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Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (review)

Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (review) Book Reviews Layli Long Soldier. WHEREAS. Graywolf, 2017. ISBN: 978- 1- 5559- 7767- 2. 114 pp. Crystal Alberts, University of North Dakota 2016 Whiting Award winner Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota) intro- duces part II of her debut collection, WHEREAS, recipient of the 2018 National Book Critic Circle Award in Poetry, as well as the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, by overtly labeling it as a response to the Congres- sional Resolution of Apology to Native Americans: it is, she explains, “directed to the Apology’s delivery, as well as the language, craft ing, and arrangement of the written document” (57). Th ereaft er, she presents her response: a sequence of poems— twenty pieces starting with “WHERE- AS” and ending in a semicolon until a full stop in the last, followed by six “Resolutions” and a “Disclaimer”— mimicking the form of S.J. Res. 14— 111th Congress (2009– 10), sponsored by a bipartisan group of US senators, predominantly from states with (once) large Indigenous pop- ulations, almost exactly. But Long Soldier’s commentary goes well be- yond form. Although she has asserted that she didn’t think of herself as a political writer before she began this series of poems, and still doesn’t (see http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Indian Literatures University of Nebraska Press

Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (review)

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © The individual contributors
ISSN
1548-9590

Abstract

Book Reviews Layli Long Soldier. WHEREAS. Graywolf, 2017. ISBN: 978- 1- 5559- 7767- 2. 114 pp. Crystal Alberts, University of North Dakota 2016 Whiting Award winner Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota) intro- duces part II of her debut collection, WHEREAS, recipient of the 2018 National Book Critic Circle Award in Poetry, as well as the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, by overtly labeling it as a response to the Congres- sional Resolution of Apology to Native Americans: it is, she explains, “directed to the Apology’s delivery, as well as the language, craft ing, and arrangement of the written document” (57). Th ereaft er, she presents her response: a sequence of poems— twenty pieces starting with “WHERE- AS” and ending in a semicolon until a full stop in the last, followed by six “Resolutions” and a “Disclaimer”— mimicking the form of S.J. Res. 14— 111th Congress (2009– 10), sponsored by a bipartisan group of US senators, predominantly from states with (once) large Indigenous pop- ulations, almost exactly. But Long Soldier’s commentary goes well be- yond form. Although she has asserted that she didn’t think of herself as a political writer before she began this series of poems, and still doesn’t (see

Journal

Studies in American Indian LiteraturesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: May 2, 2018

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