In the second poetry collection
by Laura Da’, Instruments of the True Measure, out this month from the University of Arizona Press, the history of the Shawnee comes into focus. Da’, who is Eastern Shawnee, portrays life on the American frontier during the early nineteenth century through concise and concentrated images and speaks candidly about the violence European settlers inflicted on Indigenous people in America. “Any treaty is an artifact of unimaginable suffering,” she writes. With precise, visceral language (“salt-lick deer / split-hung / over the saddle’s pommel”) Da’ gestures at how violence and history can live in the land and body for generations. She has published poems in the journals below, as well as in Poetry Northwest, Eleven Eleven, Blackbird, and among others.