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Three Graywolf Titles Longlisted for the National Book Awards: Abundance by Jakob Guanzon for Fiction, The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández for Translated Literature, and The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser for Poetry

Book Title

WHEREAS

Subtitle
Poems
Author 1
Layli Long Soldier
Poem Excerpt
WHEREAS her birth signaled the responsibility as mother to teach what it is to be Lakota therein the question: what did I know about being Lakota? Signaled panic, blood rush my embarrassment. What did I know of our language but pieces? Would I teach her to be pieces. Until a friend comforted, Don’t worry, you and your daughter will learn together. Today she stood sunlight on her shoulders lean and straight to share a song in Diné, her father’s language. To sing she motions simultaneously with her hands I watch her be in multiple musics.

—from “WHEREAS Statements”
Body
WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. “I am,” she writes, “a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.” This strident, plaintive book introduces a major new voice in contemporary literature.

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List Price
$16.00
ISBN
ISBN
978-1-55597-767-2
Format
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Publication Date
Subject
Subject
Pages
Pages
120
Trim Size
Trim Size
7 x 9
Keynote
The astonishing, powerful debut by the winner of a 2016 Whiting Writers' Award

About the Author

Layli  Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier is the author of WHEREAS. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 
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Upcoming Events

VIRTUAL: Layli Long Soldier reading from WHEREAS as part of the Collective Trauma Summit

Date:
ET
Location:
Collective Trauma Summit in view map
The Collective Trauma Summit is free and open to the public and will be broadcast virtually. This event will go live beginning at 12:01 AM ET and will be available for 48 hours. Click here for more information and to register

Layli Long Soldier presents "Workshop - The Process of Poetry" as part of the South Dakota Festival of Books

Date:
CT
Location:
South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings, SDview map
Location: Deadwood Public Library, Main Floor. Tickets are $20. Click here for more information and to register

Layli Long Solder reading and in conversation about WHEREAS as part of the South Dakota Festival of Books

Date:
CT
Location:
South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings, SDview map
Location: Martin and Mason Hotel, 1898 Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

Layli Long Soldier reading from WHEREAS, presented by the Anderson Center's Books in the Barn series

Date:
CT
Location:
Anderson Center in Red Wing, MNview map
General admission tickets are $15 for the public and $5 for Anderson Center members and youth under 18. Event will be followed by a reception co-hosted by Graywolf Press. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets

Praise

  • Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
    Winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
    Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry
    Finalist for the John Leonard Prize
  • “Using elliptical prose, blank spaces, crossed-out text, and Lakota words, Long Soldier articulates both her identity and her literary undertaking.”The New Yorker
  • “Layli Long Soldier’s lyrical first book, WHEREAS, explores the freedom real apologies can bring—and offers entry points for us all to histories that are not merely about the past.”—Krista Tippett, “On Being”
  • “Long Soldier’s movement between collective and personal makes this book intimate and urgent. She has charted new ways to write in what’s left out—and not merely in the margins either. WHEREAS offers a powerful reckoning.”National Book Critics Circle Award judges’ citation
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