ndian Trains is about small town Indians, about community and family, about thieves, prostitutes, train stealers, drug dealers, loners, jerks, dreaming alcoholics, and the ones who did everything but all of that. It is about an entirely new tribe: urban mixed-bloods of multiple tribes who are respectful of where their ancestors have come from but are increasingly going to Indian powwows, Indian bars, and Urban Native organizations for cultural fulfillment rather than only returning to reservations to find out who they are. They are about 70 percent of the Indian population–the truly unsung peoples of America.
This is a funny, sad, and powerful book. Each poem is lovely and the cumulative effect is devastating.–Sherman Alexie
The country between poetry and stories is where this story-singer comes from. Tales of polished obsidian. Full of night, fascinating, and frightful. Glistening and brilliant. Small enough to hold in the hand. Sharp enough to tear open the heart. I was left breathless.–Sandra Cisneros
Indian Trains is a marvelous, intimate poetic journey. There are hardy native families here, the immediacy of survivors and traditionalists. The incomparable images arise from worried hearts, irony, the actual centers of cultural memory. Erika Wurth writes about a woman on a leather chair, ‘a revolution in her heart, ‘ as she waits for ‘metaphors to change everything.’ And they do in this brave, inspired selection of poems.–Gerald Vizenor, Almost Ashore