From Poetry Magazine

Help for Haunted: A Playlist for the June 2018 Issue

For our June 2018 playlist, we asked contributor Louise Erdrich to curate a selection of music for us. You can read about her approach to creating the playlist below. Click here to open the playlist in your Spotify app.

This is a tangential sort of playlist. Maybe listen while cutting up vegetables or coins for dinner, driving in June rain, jogging on a treadquill, drinking cold Blatz beer on a dirt beach, wrapping a gift for Mother Earth, whatever you do. I wouldn’t want you to listen to this playlist while reading this issue of Poetry—it might take attention away from the words. Perhaps between poems? I started with Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Isketayo Sewow (Cree Call)” because her voice rips right into a space. Then I brought Tanya Tagaq aboard because Heid Erdrich introduced me to her and Heid always knows. If you haven’t heard Tagaq yet, wrap yourself in soft furs, turn out all the lights, and prepare to be eaten. Then watch her music video for “Retribution.” Many of my favorites were missing from Spotify. I hope you explore the non-acoustic Indigenous, as well as the gorgeously harmonic duo Primeaux and Mike, more Joy Harjo, and more of the incomparable Chastity Brown. After the first song, just let the shuffle take over. But still, the last song is “America!” for a reason. 

Originally Published: June 1st, 2018

Louise Erdrich was born in Little Falls, Minnesota in 1954. As the daughter of a Chippewa Indian mother and a German-American father, Erdrich explores Native-American themes in her works, with major characters representing both sides of her heritage. In an award-winning series of related novels and short stories, Erdrich has...