dg * nanouk * okpik

I recently enjoyed Arthur Sze’s article on the Alaskan Inuit woman poet, dg nanouk okpik.  The article first appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of American Poet (Academy of American Poets).


A Living Testament by Arthur Sze

“dg nanouk okpik is Inupiaq, Inuit, and was raised by an Irish and German family in Anchorage, Alaska. Her family had oceanfaring boats and, growing up, she fished in many rivers, lakes, and seaports. As a poet, dg nanouk okpik wants to incorporate—to embody—Inuit mythology and worldview into finely crafted poems in English. She thus draws on her Inupiat heritage, but she is firmly rooted in the complexities, tensions, and challenges of our contemporary world. She writes with clarity—’she prepares // the poultice in the mortar bowl, / cotton grass, seal liver, rainwater’—and she frequently employs the image of a map as a way of locating oneself in the natural world.”


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