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Details Of The Book Not Vanishing

Not Vanishing


259 ratings - 4.49* vote

Passionate, vital poetry by acclaimed Native American writer and activist Chrystos addresses self-esteem and survival, the loving of women, and pride in her heritage.

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Book details

Paperback, 105 pages
December 1st 1988 by Press Gang Publishers

(first published September 1st 1988)

Original Title
Not Vanishing
0889740151 (ISBN13: 9780889740150)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


This poetry collection by Chrystos, an urban Indigenous lesbian poet, is still as relevant, poignant and beautiful now as I'm sure it was when it was first published over 30 years ago. Chrystos explores Indigeneity as an urban Indigenous person who's disconnected from her culture and family, setter colonialism, her sexuality as a lesbian, racism within LGBTQ spaces, abuse and sexual violence, as well as a myriad of other important topics. Not Vanishing is essential reading for anyone interested in Indigenous and lesbian literature/experiences.

Ai Miller

A set of really evocative poems that dig into your head. Her line breaks are just dazzling, and the material itself is painful, angry, and so tender and soft by turns. I would love to spend more time with it, and want to for sure. Strongly recommend.


essentially the english language fails me sometimes when i want to capture the depth of importance of experience, and i can't find words for what i want to say here about gratitude and reverence. this collection is full of love and strength and rage that all are incredibly deep and powerful. her form is unique and impactful & the pairings of poems on facing pages embellishes impact. models of family, love, ancestry, and lineage that are decolonized and beautiful are everywhere. i read work like this from a particular place as a white settler queer femme; one element of my place is in recognizing where i do not understand or know, recognizing where emotion and sensation are evoked that move me into feeling love and solidarity, and where gulfs between my experience and what is here are stark, where my own lineage of violence must be seen and felt, as well. made me want to reread anzaldúa's borderlands/la frontera, which is one of my formative influential texts as a white feminist who grew up about half an hour from the southern california border with mexico.


Another good collection of poetry by this Seattle poet. Her strongest poems are either deeply political and angry, or beautifully erotic and gentle. Whether it's grrr or hubba hubba, I like both sides.


I found a copy for a dollar (a dollar!) and realized it was signed. I'm happy to have second-hand blessings, especially from Chrystos. Her anger is profound, and there's a lot of depth in this collection. "White Girl Don't" remains a favorite.


“A soft old song for every lesbian who wants                                                to go home                                            again & can’twith her woman lover in her arms”(from “Crooning”)

Courtney LeBlanc

A collection of stream of consciousness poems that focus on heritage, abuse, family, survival, politics, and addiction.

from Doctor's Favorite Color: "Her office blue enough to break you accusations in her indigo / velvet throw pillows her coarse royal blue hopsacking couch / her teal tweed carpeting where hours of my mind unreeled without / catching anything"

from There is a Man Without Fingerprints: "Her words a morgue / This is not a poem it's a newspaper a warning written quickly / Always be on guard ready to kill to survive / He has no face He could be any man / watching you"

Bryce Powell

Chrystos' poems are beautiful, tragic, powerful, crushing, and, above all else, important.

Howard Gordon

The most spiritual poetry, urbane, searching, distinctive, probing, unique.

Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)

A handful of these poems were assigned reading for a class, and even after finishing the assignment I would very much like to read the whole collection some day.