Most Anticipated Book of 2017 at Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, and more.
A book-length poem about how an American Indian writer cant bring himself to write about nature, but is forced to reckon with colonial-white stereotypes, manifest destiny, and his own identity as an young, queer, urban-dwelling poet.
Nature Poem follows Teebsa young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poetwho cant bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. Hed slap a tree across the face. Hed rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; hed rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. While hes adamantbratty, evenabout his distaste for the word natural, over the course of the book we see him confronting the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people with nature. The closer his people were identified with the natural world, he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even while he reckons with manifest destiny and genocide and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own voice.