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T h e N e w W e s t in C o n t e m p o r a r y W e s t e r n W o r k i n g - C l a s s P o e t r y : 1 9 9 0 -2 0 0 5 J u l i a S t e i n W o r k s R e v i e w e d Alexie, Sherman. One Stick Song. New York: Hanging Loose Press, 2000. 91 pages, $15.00. --------. The Summer of Black Widows. New York: Hanging Loose Press, 1996. 139 pages, $13.50. Baca, Jimmy Santiago. Healing Earthquakes: A Love Story in Poems. New York: Grove, 2001. 338 pages, $15.00. Bodeen, Jim. This House: A Poem in Seven Books. Walla Walla, Wash.: Tsunami Press, 1996. 228 pages, $18.00. --------. Impulse to Love. 1996. Yakima, Wash.: Blue Begonia Press, 1998. 128 pages, $13.00. Chavez, Lisa D. Destruction Bay. Albuquerque, N.Mex.: West End Press, 1999. 64 pages, $8.95. Coleman, Wanda. Bathwater Wine. Santa Rosa, Calif.: Black Sparrow, 1998. 288 pages, $28.95/$16.95. Hirschman, Jack. FrontUnes: SelectedPoems (Pocket Poets, 55). San Francisco, Calif.: City Lights, 2002. 128 pages, $15.95. Lau, Alan Chong. Blues and Greens: A Produce Worker’s Journal. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2000. 115 pages, $17.95. Louis, Adrian C. Among; the Dog Eaters. Albuquerque, N.Mex.: West End Press, 1992. 112 pages, $18.00. --------. Blood Thirsty Savages. St. Louis, Mo.: Time Being Books, 1994109 pages, $12.50. --------. Evil Com. Granite Falls, Minn.: Ellis Press, 2004. 126 pages, $18.00. northSun, nila. a snake inher mouth: poems 1974-96. Albuquerque, N.Mex.: West End Press, 1997. 80 pages, $8.95. Potts, Charles. 100 Years in Idaho. Walla Walla, Wash.: Tsunami, 1996. 76 pages, $10.00. --------. Lost River Mountain. Yakima, Wash.: Blue Begonia Press, 1999. 96 pages, $13.00. Rutsala, Vem. A Handbookfor Writers: New & Selected Prose Poems. Buffalo, N.Y.: White Pine Press, 2004- 133 pages, $16.00. W e s t e r n A m e r i c a n L i t e r a t u r e 40.4 ( W i n t e r 2006): 462- 74. J u l ia S t e i n 4 6 3 Smoker, M. L. Another Attempt at Rescue. New York: Hanging Loose Press, 2005. 64 pages, $24.00/$14.00. Tarlen, Carol. “16 Poems.” Pemmican Press online. 2004. . White, Marvin K. nothin’ ugly fly. Washington, D.C.: Redbone Press, 200476 pages, $14.00. Witherup, William, down wind, down river: New and Selected Poems. Albuquerque, N.Mex.: West End, 2000. 178 pages, $16.95. W estern working-class poets between 1990 and 2005 illuminate the New West. Many of them combine gritty realism and visions: from Adrian Louis’s and nila northSun’s visions of the nineteenth-century ghost dance religion to Jimmy Santiago Baca’s visionary holiness of the Rio Grande Valley to Carol Tarlen’s Protestant visionaries to Jack Hirschman’s cabbala. Many write rich autobiographical poetry that connects the self to the family, the neighborhood, the land, or the work community. These poets are guides to the landscape and people of the New West. Jim Bodeen and Alan Chong Lau show us the visions of immigrants key to reshaping the New West. Sherman Alexie and William Witherup witness the destruction wrought by militarization on western land and people. Hirschman, Tarlen, and Marvin White give us the struggles of the homeless, the unionized poor, and gays. Louis, northSun, Alexie, and M. L. Smoker describe lives on Indian reservations. Yet only this generation has acknowledged cross-racial influences, such as Tarlen and Bodeen being influenced by Pablo Neruda, Cesar Valejo, and other Latin writers while poets of color like Louis and Wanda Coleman speak about their connection with white Beat writers. Neruda is clearly one of the many artists who influenced western, working-class poets. Tarlen and Hirschman were involved politically during the 1980s supporting workers’ struggles in Latin America, which led naturally to their reading Neruda. Baca was also inspired by this major Latin American poet. Neruda even spelled out...


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