Hello! My name is Jake Skeets, editor for Cloudthroat. In honor of National Poetry Month, I put together a mixtape of poems by Native, First Nations, and Indigenous poets titled "the RIVER / the FREEWAY." These poems are in no particular order. These poems do come together at a time when Native poetry begins to river through the freeways of mainstream consumption and as Native, First Nations, and Indigenous poets begin to complicate those streams and traffics that go along with it. These poems represent so many of my obsessions over the years and I'm glad to share them with you. Don't just stop with these poems, venture out into the streams and traffics and read more. There's a lot of us.
I hope you enjoy these poems as much as I have.
the RIVER / the FREEWAY:
from "Dissolve" by Sherwin Bitsui
Split Bone by dg okpik
from "Junk" by Tommy Pico
Carrying our Words by Ofelia Zepeda
Nunaqtigiit(people related through common possession of territory) by Joan Kane
We, who denied the landscape
and saw the light of it.
Leaning against the stone wall ragged
I began to accept my past and, as I accepted it,
I felt, and I didn’t understand:
I am bound to everyone.
-from "Nunaqtigiit(people related through common possession of territory" by Joan Kane
The Exile by Michael Wasson
Ohia (to long for) by Kathleen McLeod
Catching Copper by Natalie Diaz
Everyone is Lonely by Billy-Ray Belourt
Shímásáni Clara by Boderra Joe
As a bonus, I want to include two essays. I know they are not technically "poetry" but these essays are amazing to read and flow like poetry.
Why I’m Withdrawing From My Lambda Literary Award Nomination by Joshua Whitehead
THE RULE IS FLUX by tanner menard
White City by Elissa Washuta