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Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems
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University of Arizona Press
Pub Date: 2012
ISBN: 9780816530083
Heid E. Erdrich
Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems
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Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems

by Heid E. Erdrich

Cell Traffic presents new poems and uncollected prose poetry along with selected work from award-winning poet Heid Erdrich's three previous poetry collections. Erdrich's new work reflects her continuing concerns with the tensions between science and tradition, between spirit and body. She finds surprising common ground while exploring indigenous experience in multifaceted ways: personal, familial, biological, and cultural. The title, Cell Traffic, suggests motion and Erdrich considers multiple movements-cellular transfer, the traffic of DNA through body parts and bones, "migration" through procreation, and the larger "movements" of indigenousness and ancestral inheritance.
Erdrich's wry sensibility, sly wit, and keenly insightful mind have earned her a loyal following. Her point of view is always slightly off center, and this lends a particular freshness to her poetry. The debunking and debating of the science of origins is one of Erdrich's focal subjects. In this collection, she turns her observational eye to the search for a genetic mother of humanity, forensic anthropology's quest for the oldest known bones, and online offers of genetic testing. But her interests are not limited to science. She freely admits popular culture into her purview as well, referencing sci-fi television series and Internet pop-up ads.

"A marvelous tour of poetic passion inside a world of warriors, fire pits, love, genes, and the tender ironies of woe and mercy. The images and scenes tease and honor Native ancestors, the seasons, a warm eye in winter, and the 'stars shine words right into the center of the dream.'" --Gerald Vizenor, author of Almost Ashore: Selected Poems

"Through her eyes, her split vision of science and soul, Heid E.Erdrich does nothing less than remake the world." --Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer

"Heid E. Erdrich's poems ferry us back and forth between what fuels us and what makes us human." --Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men: Poems

"Funny, sexy, rowdy, and surprising, these poems pretty much cover the entire human existence. She is an original. Buy this book now." --Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Heid E. Erdrich is an independent scholar, curator, playwright, and founding publisher of Wiigwaas Press, which specializes in Ojibwe-language publications. She grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. Heid has taught college writing for two decades, both as a tenured professor and as a visiting author and scholar at dozens of colleges, universities, libraries, and arts organizations. She is the author of three previous books of poetry, including National Monuments, which won the 2009 Minnesota Book Award.