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Allison Hedge Coke
Sep 30 2020 - 7:00pm

Please join us on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 pm for the Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading by Allison Hedge Coke

Each semester, thanks to an endowment created by her family and friends, the Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading honors the memory of SDSU alumna, Laurie Matsueda Okuma. Hedge Coke will share poems from her most recent collections, Burn and Streaming, and answer questions from participants.  

This event will be virtual.

Register for the 9/30 event


Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside and the 2020 Dan & Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals University of Hawai'i Mānoa, 2019 Fulbright Scholar, 2018 First Jade Nurtured SiHui Female International Poet, 2018 TEDMED Scholar, 2017 Tulsa Artist Fellowship, 2016 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellow, is the author of numerous books including: Burn (MadHat Press), Streaming (Pen Southwest Book Award in Poetry, Wordcrafter of the Year Award, Lifetime Achievement Award NWCA, 2015 IPPY Medal), from Coffee House Press; Off-Season City Pipe (labor volume, Wordcraft Writer of the Year in Poetry) and Dog Road Woman (American Book Award), also from Coffee House Press; Blood Run (free verse-play regarding the Indigenous mound site in Iowa and South Dakota, Best Seller in US & UK), Salt Publications (2006 UK, 2007 US, & Global); Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer (memoir, AIROS Book of the Month Selection, hardcover, University of Nebraska Press, paperback, Bison Books); and a chapbook, The Year of the Rat, a dramatic long poem-libretto.

She has edited numerous anthologies, including: Effigies III: emerging Queer female Pacific Island poetry  (2019) and Effigies II: emerging Indigenous poetry from the continent (both from Salt Publications UK, Global, Native American Calling Book of the Month, 2014); Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (University of Arizona, National Book Critics Circle Best Books of 2011); Effigies: New Indigenous Pacific Rim Poetry (Salt, Native American Calling Book of the Month); Ahani: Indigenous American Poetry (To Topos Edition, Oregon State University); They Wanted Children (poems and prose from Sudanese Lost Boys, Native American, Latina/o, Asian students coping in mainstream high school); and Coming to Life: Poems for Peace in the Aftermath of 9-11 and has edited/guest-edited several magazines and journals including World Literature Today (2019, Autumn), Green Mountains Review, Plume, Platte Valley Review. Her play Icicles was a first finalist for the National Repertory Theater Prize. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been translated in multiple languages and have appeared in Poetry Out Loud, American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement, World Literature Today, New York Times, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Gargoyle, South Dakota Review, This Land, Denver Quarterly, Plume, Rattle, Waxwing, Brooklyn Rail, Bombay Gin, Academy of American Poets: Poem a Day, River Styx, Green Mountains Review, Akashic Noir and others. She is also a contributing editor and editorial board member for NYU’s Black Renaissance Noire. Hedge Coke is on the advisory board of Penny Candy Books and Board of Directors of Zoeglossia, a Community for Writers with Disabilities.

Hedge Coke has been an invitational poet-writer in Montenegro, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Jordan, China, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela. She has been instrumental in creating literary venues and programming with a special focus on Sandhill Cranes, the environment, migration, labor, incarcerated youth, underserved and marginalized communities, with career devotion to serving Indigenous communities.

Hedge Coke’s work has been supported with fellowships and residencies by several entities, including: National Endowment for the Humanities Visting Distinguished Professor-Hartwick College, UNL Center for Great Plains, MacDowell Colony, Weymouth Center, Hawthornden Castle, Lannan Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, University of Montenegro Fulbright, Paul & Clarice Reynolds Chair in Creative Writing-University of Nebraska, Artist/Writer in Residence-University of Central Oklahoma, and Visting Distinguished Writer-University of Hawaii'i. She released an album with funk guitarist, Kelvyn Bell, and multi-instrumentalist, Laura Ortman.

Hedge Coke has worked in fields, factories, and waters and is currently at work with a feature-length labor and eco-ethos film, Red Dust: Resiliency in the Dirty Thirties. Motion Poems & Pixel Farms made an animated short film from her poem, “She Shakes Chilis from her Hair.” She has also completed work of 19 documentary shorts Along the Chaparral: memorializing the enshrined films with Shane Brown, cinematographer.

She has held several distinguished and endowed positions and her teaching has garnished multiple excellence in teaching awards, including the King*Chavez*Parks Award.

Her most recent public projects include: Along the Chaparral: memorializing the enshrined, advising UC Riverside's Writers Resist & Poets Place/Writers Resist UCR Community Garden and #poempromptsforthepandemic daily prompts on IG & FB.