Asylum in the Grasslands
In her new collection of poems, Glancy explores the history of loss that has marked the Cherokee community. In a voice that is as economical as it is eloquent and as sophisticated as it is exhilarating, she describes the loss of family, the loss of cultural heritage, and the loss of old worlds as new ones encroach. In one poem, a farm auction becomes an auction of culture, of heritage, of the past. In others, ancestors meet in a twenty-four-hour café, lunch is shared with a great-grandmother who has been traveling the universe, Christ appears as a cowboy in an apocalyptic vision, and Clytemnestra is discovered in a snakeskin. Some of the poems are as campy as a duck-decoy Custer in a shooting gallery. Some glitter with dime-store glue. Others speak with the reflection of sunlight off a stream. Sometimes the verse produces a shortstop language on the baseline of experience. In whatever form they take, Glancy’s poems stimulate and challenge the reader with their unfettered, unadorned, and unpretty purity. This collection is not only a spirited ride across the Great Plains, it is also an important addition to the literature of white–Native American cultural relationships.