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Courtesans of Flounder Hill
by Ishmael Hope
"In this first collection, young Alaska Native poet, playwright, and essayist Ishmael Hope, of Tlingit and Inupiaq parentage, explores and reminds us how each of us is central in a multigenerational relationship involving ancestry, self, and descendants; heritage, contemporary culture, and legacy; an unbroken chain of storytellers, daily life, and dreams, always negotiating, in the words of T.S.Eliot, between tradition and the individual talent. His writing is informed not only by Alaska Native oral literature, but also by extremes of classical Chinese poetry, twentieth-century American Drama, and conversation with family and friends, of the death or transformation of traditional culture. He writes in one poem, that 'myths are a place to rest / from so much catching up to ourselves, / a place to rest in all this confusion.'" -Richard Dauenhauer, Poet Laureate of Alaska (1981-1988)
Ishmael Hope, born in Sitka, Alaska, and living in Juneau, is a stroyteller and writer who shares stories from his Inupiaq and Tlingit heritages. His Inupiaq name is Angaluuk and his Tlingit name is Khaagwaask', and he is of the Kiks.adi clan, the X'aaka Hit, the Point House, of Sitka. Courtesans of Flounder Hill is the first collection of his poetry to be published.