Garry Gottfriedson

Garry Gottfriedson, from the Secwepemc first nation (Shuswap), was born, raised and lives in Kamloops, BC. He is a self-employed rancher with a Masters degree in Education from Simon Fraser University. He was awarded the Gerald Red Elk Creative Writing Scholarship by the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where he studied under Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Marianne Faithful and others.

His published works include In Honor of Our Grandmothers: Imprints of Cultural Survival (Theytus Books, 1994), 100 Years of Contact (Secwepemc Cultural Education Society, 1990), Glass Tepee (Thistledown Press, 2002), nominated for First People’s Publishing Award 2004, Painted Pony (Partners in Publishing, 2005), his first children’s story, and Whiskey Bullets (Ronsdale, 2006 — Anskohk Aboriginal Award Finalist).

Gottfriedson has read from his work across North America, Asia and Europe, and frequently gives creative writing workshops and lectures. His work has been internationally anthologized.

Chaos Inside Thunderstorms
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

Chaos Inside Thunderstorms draws the audience into the centre of the tumultuous political, socio/economical and historical reality of the First Nations experience in Canada today. It is poetic expression that examines leadership, resilience, honour, shame, and love. It examines the issues implicit in the Idle No More Movement and the Truth and Reconciliation conferences. Although the book speaks of age-old themes, it explores them through fresh modern eyes. Eloquent and witty, these poems are power-packed with imagery that uncovers the raw politics of race. There is nothing polite about them. Like his two previous collections of poems, Chaos Inside Thunderstorms is candid and challenging. More importantly, it is thought-provoking and engaging.

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Deaf Heaven
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Poetry that takes us inside present-day First Nations reality to reveal the wounds of history and the possible healing to come.

As the title suggests, this new collection of poetry from Garry Gottfriedson of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation deals with the ways in which the world is deaf to the problems First Nations people face in Canada today.

Follow Garry Gottfriedson in this new collection of combative poems as he compels us and Heaven to listen to the challenges facing First Nation communities today. Employing many of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) images and stories, Gottfriedson takes us inside the rez and into the rooming houses in the city cores, but always drawing new strength from the land and the people who have moved upon it. He speaks of “the smell of grandmothers and grandfathers / breathing the stories into our blood” so as to “wrap our newborn in freshly made Star Quilts.”

Gottfriedson examines such issues as the Truth and Reconciliation movements as well as the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The poems focus not only on postcolonial issues but also on First Nations internal problems. Although the book speaks of age-old themes, it explores them through fresh modern eyes offering thought-provoking and engaging prespectives. Eloquent and witty, these poems are power-packed with imagery that uncovers the raw politics of race. There is nothing polite about them. While frequently offering a bleak view of present-day First Nation conditions, the poems also provide a sense of optimism: "the hope/that the coldest day in winter/will promise serenity in spring."

Reviews
“Gottfriedson’s poetry is built to endure and it will remain with you long after this book is closed.” – Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting, finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

“Garry Gottfriedson rides double, calling out the violence and corruption he’s seen, while reminding us that grounded strength comes from staying connected to grandmothers, grandfathers, horses, and the land.” – Rita Wong, author of Forage, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

“Gottfriedson writes us the sound of his blood, the splatter of ink on wood, and the dripping sweat and tears of prayer — all of it telling us who we are and chanting, as if in chorus, ‘survival is brilliant.’ Will we be wise or strong enough to listen?” – Shane Rhodes, author of X: Poems & Anti-Poems

Educator Information
This book of poetry would be useful for Indigenous Studies courses or literature courses such as Indigenous Literatures, Canadian Literature, and Creative Writing.

Additional Information
100 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$15.95

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Skin Like Mine
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

In Skin Like Mine Garry Gottfriedson offers a suite of poems that peel away the skin of contemporary first nations society to reveal an inside view of individual experience. Gottfriedson speaks of "minds full of anticipation" yet with "tongues pointing arrowheads." Today's youth, he says, are "afraid of themselves." He finds that both individuals and bands end in "tangles," that they write "nonsense words in the sand" or exploit images painted on rocks, those "the postmodern Indian calls / visual poetic expression." As the collection continues, however, Gottfriedson's love for the land emerges. He draws attention to the rape of the natural environment, the skin of Mother Earth, through clear-cut logging. He speaks of the damage caused by the pine beetle, of "forests being / eaten from the inside out." And here it is that Gottfriedson introduces the mysterious Horsechild, who is to prepare the drying racks for the returning salmon "so that beneath your skin / the mountains will be forever abundant": a prayer for us to protect the migrating salmon on their multi-year cycles, to protect the bears and eagles that feast upon them, so as to assure that the transformations will continue, that there will be abundance for both humans and the earth itself.

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Jimmy Tames Horses
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

Jimmy Tames Horses is a story about a little boy from the city who is trying to fit in with his cousins who have always lived on the Kamloops Indian Reserve and his feelings of being left out.

Throughout the course of a summer Jimmy works with a colt, overcoming initial fears and eventually becomes a famous horse tamer.

Additional Information
16 pages | 8.00" x 5.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

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