dg nanouk okpik

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dg nanouk okpik
EducationSalish Kootenai College (AFA)
Institute of American Indian Arts (BFA)
University of Southern Maine (MFA)

dg nanouk okpik is an Inuit poet, specifically Iñupiaq. She received the American Book Award for her debut poetry collection, Corpse Whale (2012). In 2023 she was the recipient of a Windham Campbell Literature Prize for poetry[1] and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.[2]


Born in Anchorage and raised by Irish/German adoptive parents, dg nanouk okpik has experienced some of the same hardships faced by other Indigenous women, including urban relocation, poverty, and disrupted access to her culture.[3][4] She attended the University of Southern Maine, earning an MFA. She was the recipient of the Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship. She is also an alumna of the Institute of American Indian Arts.[5]


okpik is a resident advisor at the Santa Fe Indian School.[5] She received the American Book Award for her debut poetry collection, Corpse Whale, which was published in 2012 and received praise from critics.[6] In a review for Studies in American Indian Literatures, Jasmine Johnston described Corpse Whale as "both surreal and mythic", praising okpik's imagery and code-switching between Inuit and English.[7] Diego Báez, writing for Booklist, called it a "captivating debut" and similarly commended okpik's use of Inuit vocabulary.[8]

okpik's writing has been widely anthologized. Among collections including her is The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them by literary critic and poet Stephanie Burt.[9] Her poetry was also part of the collection Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.[10] as well as Effigies: An Anthology of New Indigenous Writing by the same author.[11]

She was awarded a Windham Campbell Prize for poetry in 2023.[12]


Year Text Award Result
2012 Corpse Whale American Book Award Won
2014 Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship Won
2023 May Sarton Award Won
Blood Snow Pulitzer Prize Won

Personal life[edit]

She was raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[5]

Published works[edit]


  • 2012: Corpse Whale (University of Arizona Press), ISBN 978-0816526741
  • 2022: Blood Snow (Wave Books), ISBN 978-1950268634


Selected poetry[edit]

  • 2009: "For-The-Spirits-Who-Have-Rounded-The-Bend IIVAQSAAT"
  • 2012: "Cell Block on Chena River"
  • 2012: "Warming"
  • 2012: "If Oil is Drilled in Bristol Bay"
  • 2012: "The Pact with Samna"
  • 2012: "Little Brother and the Serpent Samna"
  • 2018: "A Year Dot"
  • 2018: "Necklaced Whalebone"
  • 2018: "Found"
  • 2020: "When White Hawks Come"


  1. ^ "Windham-Campbell Prizes 2023 recipients announced". Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  2. ^ "The 2023 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Poetry". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  3. ^ "Dg nanouk okpik". 27 November 2021.
  4. ^ McGlennen, Molly (2014). Creative Alliances: The Transnational Designs of Indigenous Women's Poetry. Norman: U of Oklahoma Press. p. 153.
  5. ^ a b c "dg nanouk okpik". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  6. ^ "dg nanouk okpik". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  7. ^ Johnston, Jasmine (2013). "corpse whale by dg nanouk okpik (review)". Studies in American Indian Literatures. 25 (4): 111–115. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  8. ^ Báez, Diego (October 1, 2012). "Corpse Whale". Booklist. 109 (3). Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  9. ^ Burt, Stephanie. The Poem Is You: Sixty Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016.
  10. ^ Hedge, Coke Allison Adelle. Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas. University of Arizona Press, 2012.
  11. ^ Corpse whale. Sun tracks: An American Indian literary series. University of Arizona Press. 2012. ISBN 9780816526741.
  12. ^ "2023 Prize Recipients". Windham Campbell Prizes 2023. Windham Campbell Prizes. Retrieved April 21, 2023.

External links[edit]