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Allison Adelle Hedge Coke


Poetry Archive
  Alison Adelle Hedge Coke
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke of Huron, Tsa la gi (Cherokee), French-Canadian and Portuguese ancestry, is an award-winning poet
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
and author. She grew up breaking horses, working in factories, and cropping tobacco for a living. Her poetry ranges across North America, from the tobacco fields of North Carolina where she labored almost twenty years ago, to Los Angeles where she worked for an international organization representing indigenous peoples.

"Self-education has been an important contributor to my writing and professional career," said Hedge Coke. She has studied at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, at Boulder's Naropa Institute with poet Allen Ginsberg and at Vermont College, where she completed an MFA in creative writing. These diverse influences have shaped her poetry of witness. Her writing has been included in many journals and magazines, as well as the anthologies Speaking for the Generations and the Lands, Visit Teepee Town, and Reninventing the Enemy's Language. She is co-editor of Voice of Thunder and senior editor for It's Not Quiet Anymore. Her first poetry volume: Dog Road Woman, won the 1998 American Book Award.



Wokiksuye

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Like a horse's tail
so thick, black
down past his waist
beautiful.       Wanyaka.
Chemotherapy—
white man's
man-made cancer. . .
doesn't distinguish
between good or bad
cells. . . just kills.
The spirit is connected
to the hair at the
crown—pahin hocoka.
The hair falls
the spirit goes,
the will is
connected no more.
Leukemia—
cancer of the
White
Blood Cell.
Lakota wicasa
Oglala wica
Ha Luta Oyate       wicozani sni
Kuja, unsika
Canku Wakan o mani
wasigla
ceya
wokiksuye
wokiksuye
wopilamaye
miksuya
Canku Luta o mani
Canku Waste o mani
wohitika
iyomakpi, iyomakpi
ake—anpetu
anpetu waste
I knew him well.


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