Deer Trails: San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 7 (Paperback)

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2019 NCIBA Golden Poppy Award Winner - Poetry

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San Francisco's 7th poet laureate--a Native American and native San Franciscan--explores urban space and the natural world.

Deer Trails is a strongly elegiac evocation of a San Francisco that lies buried under its contemporary urban landscape, but can still be found peeking through. Native American and native San Franciscan Kim Shuck is the city's seventh poet laureate, and in these poems she celebrates the enduring presence of indigenous San Francisco as a form of resistance to gentrification, urbanization, and the erasure of memory.

Praise for Deer Trails and Kim Shuck

Kim Shuck's serpentine lyrics sing the streets, hills, trees, fog, and rain of San Francisco, as well as the city's deeper cartography of watersheds, village sites, shellmounds, trade paths, and deer trails. As you navigate this book, listen closely: the poems transform into maps, prayers, and medicine that offer healing, wonderment, and joy in our difficult times. 'Travel grateful, ' the poet lovingly advises. 'Travel safe.'--Craig Santos Perez

Deer Trails is a work of maturity and passion from one of Native America's best poets. Kim Shuck is a poet whose dedication to indigenous reality is unquestionable and admirable. The Tsalagi people live in a cherished memory of honor and peace. The poems in Deer Trails are a testament to these ends. I am proud to call her sister.--Lance Henson

Made of leaps of beginning after beginning of images that sound as well as visually show nature's humanity in a montage--naming en route to organic epiphanies--that's the idiomatic brilliance of Kim Shuck's actually quite sophisticated poems of simplicity.--Jack Hirschman

Shuck's poetry reminds us that you can believe in the blue note; our elders' speeches that we dance near. Her poems seamlessly walk the aggregates of human presence and voice all of nature's directions. Shuck reminds us of the omniscience of the people in this dictatorship of dimes; the omniscience of the people in all sketches about genocide. Hers is the only way to look at San Francisco. A prayer in the mind of a warrior.--Tongo Eisen-Martin

About the Author


Kim Shuck is an Ani Yun Wiya (Cherokee)/Polish-American poet, author, weaver, and bead-work artist who draws from Southeastern Native American culture and tradition as well as contemporary urban Indian life. She was born in San Francisco, California and belongs to the Northern California Cherokee diaspora. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She earned a B.A. in Art (1994), and M.F.A. in Textiles (1998) from San Francisco State University. Her basket weaving work is influenced by her grandmother Etta Mae Rowe and the long history of California Native American basket making. She is the winner of the Diane Decorah First Book Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas and the Mary Tallmountain Award for Freedom Voices. In 2017, she was named the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco. Her newest book, Deer Trails, was published by City Lights in summer 2019. She is also one of 13 recipients of the Academy of American Poets inaugural Poets Laureate Fellowships.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781931404181
ISBN-10: 1931404186
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publication Date: July 30th, 2019
Pages: 96
Language: English
Series: San Francisco Poet Laureate