Poetry

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A Moon Made of Copper
Format: Paperback

A moon made of Copper is a collection of non-fiction poems that look at the continual maturing and growth of a human being.

The poems were written while touring across Canada, and they capture Bose’s experiences meeting people, wandering different cities, and getting into adventures and mis-adventures. This is Bose’s second book since Stone the Crow.

Bose reveals "what it takes as a First Nations person to survive the unrelenting human conditions of Aboriginals in this country. His poetic expression untangles the pain, loss, and recovery expressed bodly through this volume of poetry. To read this, is to know that journey." Garry Gottfriedson.

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A Night for the Lady
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A Night for the Lady explores the terrain of poetry conversation. Each poem arises from conversations with poets, colleagues and intimate friends. They range from a 1998 conversation on healing programs and the fundamentals of world change to a sequence of recent indigenous literary events on the prairies. Within the context of these conversations, an exploration emerges of the roles of woman within local as well as historic literary and global situations. The poems draw together diverse figures from world literature, world religions and myths to lay open the experience of human beings within the “brown-feminine.” Identifying and synthesizing connections across a wide palette of human experience, this collection challenges the divisions of personal and global, indigenous and “everyone else,” all the while celebrating both the humanity and the divinity of the Lady. Playful, erotic and occasionally harrowing, this collection bundles together experimental and inspirational work from a longstanding voice of conscience in Canadian letters. Once again, Arnott carries us into the most intimate terrain, casts her net widely, catches us up.

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An Honest Woman
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

 An Honest Woman by Jonina Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today.

Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions. 

An Honest Woman explores the many ways the female body is shaped by questions that have been too political to ask: What happens when a woman decides to take her sexuality into her own hands, dismissing cultural norms and the expectations of her parents? How is a young woman’s sexuality influenced when she is perceived as an “exotic” other? Can a woman reconnect with her Indigenous community by choosing Indigenous lovers? 

Daring and tender in their honesty and wisdom, these poems challenge the perception of women’s bodies as glamorous and marketable commodities and imagine an embodied female experience that accommodates the role of creativity and a nurturing relationship with the land.

Reviews
“Jonina Kirton is courageously honest about her life experiences as a female of Indigenous and immigrant ancestry. Many poems resonate deeply, as we identify with her personal quest to figure out who she is, and the unacceptable things done to her. Her raw honesty is unsettling and uncomfortable, because it can be our truth too. Her poems depict devaluation and dehumanization, grieving, lessons learned. Her poems offer important insights as to why there are thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women.” — Senator Lillian E. Dyck

“When writing from the voice of between, writer and reader have no place to hide. Assumptions and camouflage fall away. Murdered, missing, and violated women and girl voices have been silenced. The story lethally repeats. Kirton picks over how she was raised familially and culturally like a crime scene. Too, she affirms, ‘I have been here forever and I will rise again and again.’ Tough, eloquent, revelatory, these poems are the very ones we are desperately in need of.” — Betsy Warland, author of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas

“I’m sure people have been looking at me strangely every time I gasp, but I can’t glance away from the page for even a second to notice. Some of the poems end sharply, with a punch; some deliberately leave me searching for the next line; others show the repetition of heartbreaking cycles of violence and oppression, but offer a portrayal of resilience, too.” — All Lit Up!

Educator Information
This book would be useful for Women's Studies, Creative Writing, English Language Arts, Poetry, and English courses.  Recommended for grades 11-12 and university-college students.  

Please be advised, this book contains explicit sexual references and references to sexual and physical abuse.

Additional Information
104 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$16.95

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Bear Bones & Feathers
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In this powerful book of poetry, First Nations Cree writer Louise Bernice Halfe sets out to heal the past.

Employing Native spiritualism, black comedy and the memories of her own childhood as healing arts, she finds an irrepressible source of strength and dignity in her people. Bear Bones and Feathers is rooted in Louise Bernice Halfe's own life. She offers moving portraits of her grandmother (a medicine woman whose life straddled old and new worlds), her parents (both trapped in a cycle of jealousy and abuse), and the people whose pain she witnessed on the reserve and at residential school.

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$12.95

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Beautiful Razor: Love Poems & Other Lies
Format: Paperback

In Beautiful Razor, Al Hunter explores the span between the sensual and the profane; the distance of which can sometimes be vast or on the razor's edge. This much awaited collection is the third poetry book written by the former Rainy River First Nations Chief, along with Spirit Horses and The Recklessness of Love.

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Blackbird Song
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

An exquisite series of meditations on memory, evanescence and the land. Randy Lundy draws deeply from his Cree heritage and equally from European and Asian traditions. Readers will be reminded by turns of Simon Ortiz, P?r Lagerkvist, and Jane Hirshfield. This is the mind of prayer, a seeing and re-seeing of the immense cyclic beauty of the earth.

Reviews
“Lundy has entered the place where the masters reside. His poems join the shades that walk among them. There aren’t many people who get to that place and sometimes it can feel very lonely there, but the masters are saved by the brilliant and humble work they have done, their poems the crevices in our lives where the light shines through." – Patrick Lane, author of Washita

“Randy Lundy’s poems bring forward the spirit of his Cree ancestry, and place our species humbly among the creatures of Earth—who are all observed with deep reverence and perceptive care.” – Don McKay, author of Strike/Slip

“This is the book of poems I’ve been waiting for … His poems burn us, feed us, and make us feel beloved even if we have been broken. Language, as he uses it, holds us and leads us to a place where we can mourn and pray and wonder.” – Lorna Crozier, author of What the Soul Doesn’t Want

Educator Information
The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for English Language Arts.

Caution: Some poems contain content that may cause trigger reactions for readers. Pre-read poems before using them with students.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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Breaking Boundaries: LGBTQ2 Writers on Coming Out and Into Canada
Editors:
Lori Shwydky
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

An anthology of stories and poetry written by Canadian LGBTQ2 authors who are immigrants, refugees, or Canada-born.

“What does it mean to be LGBTQ2 in Canada? The only possible answer to that question is one given in many voices. That is exactly what this book offers. There is struggle in these stories and poems, but there is also strength and resilience, compassion and determination. Woven together these voices leave me with a sense of hopefulness: a belief that the creativity and fierce commitment of our community will carry us forward as we work to create a Canada that lives up to the dream of freedom and safety it represents to so many people around the world.” — Robin Stevenson, author of Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community

Review
The anthology pieces are diverse with authors who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and 2-Spirited. It also includes stunning artwork by LGBTQ artists and allies. — Rainbow Refugee Society

Authors & Artists
Authors in this anthology include Teryl Berg, Kyle Chen, Wendy Judith Cutler, Corrie Hope Furst, Kevin Henry, Anne Hofland, Chantal Hughes, Masaki Kidokoro, Dale Lee Kwong, Austin Lee, JL Lori, Eka Nasution (narrator), Adam Nixon, Rainer Oktovianus (narrator), Gail Marlene Schwartz, Caelan Sinclair, LS Stone, Sosania Tomlinson, E.T. Turner, and Hayley Zacks.

Artwork by Joni Danielson, Wokie Clark Fraser, Austin Lee, Trinity Lindenau, and Rainer Oktovianus.

Additional Information
146 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
Edited by Lori Shwydky

This book contains memoirs, stories, poems, and artwork, which is why it appears in a variety of categories, such as both Fiction and Non-fiction, on our website.

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$13.95

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Buckskin & Broadcloth: A Celebration of E. Pauline Johnson-Tekahionwake, 1861-1913
Authors:
Sheila M F Johnston
Format: Paperback

This is the first generously illustrated biography of the Mohawk poet-performer E. Pauline Johnson-Tekahionwake. The author has created an exciting volume of anecdotes, letters and poetry, and illustrated it with period photographs and new illustrations by the Six Nations artist, Raymond R. Skye.

While the story of Pauline Johnson has been told before, it has never been given the intimacy that this book provides. Tracing her ancestry, moving on to explore her extraordinary stage career, and finally shedding light on Pauline Johnson's last years in Vancouver, Sheila M.F. Johnston has breathed new life into the compelling story of one of Canada's brightest literary and stage stars.

This book contains over forty poems that are not part of Pauline Johnson's classic collection of poems, Flint and Feather. The "uncollected" poems have been culled from archives, libraries and out-of-print books. They shed light on the development of the poet, and enlighten and enrich her life story.

Buckskin & Broadcloth is truly a celebration of the life of a Canadian hero – one whose legacy to Canadian literature and Canadian theatre is unparalleled.

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$29.95

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Burning in this Midnight Dream
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family, herself. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures.

Halfe's poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.

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Calling Down the Sky
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Calling Down the Sky is a poetry collection that describes deep personal experiences and post generational effects of the Canadian Aboriginal Residential School confinements in the 1950's when thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools against their parents' wishes. Many were forbidden to speak their language and practice their own culture. The author portrays how the ongoing impact of the residential schools problem has been felt throughout generations and has contributed to social problems that continue to exist today.

Reviews
“Rosanna Deerchild’s poems roll off the tongue as easy as old country songs. With her deft hand, Deerchild finely tunes every word and weaves them together as intimately as she braids her girls’ hair. Together, these poems create a story that sings with beautiful tension, amazing resilience, and love as big as the sky." - Katherena Vermette, Metis Writer

"The poetry collection, called calling down the sky, describes personal experiences with the residential school system in the 1950s and the generational effects it had." - CBC 

"This poetry collection is fierce, raw and candid. It is also visceral, intricate and, above all, illuminating. By recounting her mother’s residential school experience in a powerfully poetic narrative, Deerchild expertly illustrates the heartbreaking trauma of that tragic saga and how it complicates relationships over generations. By beautifully and elaborately exploring those relationships and that devastating history, she finds and celebrates the resilient and hopeful spirit that many residential school survivors, like her mother, have managed to retain in the face of horror and torment. As a result, calling down the sky is an essential read in understanding the true modern history of this land and in honouring the people who survived it.” - Waubgeshig Rice

Additional Information
96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Canadian Aboriginal Voices: Imagine Mercy
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Imagine Mercy is a vibrant poetry collection portraying the daily realities of living as an Aboriginal in Canada. David Groulx seamlessly weaves the spiritual with the ordinary and the present with the past. He speaks for the spirit, determination, and courage of Aboriginal people, compelling readers to confront cruel reality with his honest and inspiring vision. The poems in Imagine Mercy portray mixed bloods, resistance, determination, sovereignty, and cultural issues that generate sharply divided opinions and deep emotional struggles. Groulx’s poetic power renders an honest and painful perception of modern-day Aboriginal life with strong voice against prejudice and injustice.

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Canadian Aboriginal Voices: Rising with a Distant Dawn
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Rising with a Distant Dawn is a powerful and moving poetry collection, which stretches across the boundaries of skin colour, language, and religion to give voice to the lives and experiences of ordinary Aboriginal Canadians. The poems embrace anguish, pride, and hope. They come from the woodlands and the plains, they speak of love, of war, and of the known and the mysterious, they strike with wisdom, joy, and sadness, bringing us closer than ever before to the heart of urban Aboriginal life. The book captures timely personal and cultural challenges, and ultimately shares subtle insight and compassion.

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$14.95

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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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Clay Pots and Bones
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

The poetry of Clay Pots and Bones is Lindsay Marshall’s way of telling stories, of speaking with others about what things that matter to him. His heritage. His people. His life as a Mi’kmaw. For the reader, Clay Pots and Bones is a colourful journey from early days, when the People of the Dawn understood, interacted with and roamed the land freely, to the turbulent present and the uncertain future where Marshall envisions a rebirth of the Mi’kmaq. The poetry challenges and enlightens. It will, most certainly, entertain.

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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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