Red Dust
Current Project


film/media/literature/music project
Personal history of a World War II Veteran
recounting the era as a cotton picker in the Dust Bowl and Great Depression up to his
processing at Ft. Sill for World War II.

After years of lobbying for the protection of Blood Run, some of these very poems composed during the process proved to be the breakthrough testimony that compelled the Game, Fish, & Parks Commission to come to a unanimous vote in favor of acquisitioning and preserving the SD side of the site.
Where to donate to Blood Run

Pull down menu: Blood Run Native American Historical Site. Please give!

Mayor's Award for Excellence in Literary Arts during lobbying & early drafts of Blood Run inclusions

Eighty-one contemporary Indigenous poets from the Western Hemisphere, twelve translators, including Juan Felipe Herrera...


Early Praise for Sing, includes:
"This collection is an entrance into that part of "America" without which there is no real America and not even a real United States. It is a bravura collection, a long needed Anthology of those antediluvian descendants of the Western Hemisphere." 
Amiri Baraka

“Sing: Indigenous Poetry of the Americas” showcases writing of American Indian poets from the North to South in the Western Hemisphere, giving us readers a rare and direct connection into the complexity of their lives and thinking today.   
Carla Blank, co-editor, “PowWow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience—Short Fiction from Then to Now”
 “Many of the poems in this ambitious collection remind us why we read poetry at all—to be returned to the elemental, to relish the beauty of repetition and variation, and to hear the cries of singular voices, here marginalized because of their native culture but also because of the daring announcement of their individuality”
Billy Collins

Sometimes, an anthology will remind us of just how much the poet as editor can bring to the conception and execution of a work, turning it from a mere compilation of random poems, to a wonderfully conceived and eloquently expressed grand poem of multiple voices, that is marked by all the qualities we want in the best poems: passion, risk, daring, grace, imagination, urgency, compassion, visionary power, and profound homage to the grounding of tradition.  In what can only be called a historical anthology of indigenous poets from the Americas, Allison Hedge Coke has given us, in Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, a stunning gift that is splendid because of the brilliance of the individual and eclectic poems collected, but richer for the coherent collective song that the anthology represents.  This is a big fat book of endless pleasures that helps us to re-imagine America!
Kwame Dawes, Editor of Prairie Schooner

From Canada to Chile (and Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala, the U.S., Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru too), in English, Spanish, Quecha, Wayuu, Mapuche, Comanche and more, the range of voices represented here is astounding.
Sing celebrates the life and breadth of Indigenous American poetry. This long-awaited anthology is a beautiful and necessary treasure.
Camille T. Dungy, editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and author of Smith Blue

I will sing this book to my children. I will give this book to my cadre, the ones that dreamt it in the sixties when they journeyed thousands of miles in search of it. And I will pour it over my face – to behold its Victory Dance and “ghost roads awakened,” its salmon climb and “hugging duendes,” its songs of dignity and its split moons sewn back into one – each voice tasking the cosmos, dissolving borders and smoothing all beings from the blood and breathe to the ink-song. Here, Hedge-Coke calls us to the new cycle of Américas indigenous poetry.  A monumental triumph.

-       Juan Felipe Herrera,
Author of Half of the World in Light, New and Selected Poems.

Sing... es como un ánfora de plumas colocada sobre las cumbres de una expresión tanto oral como literaria que representada en varios idiomas  --originarios o modernos--, convoca a un ánima sola, hechizándonos con esa sensibilidad sobre la que se han construido un carácter, una identidad y una voluntad de belleza presente en cada gesto de afirmación y resistencia ante sus más antiguos y fieros depredadores.  En manos de la poeta Allison Hedge Coke, aquí palpita el canto, la música y la mejor poesía de los pueblos indígenas de las Américas.

One of the most essential anthologies of recent years, Sing is rare in scope and insight. The poems found here are a testament to the power of indigenaity and the urgency of our current moment. This book sings the hemisphere into glorious fullness, teaching us the connections between us, and the great schisms between our knowledge and our actions.
            Matthew Shenoda, author of Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone

What a diverse feast of poetry! Indigenous poets from Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Canada as well as the United States serve up delicious unforgettable poems. A good number of the poems are composed in indigenous languages which make this collection especially valuable.
Leslie Marmon Silko

Allison Hedge Coke has assembled a multilingual feast of songs, bringing together established and emerging indigenous poets in South, Central, and North America. With poems presented in their original languages, this anthology is a groundbreaking collection.     
Arthur Sze, author, The Ginkgo Light

Panoramic, wise, palpable texts of beauty and vitality. This is what the world needs to wake itself up to its own better self and imagination.
Anne Waldman
The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
Naropa University


Allison Hedge Coke


Photo courtesy of the Maturin Cultural Center, Venezuela World Poetry Festival
Web links:

Current Position
Poetry Foundation
Academy of American Poets
Poetry Society of America A. A. Hedge Coke
On Lannan Foundation
Universe of Poetry
Woodland Pattern
PEN Member A. A. Hedge Coke
NEA Arts Talk
Poetry Out Loud
Talking at Ten NPR Marfa Public Radio Interview on Blood Run
UCLA Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas
River Styx Reading
Poetry Project Reading of "We Were in a World"
Poetry Foundation Podcast A. A. Hedge Coke,  Sherwin Bitsui, Linda Hogan
Interview with Quincy Troupe Errançities at Harlem Arts Salon
Poetry Foundation Indians in T-Shirts Poets & Writers "Passing the Torch" mentors, including Hedge Coke AWP Conference Selected Speaker Episode 10 Podcast Southern Spaces Poets in Place, Placeholder, A. A. Hedge Coke WYEP NPR Prosody Interview with Allison Hedge Coke Will am NPR Focus Interview, Carr Reading Series Sandhill Cranefest Retreat on NPR Friday Live Cranefest Segment Academy of American Poets inclusion "Street Confetti" Poetry Foundation "Redwing Blackbird" Poetry Foundation "When the Animals Leave This Place"
Editing Platte Valley Review
Platte Valley Review @ Poets & Writers
Hosting Sandhill Cranefest
Allison Hedge Coke
Bruno Walter Auditorium, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, PEN American Event. Click here for portrait photo by Beowulf Sheehan for Pen America Photo of Allison Hedge Coke, Amina Baraka, & Amiri Baraka photo by Beowulf Sheehan at the Pen American Open Book Awards