader Native issues such as modern life in the diaspora; lack of a national eco-ethos; the threat of alcohol, drug abuse, and violence; and the ongoing onslaught on self amid a complex, mixed heritage. Hedge Coke details her mother’s schizophrenia; the domestic and community abuse overshadowing her childhood; and torments both visited upon her—(rape and violence) and inflicted on herself (alcohol and drug abuse during her youth). Yet she managed to survive with her dreams and her will, her sense of wonder and promise undiminished.
[A] beautifully written, courageous memoir.”—Joyce Carol Oates
Photo by Shane Brown
Director of Photography, Red Dust
Red Dust: Native Resiliency in the Dirty Thirties
Thanks to Dorothy Lange, the iconic face of the Dust Bowl has always been unnamed Indigenous workers on the move. This film establishes voice and firsthand personal experience through the living histories of its survivors bringing their ability to endure to climate and socio-economical and cultural change just in the time to offer resiliency to the new shifts. The subjects represent several cultures and ways of coping through the dire days.
"This collection is an entrance into that part of "America" without which there is no real America and not even a real United States. It is a bravura collection, a long needed Anthology of those antediluvian descendants of the Western Hemisphere."
“Many of the poems in this ambitious collection remind us why we read poetry at all—to be returned to the elemental, to relish the beauty of repetition and variation, and to hear the cries of singular voices, here marginalized because of their native culture but also because of the daring announcement of their individuality”
Resident Fellow – Great Plains Center, Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, MacDowell, Lannan Residency, Kimmel Harding Nelson, National Science Foundation / H J Andrews Forest, ACTC Twin Cities, Carr, Soul Mountain, Salon Ada, Black Earth Institute
Awards – American Book Award, King*Chavez*Parks Award, Mayor's Award for Literary Excellence, New Mexico Press Woman's Award, multiple Mentor of the Year, Writer of the Year, Editor of the Year, AIROS Book of the Month, Excellence in Teaching Awards, numerous grants
Paul Hanley Furfey Lecture, Boston, Split This Rock, DC, Native Innovation, Poets House NYC, City Lights, San Francisco, Naropa Summer Institute, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, IMRAM Literary Festival Dublin, Ireland, International Poetry Fextival, Toronto, 3rd World Poetry Festival of Venezuela, Caracas, Maturin, and Tucupita, Venezuela, XV & XVII Prometeo International Poetry Festival Medellin, Colombia, XV International Festival of Poetry Rosario, Argentina, Poetry Festival, Amman, Jordan
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is an American Book Award-winning poet whose books include The Year of the Rat, Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, Burn and Streaming as well as a memoir, Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer. She is the editor of the anthologies Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, Effigies and Effigies II and currently serves as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa. Hedge Coke came of age working fields, factories, and waters and is currently at work on a film, Red Dust: resiliency in the dirty thirties and a new CD with Rd Klā.
More bios, cv, and information here, shortly.