Poet Jana Harris's newest collection gives voice to pioneer women of the American west.
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Poet Jana Harris's newest collection gives voice to pioneer women of the American west.
Credit: James Alred

Courtship On The American Frontier Imagined By Modern Poet

Over the past couple of decades, Jana Harris has written a series of poetry collections that blend exhaustive research with "documentary imagination," as she calls it. In these poems, Harris gives voice to 19th century women living in the western United States.

Her latest collection, "You Haven't Asked About My Wedding Or What I Wore: Poems of Courtship on the American Frontier," focuses on stories of courting and marriage.

She talked with KUOW's Elizabeth Austen about the book, and read "An Answer for Mr. Anderson: Sarah Jane Sturgess, age 13 1/2, 1851, near Ft. Vancouver, Oregon Territory."

Harris's previous collections include "Oh, How Can I Keep On Singing: Voices of Pioneer Women," which won the Washington Governor's Writers Award and was adapted for television, and "We Never Speak Of It: Idaho-Wyoming Poems 1889-90."

She's also a novelist and essayist, and lives in the Cascade foothills where she raises horses.

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