National Monuments: Poems by Heid E. Erdrich by Heid E. ErdrichNational Monuments: Poems by Heid E. Erdrich by Heid E. Erdrich

National Monuments: Poems by Heid E. Erdrich

byHeid E. Erdrich

Paperback | November 11, 2008

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Many of the poems in National Monuments explore bodies, particularly the bodies of indigenous women worldwide, as monuments-in life, in photos, in graves, in traveling exhibitions, and in plastic representations at the airport. Erdrich sometimes imagines what ancient bones would say if they could speak. Her poems remind us that we make monuments out of what remains-monuments are actually our own imaginings of the meaning or significance of things that are, in themselves, silent.
     As Erdrich moves from the expectedly "poetic" to the voice of a newspaper headline or popular culture, we are jarred into wondering how we make our own meanings when the present is so immediately confronted by the past (or vice versa). The language of the scientists that Erdrich sometimes quotes in epigraphs seems reductive in comparison to the richness of tone and meaning that these poems-filled with puns, allusions, and wordplay-provide.
     Erdrich's poetry is literary in the best sense of the word, infused with an awareness of the poetic canon. Her revisions of and replies to poems by William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and others offer an indigenous perspective quite different from the monuments of American literature they address.

Heid E. Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway, won a Minnesota Voices award for her first poetry collection, Fishing for Myth. She also authored The Mother's Tongue and co-edited Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community. Erdrich gives writing workshops and serves as visiting writer at colleges and u...
Title:National Monuments: Poems by Heid E. ErdrichFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.4 inPublished:November 11, 2008Publisher:Michigan State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0870138480

ISBN - 13:9780870138485

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Editorial Reviews

Heid Erdrich's new poems are beautiful and brave explorations of the depths of national identities and the real people who live them. These are arguments with historians, archeologists, William Carlos Williams, and the overwhelming, deeply-rooted, conflicting myths of what being American is all about. More, these are expressions of life in the body, wonderfully honest, unsparing, and forgiving. Mostly, though, these are poems I loved reading and hope lots of others will, too.-Robert Warrior, coauthor of American Indian Literary Nationalism