Winner of the 2022 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry
In a new collection that is "a force of nature" (Amy Gerstler), renowned Native poet Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce wit to the deforming effects of harassment and oppression.
Little Big Bully begins with a question asked of a collective and troubled we - how did we come to this? In answer, this book offers personal myth, American and Native American contexts, and allegories driven by women's resistance to narcissists, stalkers, and harassers. These poems are immediate, personal, political, cultural, even futuristic object lessons. What is truth now? Who are we now? How do we find answers through the smoke of human destructiveness? The past for Indigenous people, ecosystem collapse from near-extinction of bison, and the present epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women underlie these poems. Here, survivors shout back at useless cautionary tales with their own courage and visions of future worlds made well.
Heid E. Erdrich is the author of seven collections of poetry. Her writing has won fellowships and awards from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Foundation, the Loft Literary Center, and First People's Fund, and she has twice won a Minnesota Book Award for poetry. She was also the editor of the 2018 anthology New Poets of Native Nations, which was the recipient of an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and a Midwest Booksellers Choice Award. Erdrich works as a visual arts curator and collaborator, and as an educator. She teaches in the low-residency MFA creative writing program of Augsburg University and is the 2019 distinguished visiting professor in the liberal arts at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She lives in Minneapolis.