Winner of the 2012 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry
Selected by Arthur Sze
Hyperboreal originates from diasporas. It attempts to make sense of change and to prepare for cultural, climate, and political turns that are sure to continue. The poems originate from the hope that our lives may be enriched by the expression of and reflection on the cultural strengths inherent to indigenous culture. It concerns King Island, the ancestral home of the author's family until the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs forcibly and permanently relocated its residents. The poems work towards the assembly of an identity, both collective and singular, that is capable of looking forward from the recollection and impact of an entire community's relocation to distant and arbitrary urban centers. Through language, Hyperboreal grants forum to issues of displacement, lack of access to traditional lands and resources and loss of family that King Island people—and all Inuit—are contending with.
About the Author
Joan Naviyuk Kane is Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska. Her recent honors include the 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellowship, a Creative Vision Award from United States Artists, and a Rasmuson Foundation Artist Fellowship. Kane is on the faculty of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and received the 2014 Indigenous Writer in Residence fellowship at the School for Advanced Research. She also received the Whiting Writers’ Award for her first poetry collection, The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife.