'I was blown away by Layli Long Soldier's WHEREAS.' Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
Whereas confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations.
A POETRY BOOK SOCIETY SPECIAL COMMENDATION.
'In what is clearly a golden age for American poetry, Layli Long Soldier has to be out in front – one of the best collections of the century.' Andrew McMillan
In what is clearly a golden age for American poetry, Layli Long Soldier has to be out in front – one of the best collections of the century.
[WHEREAS] reminded me what careful language can do. It made me recommit to writing . . . and made me believe again in the power of writing and the truths that it can reveal for people and what that remembering and honoring the truth can do for the individual, but also for the group, for all of us.
Jesmyn Ward, The New York Times
I was blown away by Layli Long Soldier's WHEREAS--inspired by its trenchant, beautiful thinking about the relationship between political speech and literature's capacity to write back. And write back Long Soldier does, with a sensibility so sure of itself that I find myself simply standing back in admiration.
Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts