Synopses & Reviews
In this important new collection, her first in fourteen years, award-winning author Louise Erdrich has selected poems from her two previous books of poetry, Jacklight
and Baptism of Desire
, and added new poems to compose Original Fire
Profound and accessible, this collection anticipates and enlarges upon many of the themes, and even the characters, of Erdrich's prose. A sequence of story poems called "The Potchikoo Stories" recounts the life and afterlife of the questing trickster Potchikoo, echoing the wit and humanity of the inimitable, Nanapush, who appears in several of Erdrich's novels, most recently The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Similarly, the group of poems called "The Butcher's Wife" contains the germ of Erdrich's most recent novel, The Master Butchers Singing Club.
A powerful new poem, "The Seven Sleepers," forms the core of an entire section of the book and is about the passionate search for the divine in all its forms. The final section, "Original Fire," travels through birth, ordinary life, loss, and redemption. These poems reveal that poetry emerges from what we fear most, and that memory is endurance.
“Essential reading for fans of Erdrichs fiction, this volume can be expected to draw poetry readers into the fold.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Erdrich is profoundly sensual, frankly bawdy and slyly comedic.” Booklist
“The poems are hypnotic and retain an emphatic passionate fire.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Artistically impressive and highly entertaining.” Miami Herald
From the award-winning author comes a passionate new book of poetry that echoes her Native American roots.
About the Author
Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Ms. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and this story—which will, in the end, span one hundred years in the life of an Ojibwe woman—was inspired when Ms. Erdrich and her mother, Rita Gourneau Erdrich, were researching their own family history. Chickadee
begins a new part of the story that started with The Birchbark House
, a National Book Award finalist; The Game of Silence
, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; and the acclaimed The Porcupine Year
Ms. Erdrich is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother's Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche.