A Native American Excavates the Language of Occupation

 

 

About “Whereas”…

A Native American Poet Excavates the Language of Occupation

By NATALIE DIAZAugust 4, 2017
Poetry

WHEREAS
By Layli Long Soldier
101 pp. Graywolf Press. Paper, $16.

The American poet Layli Long Soldier’s debut collection, “Whereas,” is in part a response to the Congressional resolution of apology to Native Americans, which President Obama signed in obscurity in 2009. There were no Native Americans present to receive the apology, as most never knew an apology was made. In an introduction to the title poem, Long Soldier writes: “My response is directed to the apology’s delivery, as well as the language, crafting and arrangement of the written document.” She is referring at least to the disclaimer that renders the document’s admissions of crimes null in legal matters. It can be argued she is referring to a more general language exercised in American documents, including American poetry. “Whereas” is an excavation, reorganization and documentation of a structure of language that has talked the United States through its many acts of violence. This book troubles our consideration of the language we use to carry our personal and national narratives.

(read the full article at the link posted above and buy her book)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s