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This collection of poetry is inspired by the author’s
lineage as an Iñupiaq Eskimo woman with family
from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska. The poems’
syncopated cadences and evocative images bring to
life the exceptional physical and cultural conditions of
the Arctic and sub-Arctic that have been home to her
ancestors for tens of thousands of years, while the
poems’ speakers refer to an indigenous identity that
has become increasingly plural.
The author’s perspective as a Native person affords
her unique insight into the relationship with place
and self, which she applies in her consideration of
the arctic landscape and to questions of adaptation
and resilience. Kane’s work refers to the Iñupiaq oral
tradition, and while in some poems she continues
to revisit, rewrite, and revise traditional narratives
that are suited to the lyric form, she moves beyond
narrative retelling, honoring the legacy of imagination
that has sustained Iñupiaq people for millennia.
Joan Kane is a poet who lives in Anchorage.
This is an Alaska writer to watch, to read and to savor, one who expands the minds and hearts of her readers.
—Peggy Shumaker, Writer Laureate of Alaska, and author of Gnawed Bones and Just Breathe Normally