While much attention is focused on the border between Mexico and the US, the poems, essays, and short stories in this anthology focus on the northeast, unique for its shared borders and boundaries, the bridges between, the blood and heritage people share and the things that divide them. Some of the world's highest tides surge in and out every day in this place where waves of people have come and gone; Native and First Nations people have been here for ten thousand years. The land is disputed in places, in others the US and Canada share responsibility, and Native Lands reside as sovereign nations within these borders.
Edited by Valerie Lawson, authors of 3 Nations Anthology range from those for whom this book will be their first publication to a Pulitzer Prize nominee. They include: Kathleen Ellis, Stephanie S. Gough, Grey Held, Leonore Hildebrandt, Carol Hobbs, Paul Hostovsky, J. Kates, Michele Leavitt, Carl Little, Donna M. Loring, Mark Melnicove, Sarah Xerar Murphy, Susan Nisenbaum Becker, Fredda Paul, John Perrault, Bruce Pratt, Patricia Ranzoni, JD Rule, Cheryl A. Savageau, Catherine Schmitt, Lee Sharkey, Karin Spitfire, Elizabeth Sprague, David R. Surette, Jeri Theriault, Danielle Woerner, and many others.
From the opening pages of the 3 Nations Anthology, Elizabeth Sprague’s “This That This” emphatically announces a book pulsing with the heartbeat of the land. These authors are as taken by the land of their home as is environmentalist Winona LaDuke, who recently wrote, “This land did not let me go.” In these works of poetry, fiction and essay, disparate voices gain cohesion in their celebration and memory of specific land features: bodies of water, storms, animals, and in their ability to connect them to identity, ancestry and culture. Consider the profound wound in a statement by Donna M. Loring, who writes of how people “see the Tribes as foreigners.” Or the depth of connection with not only land but beast, when Fredda Paul says “I felt the spirit of the eagle entering my spirit.” The words embody this land and call readers home to it; we are compelled to follow.
—Chris Benjamin, Managing Editor, Atlantic Books Today; Silver Atlantic Journalism Award winner, 2014.
These are not poems of my world, but they are utterly vital missives from a world we all desperately need to know, the world where water aches an impossible blue, land lies nurtured and unscarred, and a precipitous beauty startles from all corners. Reading this long-overdue collection is like pulling a deep, revivifying breath into the body. And we're reminded that the world conjured so faithfully in this work is still there, where it's always been, still waiting for us.
—Patricia Smith, author, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner: 2014 Rebekah Bobbitt Prize, Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (The Academy of American Poets), and Phillis Wheatley Award in Poetry.
In many ways, the 3 Nations Anthology is a breath of fresh air. The idea of bringing together Canadian, Native, and New England writers is, in itself, a refreshing change from the literary and cultural barriers that we all too often allow to come between us. There are too many fine writers and memorable poems, essays, and stories for me to list in this brief comment. So let me just quote these lines from a piece by Dan Crowfeather McIsaac that catch the spirit of this collection: “My brothers and sisters, the walls are everywhere and they are very high indeed. But they are not too high if we work together. Come—give me your hand….”
—Joseph Bruchac, founder of the Greenfield Review Literary Center, winner of the Writer and Storyteller of the Year Awards from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas