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.
"This collection is distinctly contemporary in its urgency, diversity and vibrancy . . . By including a half-dozen or so poems by each contributor along with a bio and author’s note, Erdrich allows readers to get a sense of each poet’s breadth, influences and concerns . . . The diversity of forms and subjects included in this volume speaks to the complexity and richness of Native writing. In bringing together contemporary, intersectional and diverse voices and refusing to corral them into thematic categories attached to stereotyped notions of indigenous poetry, Erdrich does more than capture the present moment of Native writing. She also advocates for its future: 'These poems create a place, somewhere we could go.'"—Elizabeth Hoover, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
"In her introduction to this important volume, Erdrich quotes Dean Rader’s observation that 'a comprehensive anthology of Indigenous American poetry has not been published since 1988.' Erdrich reminds us that in addition to this critical absence, there has also been erasure—'Native American-themed poetry by non-Natives' has 'overwritten our identities in ways that confuse young people who are already at risk and struggling to forge an identity.'"—Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions
“New Poets of Native Nations provides a wonderful introduction to the diverse landscape of native voices. Editor Heid E. Erdrich, an Ojibwe poet and scholar, chose 21 poets who have published books since 2000 and are creating 'poetry of a new time—an era of witness, of coming into voice, an era of change and of political and cultural resurgence.' Some of the writers featured here, including Layli Long Soldier and Tommy Pico, have already earned critical acclaim for their shrewd, distinctive work that fearlessly explores their relationship to American history, the natural world and the traditions they learned from forebears who were powerless to defend their lands. As Long Soldier explains in the poem '38': 'Everything is in the language we use.' Bilingual poet Margaret Noodin also weaves compelling lines, such as these from 'Sending Messages': 'I know there are different worlds/because our ancestors sent them messages . . . Are you the carved shoreline/and I the sweetwater sea/or am I the shifting wind/you cannot perceive?'"—Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post
“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)