A winner of the Minnesota Book Award in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, Barton Sutter’s latest collection details life on the Canadian border, presents portraits of northern plants and animals, rejoices in marriage, and traces the ancient ways of Siberian reindeer herders. The late Bill Holm called it “unlike anything Sutter (or anyone else) has done before.” Sutter’s poetry reminds us that other cultures have survived for millennia by living closer to the ground.
"My favorites constitute slivers of memory, although ultimately whether they are autobiographical or creative inventions hardly matters to their validity or value... the details make the poems real, which is more important than merely being true." —Zenith City Weekly
An excerpt from the poem The Reindeer Camps
In reindeer winter hunting camps
Where we trap ermine, sable, wolf,
You have to wear a reindeer coat,
Keep reindeer blankets in the tent.
Nothing else will do. Only hollow
Reindeer hair will let you move and live
At 85 below. Always leave your coat outside
Because a tent can burn. Say you
Forget to feed the fire spirit;
Everything goes up.
You dive outside, your coat's inside,
Now what? Now what? You die.