dg nanouk okpik

dg nanouk okpik’s lapidary poems sound the depths of language and landscape, shuttling between the ancient past and imperiled present of Inuit Alaska in a searching meditation on ecology and time.

dg nanouk okpik is an Iñupiaq-Inuit poet from south-central Alaska. Her debut collection of poetry, Corpse Whale (2012), received the American Book Award (2013). Since then, her work has been published in several anthologies, including New Poets of Native Nations (2018) and the forthcoming Infinite Constellations: An Anthology of Identity, Culture, and Speculative Conjunctions (2023). With her new collection Blood Snow, published in 2022 by Wave Books, okpik established herself as a poet of both great achievement and great promise, a cartographer of wildernesses without and within. Former United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo has described okpik’s work as “at once surprising and prophetic, ceremonial and disruptive.” Her poetry opens readers to a complex web of culture, ecology, and myth. In Blood Snow, okpik’s vision, while idiosyncratic and particular, is always also communal. No narwhal, no flower, no spore, no sunrise, no mosquito—not even a tooth emerging from the gum of a baby marmot—goes unnoticed. All these beings and objects are, she writes, “sung from my throat from a deep / place inside me.” okpik’s poetry offers the reader a way of thinking about our world that returns us to its gifts, its magic, and its sustaining beauty. The recipient of the May Sarton Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2022), okpik lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is a Lannan Foundation Fellow at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

I’m as excited as a thousand marmots running in the tundra! DG NANOUK OKPIK