Joan Kane’s first collection of poems, The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, was published in its first edition by NorthShore Press in October 2009. It is now available in its second edition through the Alaska Literary Series.

The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife is a groundbreaking collection of poems made of one long breath. The breath is enough to carry you the distance it takes to fly to the moon and return in one long winter night. I have been looking for the return of such a poet. Joan Kane crafts poems as meticulous as snowflakes. She is visionary and the poems carry this vision with solid grace.” Joy Harjo

“These poems are original, unsentimental, plain, and mysterious. There is something of Lorine Niedecker’s Wisconsin, and something of Willa Cather’s Nebraska or New Mexico in Joan Kane’s Alaska. And something more, “on the border of speech,” which yet gives us a new sense -- or maybe retrieves an old sense-- of experience. Sometimes, in these poems, description, and what we cannot quite find words for, underneath it, are enough; in fact, more than we would have known how to ask for: a lost people -- a shaman’s voice -- the voice of a glacier -- of a shell? “In a room in which you’re found at every margin / Forgetting you is nothing but a long discipline.” Jean Valentine

“These poems are much more than verbal constructs, though their language alone is enough to keep you reading. Joan Kane’s mind spends much time with itself; her eye sees itself as part of the landscape, which in this collection is meticulously rendered, “a bewilderment of white.” She does not find metaphors for life in the wilderness, but rather observes patterns of nature that life bears out. Hers is a voice without cultural or self-reference, a voice without verbal-technics -- as rare and stark as the main climatic idiosyncrasy of these poems, ‘a year of two winters.’” Priscilla Becker


Cover artwork “Force” 2005 by G. Sagan courtesy of the artist

Cover design by Sasha Sagan