Native Poets Torchlight Series

by Jennifer Elise Foerster | Guest Editor

About the Series

This series is created with the intention of celebrating contemporary Native American poets and extending their reach to an ever-widening circle of readers. Produced quarterly, this torchlight series will pass the fire among emerging and established poets, to share in conversation and to illuminate the diversity of styles and voices among Native poets writing today. The series was envisioned by Senior Editor Keetje Kuipers and the editors of Poetry Northwest, and is curated by poet and Guest Editor Jennifer Elise Foerster.

I met Cedar Sigo in New York City in the spring of 2013. We were attending a conference at Poets House called Native Innovations: Indigenous American Poetry in the 21st Century. Listening to his poetry and craft talk, I was immediately enamored by his acuity and elegance. His poems were diamond-cut and his insight into craft was as prismatic as the poems’ refracted light. He and I both lived in San Francisco, so I was able to continue my marveling through lavish hours of poetry-gab. Over the years, talking with Cedar about art, poetry, and poetics while listening to jazz or walking the streets of the Mission, I have come to believe he is one of the most brilliant and dedicated poets writing today. I’m grateful to be able to share a splice of our conversation through this second edition of the Native Poets Spotlight Series.

For this inaugural edition of Poetry Northwest’s “Native Poets Torchlight Series,” I am honored and excited to be able to highlight one of my favorite poets, Janice Gould, who is a highly respected and influential voice among contemporary Native American poets. I live part of the year in Colorado Springs and always look forward to sharing a long walk and talking with Janice, whose quiet insights are powerfully illuminating. It is a pleasure to share one of our conversations and a few of her poems here with you, and to invite you to discover her heart-opening work.

Gestures of Hope: A Conversation with Janice Gould

Five Poems by Janice Gould