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Corpse Whale

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A self-proclaimed “vessel in which stories are told from time immemorial,” poet dg nanouk okpik seamlessly melds both traditional and contemporary narrative, setting her apart from her peers. The result is a collection of poems that are steeped in the perspective of an Inuit of the twenty-first century—a perspective that is fresh, vibrant, and rarely seen in contemporary p ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by University of Arizona Press
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4.06  · 
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 ·  54 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most brilliant books of poetry I've ever read.
Craig Werner
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love the structure of this book, which is organized around the Moon cycle of the Inuit/Inupiaq people. dg nanouk opik (no capital letters as she spells her name) organizes the volume around the Moons of the Inuit calendar, moving from the depths of winter through spring, summer and autumn, back to the deep darkness. Drawing on the figures of Raven and the Whale of the title, she focuses on the traditional stories of her people, while mixing in references to Christianity, especially the euchari ...more
Christina  Butcher
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
When I started reading this book, I enjoyed the tone, style, and content very much. However, there wasn't enough variation in any of the above to enjoy the full collection. It felt a little "one-note" to me and I got tired of reading the same thing over and over. Although the author has a distinct voice, I would have liked more variety.
Michelle Boyer
Corpse Whale is a striking collection of Alaskan Native poetry by up and coming poet dg nanouk okpik. The poems throughout the collection deal with the four concepts of the Peoplehood Matrix: land; ceremony; language; history. The use of native language throughout the poems allows non-native readers and insight into Inuit/Alaskan Native lifestyle that invites us to understand certain words, and at other times leaves us wanting more. There are many connections to the natural environment throughou ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A brave, genre-bending work. These poems form a bridge of vivid imagery between okpik's western and native worlds, between myth and the corporate world, between the enduring land and modern forces that destroy it.Each poem is a story, creating a dream-like journey, a vivid and pulsing dance filled with color, life and sensory richness.
Catherine Pikula
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Rich in texture, image, and language. I loved the use of space on the page within this collection; it made the poems seem full of breath. The pronoun mash-up she/i was very intriguing but grew a bit tired by the end. I've never read anything quite like this.

My favorite poem might have been Under Erasure for its boldness and risk in experimentation with form and language.
M Grant
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, thanks-erin
Brilliant poetry from a fascinating Inupiaq woman... Her imagery is evocative and emotional. Have to be in the mood for poetry, especially heavy stuff like this,,but I am so glad I read it.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
If I knew more about the Inuit and their beliefs I promise would have gotten more of it
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A new place for me but an old world to be acquainted with.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was wonderful to hear dg read her poems aloud. Her passion spoke life into her words.
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