UCR Emeritus Professor and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera selected Allison Adelle Hedge Coke as the 2016 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellow. In his selection, Herrera said he sought to honor Hedge Coke “for her precision of Earth, of suffering in and out of the Rez, of the workers unnamed, open roads knitted with tin shacks, Case ’45 tractors, ancestor dust and the spirit tuned to caribou, America and song. For her translation projects of First Peoples across the entire hemisphere. For her unceasing teaching, humility, courage, and pioneering—for these offerings to the small miracles of all our voices and the galaxies they aim to call out and admire.”
Cover art and interior illustrations by Dustin Illetewahke Mater
… records the plight of those whose suffering society ignores, and the natural and unnatural factors that tear indigenous populations apart. Opening on a “Cattle carcass still steaming,” Hedge Coke’s poetry collection Burn is a highly visual chronicle of destruction and what survives. And yet even seeing is susceptible to the blaze. If there’s anything we learn from Burn, it’s that fire singes everything in the end.
—Caroline Hagood, author of Lunatic Speaks and Making Maxine's Baby, in the Kenyon Review
Burn is relentless. A smoldering, ceaseless, fever voice that tells of a consuming rage destroying mountains, bats, 150 head of Black Angus—even the water isn’t safe. Masterfully written by a poet in her prime.
—LeAnne Howe, author of Shell Shaker, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story, and forthcoming Savage Conversations
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s stunning work never disappoints. She writes the consuming fire–always on the original edge of remaking.
—Jan Beatty, author of The Switching/Yard and Jackknife: New and Selected Poems
Necessary illumination, visionary healing, groundbreaking and timely.
—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States