Having spent much of her early life working in fields, factories, commercial fishing, construction, and cleaning, Hedge Coke brings a compassionate and unflinching perspective on the lives of everyday people in her poems, nonfiction, and activist work. “This is a time we must unravel what would otherwise surely choke us,” she says as an invitation to all who read her work and, through it, hope to find a way into their own hard-fought stories.
She is the author of the poetry chapbook Year of the Rat (1996); the full-length poetry collections Dog Road Woman (1997), Off-Season City Pipe (2005), Blood Run (2006 UK, 2007 US), Streaming (2014), an illustrated (by Dustin Illetewahke Mater) special edition Burn (2017); and the memoir Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer (2004, 2014). Streaming comes with a full album recorded in the Rd Klā project period with Kelvyn Bell and Laura Ortman. One inclusion was selected by Motion Poems and Pixel Farms to be made into an animated film and several of the poems in Streaming also influenced the documentary project she directed, Red Dust.
Her latest book, Look at This Blue, a poem, (2022), is an assemblage, book-length poem, and was selected as a 2022 National Book Award Finalist and 2023 Emory Elliott Book Award winner.