Poetry by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

An award-winning poet turns to her indigenous background to consider loss, memory, and the fate of the planet.

December 2014
6 x 9 | 168 Pages
Trade Paper

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

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ISBN: 978-1-56689-375-6.



2016 Witter Bynner Fellow
Winner: 2015 Wordcrafter of the Year Award
Bronze Medal: 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards for poetry
Winner: 2015 PEN Southwest Award for Poetry
Finalist: 2015 Eric Hoffer Award
Finalist: 2015 Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Award for superior cover art.
Finalist: 2015 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal for most thought-provoking book.
Longlist: 2015 PEN Open Book Award
Split This Rock recommended poetry books of 2014
Teaching for Change recommended books of 2014

“Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s fierce new poetry collection, Streaming, takes her always brave and startling sonics into new narrative spaces. These poems are full of needful improvisation and piano runs. Hedge Coke makes music from tornados and glyphs, from cranes spiraling overhead, and from the grumbling stomachs of hungry children. She sings these stories because she has to and because we need her to. And when the speaker in ‘Sudden Where’ says ‘maybe we’d find something magnificent, give it up to make somebody happy,’ it is clear that in these urgent poems, and in this necessary book, we’ve found both the magnificent and the unforgettable.” —Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s books include StreamingBlood RunOff-Season City PipeDog Road WomanSing: Poetry from the Indigenous AmericasEffigiesEffigies II, and Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer. Awards include an American Book Award, a King-Chavez-Parks Award, Lifetime Achievement Award NWCA, and a 2016 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship. She teaches for the VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing and Red Earth MFA.



Split This Rock Recommended Poetry Books of 2014

“The poems come toward us from a museum of abundance; but museums are filled with relics and this poetry is purely fluid. Everything is moving, changing, and growing, disintegrating and rejuvenating for its own purposes.” The Washington Independent Review of Books

“Hedge Coke does not just endeavor to show the world as it is; she encourages readers of diverse backgrounds, to resist its inherent prejudices, and to effect positive change within it. . . . A poet with feet in the river, even as her head rests on a mountain top.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“Erudite and complex . . . Reading it, you can feel the rhythmic propulsion of each image as surely as you can feel your own pulse.” The Rumpus

“[Streaming] reveals to us a mature poet of imagery whose sonics have shifted toward a be-bop poetics, in which rich, complex sound-patterns are essential to the collection’s meaning-making and emotional impact.” World Literature Today

“Song is an essential part of [Hedge Coke’s] collection. . . . The layering of Cherokee, Choctaw and Lakota terms adds depth.” Kansas City Star

Streaming, is an elegant collaboration between poetry and music.” —Hawaii Review

“Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s new collection Streaming is a veritable symphony, her poems embracing musicality and dissonance like the best of modern composers.” —Largehearted Boy

“By uniting the poems through imagery, language, and movement, Allison Adele Hedge Coke creates more than a collection of poems. Streaming is a continuous trail of light, a steady flow music from the heart of the motherland.” —Green Mountains Review

“A brilliant and brave new collection of poems that irrevocably alters our conventional notion of what constitutes narrative space.” The Journal (West Virginia)

“In her collection of poetry, Streaming, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke brings nature and our sensory experiences together in order to create a rich collection that speaks to our experiences with the world.” —Dr. TJ Eckleberg

“The language and the imagery in the poems are as ubiquitous as the giant aspen. This is an old voice rooted beneath a brutal American landscape, full of drought, burning, violence, migrant workers, diaspora.” —GMR Online

“Each poem has its own rhythm that meshes into that of the collection overall, a body greater than the sum of its parts, an organism alive with language.” —AskMen

“Her poems beg to be read aloud, a jumble of hard sounds that wind their way into an effortless melody. . . . Streaming is truly an accomplishment.” —Summerset Review

“Hedge Coke is a poet with a remarkable voice.” The Volta

“We should be grateful to Allison Hedge Coke for compiling, with her poetry, notes about a world that will be unfamiliar to a generation living one hundred years from now. By that time, the nature that she describes will have all but vanished. It’s as though the earth itself was dictating its biography to her.” —Ishmael Reed

“If the history of the Americas is a body of stories, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s Streaming is most definitely its life-blood. This glorious book journeys through the bittersweet relationships between personhood and nation, nationhood and nature, and nature and culture, bearing witness to each entity’s determined struggle, each entity’s hard-won triumph: ‘colonization,/ construction, that morning, this day,/ every beam in balance despite horror /in the world.’ Streaming’s elegant verse will ‘sing you home into yourself and back to reason.’” —Rigoberto González

Streaming must possess you. It is not enough to own the volume. It is not enough to read it. For this book is really a chronicle, a memorial, a eulogy for the Earth as we know her before she collapsed in front of our astonished eyes.” —Red Paint Hill

Praise for Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

“These are the songs of righteous anger and utter beauty.” —Joy Harjo


From Carcass

Split skin stretched over marrowless cage,
encased dry tomb, like those strewn
through this loess reach, cradling past
ever present here, and now you come
walking riverside, bringing sensory thrill
into daylight much like this cervidae
culled morning each waking before
demise. We move this way, catching life
until death captures us, where we rot
into the same dust holding multitudes
before us, and welcoming those beyond.


From Heroes

just go where they’re made to
when everything else goes awry.

Eagle Tail in stilled time
the body lifting surface

where churning falls gave
walleye, trout, coolness
for multitudes, generations,

now quiver his resolute effort to
something larger than humanness.
Was it?

Or, was it the core of humanness?
Was it melody? Rhythmic water
moving serpentine as it had always
grasped? Carrying, then delivering
the boy back to surface.

In turn taking in
the child’s sister with brave stranger to
people the underneath where
we seldom belong.
Are they now nearer
the center we stepped from?

Nearer where we all lived,
yet gone? In this world we lose
the ones who give the most.

The fruit of toil, its mission.
More than we muster.

Each time the water
surges and crashes, I feel his words,
“I got him. Hold onto me. I won’t let go.”