Though it’s almost ten years old, I want to recommend Buffalo Dance by Frank X Walker, Kentucky poet and founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. I recently plucked this book back off the shelf because I’ve found myself telling everyone about it. In this collection, Walker assumes the voice of York, slave of William Clark, to retell the story of the famous Lewis & Clark expedition. Through York, Walker explores the “discovering” of the western territory, the interactions with native tribes, and the landscape he fears the men he aids will ruin. For anyone interested in thematic collections, historical poetry, or just plain beautiful language, I highly recommend Walker’s work.
Buy it at Powell’s here!
Andrew Payton is the incoming poetry editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment