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X: Poems & Anti-Poems
Author: Shane Rhodes
Format: Paperback
  • One of the first lines of X, Shane Rhodes' sixth book of poetry, is a warning: "this book of verse demands more of verse, this book demands perversity."

    In X, Rhodes takes poetry from the comfortable land of the expected to places it has seldom been. Writing through the detritus of Canada's colonization and settlement, Rhodes' writes poems to and with Canada's original documents of finding and keeping. He writes a poem to each of the eleven numbered treaties (the Post Confederation Treaties between many of Canada's First Nations and the Queen of England)--he writes to the fonts he finds in Treaty 5, the river he finds in Treaty 6, and the chemicals he finds in Treaty 8. Rhodes' writes poems to and with the Indian Act.

    Beyond the treaties, Rhodes writes formal poetry using Indian status registration forms. He writes to the memory of Oka. He writes to the Government of Canada's Apology for the Indian Residential School System. He writes to the procreating beavers he finds in the Royal Charter of the Hudson Bay Company. X culminates in "White Noise," a long poem grown from Canada's collective rants, threats, cries and shouts in response to the Idle No More protests and the hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence.

    Through out the book, Rhodes surprises with what poetry and art can actually do with the seemingly unsalvageable and un-poetic that surrounds us. The design of X is also exhilarating. Not only is the book reversible--it must be read in two directions--but every page bursts with design, interference and thought.

    X sings a new national anthem for Canada, an anthem stripped of patriotic fervor that truly sings of the past many would rather forget and the current state of Indigenous/settler race relations in Canada, an anthem fit for "a land held by therefores, herebys and hereinafters."

$18.95

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Xwelqwiya: The Life of a St:lo Matriarch
Format: Paperback
  • Xwelqwiya is the life story of Rena Point Bolton, a St:lo (or, as they are now called, Xwlmexw) matriarch, artist, and craftswoman. Proceeding by way of conversational vignettes, the beginning chapters recount Point Bolton? early years on the banks of the Fraser River during the Depression. While at the time the St:lo, or Xwlmexw, as they call themselves today, kept secret their ways of life to avoid persecution by the Canadian government, Point Bolton's mother and grandmother schooled her in the skills needed for living from what the land provides, as well as in the craftwork and songs of her people, passing on a duty to keep these practices alive. Point Bolton was taken to a residential school for the next several years and would go on to marry and raise ten children, but her childhood training ultimately set the stage for her roles as a teacher and activist. Recognizing the urgent need to forge a sense of cultural continuity among the younger members of her community, Point Bolton visited many communities and worked with federal, provincial, and First Nations politicians to help break the intercultural silence by reviving knowledge of and interest in Aboriginal art. She did so with the deft and heartfelt use of both her voice and her hands.

    Over the course of many years, Daly collaborated with Point Bolton to pen her story. At once a memoir, an oral history, and an "insider" ethnography directed and presented by the subject herself, the result attests both to Daly's relationship with the family and to Point Bolton's desire to inspire others to use traditional knowledge and experience to build their own distinctive, successful, and creative lives.

$34.95

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