Praise for Dark Thirty
“Santee Frazier’s debut collection is striking for its incisive delineations of people, places, and time... immediate and memorable.”
Arthur Sze
Author of The Ginkgo Light

“..delivers a world we haven’t seen in a language we never expected to hear.”
Jon Davis
Author of Scrimmage of Appetite

“Frazier explores the harsh lives of people living at the margins...a kind of wonder at the redemptive possibilities of the human spirit rising out of chaos...”
Natasha Trethewey
Author of Native Guard

Dark Thirty

by Santee Frazier

Dark Thirty takes us on a loosely autobiographical trip through Cherokee country, the backwoods towns and the big cities, giving us clear-eyed portraits of Native people surviving contemporary America. In Frazier’s world, there is no romanticizing of Native American life. Here cops knock on the door of a low-rent apartment after a neighbor has been stabbed. Here a poem’s narrator recalls firing a .38 pistol—“barrel glowing like oil in a gutter-puddle”--for the first time. Here a young man catches a Greyhound bus to Flagstaff after his ex-girlfriend tells him he has fathered a child. Yet even in the midst of violence and despair there is time for the beauty of the world to shine through: “The Cutlass rattling out / the last fumes of gas, engine stops, / the night dimly lit by the moon / hung over the treetops; / owls calling each other from / hilltop to valley bend.”

Like viewing photographs that repel us even as they draw us in, we are pulled into these poems. We’re compelled to turn the page and read the next poem. And the next. And each poem rewards us with a world freshly seen and remade for us of sound and image and voice.

Dark Thirty
96 pp. Paperback
University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 978-0-8165-2814-1