Ron Riekki

Isle Royale, Michigan,

is in Lake Superior.
It’s an island.
And on that island
there is a lake.
And on that lake
is an island.
An island on an island.
This is my biography.


My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders

I am a reindeer.
My family
is a network

of reindeer.

When my grand-
mother was put
in the asylum,
she was a reindeer,
When my uncle
was arrested
again, he was
still a reindeer.
And there was a thing
called human zoos
where they kept
the Sami,
in London,
for public view.
I can’t stand
When people look
at me.
I was told
that the stars
are us.
I have a dream
where I am
in the woods
and all
of the walls
are finally


is the Sami word
for ‘reindeer people.’

I am also Karelian.
I am also Finn.
Boazoolbmoš is my skin.


I Love

the orchestra
of night,
how the moon
like cellos
if you listen
with your souls.


Ron Riekki

Ron Riekki has a B.S. in Religion, with a focus on Buddhism, and an M.A. in Interreligious Studies, with a primary focus on indigenous religious practice and a secondary focus on Buddhism. An Anishinaabe elder told him that the forest is where you will find sanity.

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P. (Ghost Road Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press, 2019) and i have been warned not to write about this (Main Street Rag, 2020). Riekki co-edited Undocumented (Michigan State University Press) and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead (McFarland), and edited And Here (MSU Press), Here (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), and The Way North (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book). He has anthologies upcoming with Edinburgh University Press, McFarland, MSU Press, and WSU Press.

More on Ron Riekki’s work can be found on our Links page.