Poetry by dg nanouk okpik
Wave Books, October 2022
American Book Award–winning poet dg okpik’s second collection of poems, Blood Snow, tells a continuum story of a homeland under erasure, in an ethos of erosion, in a multitude of encroaching methane, ice floe, and rising temperatures. Here, in a true Inupiaq voice, okpik’s relationship to language is an access point for understanding larger kinships between animals, peoples, traditions, histories, ancestries, and identities. Through an animist process of transfiguration into a shaman’s omniscient voice, we are greeted with a destabilizing grammar of selfhood. Okpik’s poems have a fraught relationship to her former home in Anchorage, Alaska, a place of unparalleled natural beauty and a traumatic site of devastation for Alaskan native nations and landscapes alike. In this way, okpik’s poetry speaks to the dualistic nature of reality and how one’s existence in the world simultaneously shapes and is shaped by its environs.