Whereas Layli Long Soldier Graywolf; March 7, 2017 120 pp; $16 Buy: paperback Few Americans seem to know much about the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz, and fewer still are acquainted with the Occupation’s “Proclamation,” a masterful document that deploys the language, diction, and vocabulary of unfair treaties and paternalism
I conducted short interviews with a group of hotshot poets, scholars, and critics to help out. I invited them to nominate an American poem they think is underrated—a poem they wish more people loved and taught, a poem that might be for many an unknown unknown.
Lately, I've been particularly intrigued by the work of Jordan Kantor. His work has prompted me to revisit how I have been formulating the Venn diagram of poetry and painting. Kantor is an artist who gets many things right.
Some of the most interesting work in Contemporary American poetry is being done by American Indian writers. And yet, in the ongoing (and important) conversations about diversity and inclusion in United States literary production—especially in poetry—the work by Native Americans is often left out.
If Mr. Trump were to win the November election, all sorts of interesting questions arise: Would he ask someone to write and read an inaugural poem? Would the writer have to get the poem cleared by Trump? Most interesting of all, though: would the poet accept the invitation?
Poets don’t expect to be famous. We may fantasize about it of course—what if Terrance Hayes were to appear on Jimmy Fallon or Ada Limón had her own reality show? What if NBC televised the Poetry Society of America award ceremonies?