Fire Water World by Adrian Louis

This is one of this Native American poet’s earlier works and as the title would suggest, it is mired in poetry that expresses bitterness, anger and confusion. I am not someone who thinks poetry that makes political or social commentary is inherently flawed, and I believe the personal is political, which this book screams, but this volume sounds these notes so singularly that it became dull. It does, however, contain “Couch Fantasy,” which I consider brilliant. One poem does not a collection make unfortunately. I recommend people consider Louis’s more recent books and leave this one alone.

I would advise libraries in areas with large Native American populations to keep this on the shelf. Libraries lacking other books of Native American poetry should also keep this one on the shelf for the sake of having diverse perspectives on the shelves. However, for diversity I would suggest an anthology of Native poetry rather than just one poet.

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About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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