The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife

Joan Kane

The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife

Joan Kane

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

76 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781602231573 Published February 2012
E-book $7.00 to $14.95 ISBN: 9781602231580 Published February 2012

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 Inupiaq 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 Inupiaq people for millennia.


One: Antistrophic
The Sunken Forests
Insomnia at North
The Designation
Variable at Prime
On the Border of Speech
Off Course
Declining the City 

A Proposal
Building the Boats
Exit Glacier
Stray and Error
The History of Two
Clear Cut
And Other Ruins
Laid In

Two: Otherwise, Sky
The Prodigy
At Bridal Veil Rocks
On Eating before Hunting
The Greenland Mummies
Three Masks
Traveler’s Rest
Variations on an Admonition
The Relation
Animal Figurine
Lost Season
The Slate Fields
Variable at Nightfall 

The Slip
Nelson’s Curio
Five Stops
Fled to the Inlanders
Birth at Safety Sound
The White Night Falling
The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife
Theories of Migration
Due North
Dust in June

Biographical Note
Review Quotes
Peggy Shumaker, State Writer Laureate, Alaska, and author of Gnawed Bones and Just Breathe Normally

“This is an Alaska writer to watch, to read, and to savor, one who expands the minds and hearts of her readers.”

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