Open the Dark
Marie Tozier's Open the Dark is an exquisite collection of poems depicting a generational tapestry woven with the shared ebb and flow of land and sea and time. Loving hands, dyed sweet with raspberries and lingonberries, pass ancestral knowledge--of the hunt for seal and crab to pressing ironless, ruler-straight seams--from grandmother to mother, mother to daughter. This is a collection that beckons, like a mother's warm embrace, into the vibrant scent and taste of Inupiaq Alaska.
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About the Author
Marie Tozier is an Inupiaq poet whose work has been published in the Cirque and Yellow Medicine Review. She is an adjunct instructor for UAF Northwest Campus and has taught sewing, quilting, knitting and qiviut processing, and writing classes. She is also a contributor to the Anchorage Daily News. During her low-residency MFA at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Tozier focused on identity in poetry. As a staff member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she took part in the Robert Wood Johnson Global Solutions Partnership, which allowed Tozier to visit Aotearoa (New Zealand) and learn about Māori education and culture. She also appeared on an episode of the US version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? in October 2000. She was the first Alaskan contestant to make it past the "Fastest Finger First" round and to play in the hot seat. Tozier lives in Nome, Alaska, with her husband and children.
A sure sense of emplacement might be one of the most elusive and valuable qualities a poet can embody. Marie Tozier's first book of poems clearly is emplaced in family, community, geography, history, and the seasonality of animals and plants in Western Alaska. An echo of Lorine Niedecker's limpid trust in the truths of the physical world and the rage and sorrow of Layli Long Soldier's work against the harm of cultural silencing rings through Open the Dark. Trust this direct, clear voice. Open yourself.
--Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Toward Antarctica