Muscogee (Creek) writer and humorist Alexander Posey (1873–1908) lived most of his short but productive life in the Muscogee Nation, in what is now Oklahoma. He was an influential political spokesperson, an advocate for improving conditions in Indian Territory, and one of the most prominent American Indian literary figures of his era. One of Posey’s dearest subjects was the Oktahutche River, which he so loved that he gave it voice in his poem, “Song of the Oktahutche.” His poetry, drawing from Romantic European and Euro-American influences such as Robert Burns and John Greenleaf Whittier, became a sort of Indian Territory pastoral in which the Greek nymph Echo shares a river with Stechupco, the Tall Man spirit of the Muscogees.
Song of the Oktahutche collects for the first time all of Posey’s poetry, which has until now been scattered in various rare volumes, either unpublished or replete with textual errors. His highly regarded poems constitute the largest body of Native poetry from the turn of the twentieth century. Matthew Wynn Sivils draws on extensive archival research to produce a complete, accurate, and meticulously annotated edition of Posey’s poetry that will further enrich and personalize the legacy of this remarkable Native author.