An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
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  • Placeholder: Carolina Poems of Love and Labor

    Allison Hedge Coke, University of Nebraska at Kearney

    14 October 2010

    In these poems and interview excerpts, Allison Hedge Coke returns to several locations in North Carolina where she lived and worked in the early 1970s. She describes the transformation of tobacco agriculture, off-season work in Raleigh, and a variety of personal and domestic situations in her efforts to make a living and a life.

    "Placeholder: Carolina Poems of Love and Labor" is part of the Poets in Place series, a Research Collaboration in the Humanities initiative funded through Emory University’s Presidential Woodruff Fund, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. Series producers are Natasha Trethewey and Allen Tullos.



    Allison Hedge Coke reads her poem "The Change." Poem text.
    Allison Hedge Coke reads her poem "Off Season." Poem text.
    Allison Hedge Coke reads her poem "Packin' Four Corner Nabs." Poem text.
    Allison Hedge Coke reads her poem "Putting Up Beans." Poem text.

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    An Interview with Allison Hedge Coke


    About the Poet

    Allison Hedge Coke is an award-winning poet and author of Huron, Cherokee, French-Canadian and Portuguese ancestry. Her poetry ranges from North Carolina where she worked in tobacco fields, to California where she worked for an international organization representing indigenous peoples.

    She studied at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and at Vermont College, where she completed an MFA in creative writing and post-grad work. As a Naropa Poetry Prize fellow, Red Elk and SUEI poet-scholar, Hedge Coke was twice in residence at Boulder's Naropa Institute with poet Allen Ginsberg.

    Hedge Coke is currently an associate professor of English and holds the Paul & Clarice Kingston Reynolds Chair at University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her published books include Blood Run (2006), Off-Season City Pipe (2005), Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer (2004), Dog Road Woman(1997), and The Year of the Rat (1996). Dog Road Woman won the 1998 American Book Award. She has edited eight additional books and is the senior editor of Platte Valley Review.

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    Recommended Resources


    Map of North Carolina


    Print Materials


    Hedge Coke, Allison. Blood Run: Free Verse Play. Cambridge, England: Earthworks Series, Salt Publishing, 2006.

    ———. Dog Road Woman: Poems. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1997.

    ———. Off-Season City Pipe: Work. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2005.

    ———. Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Bison Books, 2004.

    ———. The Year of the Rat. Venture, CA: Grimes, 1996.


    Hedge Coke, Allison. Editor. Ahani. Corvallis, OR: ToTopos International Poetry, 2007.

    ———. Series Editor. Bone Light. Los Angeles: Red Hen Press, 2009.

    ———. Editor. Effigies: An Anthology of New Indigenous Writing Pacific Rim. Cambridge, England: Salt Publications, 2009.

    ———. Senior Editor. It’s Not Quiet Anymore. Sante Fe: Institute for the American Indian Arts, 1992.  

    ———.Co-Editor. Voices of Thunder. Sante Fe: Institute for the American Indian Arts, 1993. 

    Liebler, M.L. editor.  Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams.  Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press, 2010.


    Allison Hedge Coke - Reynolds Chair
    Includes a listing of writing available online and awards

    Allison Hedge Coke "What's American About American Poetry?" Q & A

    Goodnight, Raleigh! The Boylan Wye

    Off-Season City Pipe - Official Site of Allison Hedge Coke

    Poetry Foundation: "Redwing Blackbird"

    Poetry Foundation: "When the Animals Leave this Place"

    UniVerse: A United Nations of Poetry

    Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities

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