Around, within, and beneath the poems, the vast silence of the Arctic landscape reverberates, along with the brutal silencings of its Native people. Silence also lives in these poems as a space where something else might come into being: a new way of feeling, thought, or understanding; an openness that wasn’t there before.

Winner, 2012 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry
Winner, 2014 American Book Awards

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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.

80 Pages, 5.7 x 8.5 in.

October, 2013

isbn : 9780822962625

about the author

Joan Naviyuk Kane

Joan Naviyuk Kane is Inupiaq, with family from King Island (Ugiuvak) and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska. She is the author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, Hyperboreal, and Milk Black Carbon. In addition to serving as the 2021 Mary Routt Chair of Creative Writing and Journalism at Scripps College, she teaches poetry and creative nonfiction in the Department of English at Harvard University, is a lecturer in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University, and is faculty in the graduate creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

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Joan Naviyuk Kane