An especially apt title for St. Clair’s 1985 collection of poems, Little-Dog-of-Iron has thrived during its sixteen years in print. The poems follow the trickster Coyote as St. Clair creates him in both modern and ancient myth, with occasional historical interludes based on fact, in which “Coyote Addresses His Brothers the Wolves and the Foxes.” St. Clair, like Coyote, mixes the horrific with the humorous unpredictably, for as Howard McCord writes in his introduction to the poems, “laughter and tears are brothers.” A somber “Coyote with the Shadow People” therefore finds itself with “Coyote Horny” and “Coyote in Law School.” The end result stands alongside the work of Sherman Alexie and James Welch and, as McCord writes, “Coyote has never sung better.” Philip St. Clair’s book At the Tent of Heaven appeared in 1984 from Ahsahta Press.
St. Clair, Philip, "Little-Dog-Of-Iron" (1985). Ahsahta Press. 49.