Editor and poet Allison Adelle Hedge Coke assembles this multilingual collection of Indigenous American poetry, joining voices old and new in songs of witness and reclamation. Unprecedented in scope, Sing gathers more than eighty poets from across the Americas, covering territory that stretches from Alaska to Chile, and features familiar names like Sherwin Bitsui, Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, Lee Maracle, and Simon Ortiz alongside international poets--both emerging and acclaimed--from regions underrepresented in anthologies.
They write from disparate zones and parallel experience, from lands of mounded earthwork long-since paved, from lands of ancient ball courts and the first great cities on the continents, from places of cold, from places of volcanic loam, from zones of erased history and ongoing armed conflict, where "postcolonial" is not an academic concept but a lived reality. As befits a volume of such geographical inclusivity, many poems here appear in multiple languages, translated by fellow poets and writers like Juan Felipe Herrera and Cristina Eisenberg.
Hedge Coke's thematic organization of the poems gives them an added resonance and continuity, and readers will appreciate the story of the genesis of this project related in Hedge Coke's deeply felt introduction, which details her experiences as an invited performer at several international poetry festivals. Sing is a journey compelled by the exploration of kinship and the desire for songs that open "pathways of return."
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke currently holds the Reynolds Chair at the University of Nebraska, Kearney. She is the American Book Award winning author of several volumes of poetry and creative nonfiction, including Blood Run, a volume leading the pathway to preserving a traditional sacred site, Off-Season City Pipe, a cultural labor edition, and Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer, a landscape and cultural ethos memoir. Her edited literary collections include Effigies: An Anthology of New Indigenous Writing, Pacific Rim, 2009.