Rebecca Hatcher Travis is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation whose roots are deep in Indian Territory, Oklahoma, and Texas. Her poetry manuscript, Picked Apart the Bones, won the First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas in 2006 and was published in 2008 by Chickasaw Press. Her work has also appeared in literary journals, anthologies, online, and recently in Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits, a collection of pieces by and photographs of Native poets and writers, published in 2017 by University of New Mexico Press. Travis is a member of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. She lives in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in southern Oklahoma, near the land her ancestors settled in early Indian Territory days. She continues to write and give readings at several venues near her home.
Constant Fires, the second collection of poems from award-winning Chickasaw poet Rebecca Hatcher Travis, brings readers to a deeper understanding of the Chickasaw people and Native perspective. Travis’s poetry captures the stories, struggles, and people of past generations, rejoices in the continuation and determination of Indigenous Americans, and celebrates the beauty of nature and our connection to the natural world.
The collection includes sixty original poems organized into four sections. The first, “Blood Streaks,” brings Indian Territory to life, with its tumultuous and poignant history smoldering just beneath the surface. The second, “Stirrings,” shares reflections of tribal families and relationship, often gleaned from Travis’s personal experience. The third section, “Voices in Place,” pulls the reader toward hope and the future, with poems about reconnection to people and the land. The fourth, “Earth Echoes,” guides a brilliant journey through the natural world.
Travis’s poetry calls upon Chickasaws and other Indigenous Americans to remain vigilant and attentive toward our people and our place in North America and in the world. Constant Fires shouts the Native message from the mountaintops, “Hey! We are still here!”