Collaborators’ Q&A: Why this poem? Poet Ishmael Hope: CMarie Fuhrman… asked me to write a poem in both my heritage language, Tlingit (the other would be Inupiaq), and in translation. It could have been something previously published, but I wanted to make a whole new piece. It was fruitful. I really saw how you can write a poem in Tlingit—that thoughts form wholly in the language if you learn it well…. Artist David Bernardy: I was attracted by all the physicality of the poem: the coffee, the cottonwood, the mud, the bones. I found all these, paired with the title, irresistible.
Poet Ishmael Hope, an Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, actor and Indigenous scholar, served as the lead writer for the video game, Never Alone (Upper One Games); has published two poetry collections. Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad.