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Poetry

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On/Me
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Francine Cunningham lives with constant reminders that she doesn't fit the desired expectations of the world: she is a white-passing, city-raised Indigenous woman with mental illness who has lost her mother. In her debut poetry collection ON/ME, Cunningham explores, with keen attention and poise, what it means to be forced to exist within the margins. Cunningham does not hold back: she holds a lens to residential schools, intergenerational trauma, Indigenous Peoples forcibly sent to sanatoriums, systemic racism and mental illness, and translates these topics into lived experiences that are nuanced, emotional, funny and heartbreaking all at once. ON/ME is an encyclopedia of Cunningham, who shares some of her most sacred moments with the hope to spark a conversation that needs to be had.

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96 pages | 8.00" x 5.50"

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$18.00

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Crow Gulch
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

From the author: I cannot let the story of Crow Gulch — the story of my family and, subsequently, my own story — go untold. This book is my attempt to resurrect dialogue and story, to honour who and where I come from, to remind Corner Brook of the glaring omission in its social history.

"These deeply engaging poems — courageous, shrewdly observed, disillusioned — give sharp, prsonal expression to the harsh-beautiful landscape of western Newfoundland, and the human community precariously, stubbornly rooted there." — John Steffler

In his debut poetry collection, Douglas Walbourne-Gough reflects on the legacy of a community that sat on the shore of the Bay of Islands, less than two kilometres west of downtown Corner Brook.

Crow Gulch began as a temporary shack town to house migrant workers in the 1920s during the construction of the pulp and paper mill. After the mill was complete, some of the residents, many of Indigenous ancestry, settled there permanently — including the poet's great-grandmother Amelia Campbell and her daughter, Ella — and those the locals called the "jackytars," a derogatory epithet used to describe someone of mixed French and Mi'kmaq descent. Many remained there until the late 1970s, when the settlement was forcibly abandoned and largely forgotten.

Walbourne-Gough lyrically sifts through archival memory and family accounts, resurrecting story and conversation, to patch together a history of a people and place. Here he finds his own identity within the legacy of Crow Gulch and reminds those who have forgotten of a glaring omission in history.

Reviews
"These deeply engaging poems — courageous, shrewdly observed, disillusioned — give sharp, personal expression to the harsh-beautiful landscape of western Newfoundland and the human community precariously, stubbornly rooted there. A sense of conflict drives through this work, a reflection of the traditional struggle to gain a living from the sea and rocky land but also a raw exploration of the conflict between poverty and privilege, honesty and propriety." — John Steffler, April 2019

"Crow Gulch announces an important poet. The differences Douglas Walbourne-Gough explores between class and ethnicities are as hard as Newfoundland's rock, as shifting as the foundations of a forcibly resettled Crow Gulch. This book is a conversation between a rude landscape, the displaced or dispossessed, and a narrator searching for belonging." — Stephanie McKenzie, April 2019

"Bent low and clund to a coast, Walbourne-Gough lets the land shape him. Brilliant and weathered observation interlaces family and archive to render present and necessary the memory of Crow Gulch. Here is a day's labour, a fretting walk along the tracks, a house 'that lets in snow at the seams,' grandmother's kitchen. Hear still 'her peals of laughter against the far shore and all that lives on in this book.'" — Cecily Nicholson, April 2019

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80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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An American Sunrise: Poems
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: University/College;

A stunning new volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, informed by her tribal history and connection to the land.

In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and “one of our finest—and most complicated—poets” (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.

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144 pages | 5.50" x 8.25"

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$34.95

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NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

In the follow-up to his Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection, This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt aims more of an anthropological eye at the contours of NDN and queer social worlds to spot much that is left unsaid when we look only to the mainstream media. In this genre-bending work, Belcourt employs poetry, poetics, prose, and textual art to illuminate the rogue possibilities bubbling up everywhere NDNs are.

Part One examines the rhythms of everyday life, which include the terrible beauty of the reserve, the afterlives of history, and the grammar of anal sex. Part Two experiments with form and practice, putting to use, for example, a mode of documentary poetics that unearths the logics that make and unmake texts like Treaty 8.

NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field emerges out of a form of auto/ethnographic sensibility that is at turns campy and playful, jarring and candid, displaying, once again, the writer’s extraordinary craft, guile, audacity, and the sheer dexterity of his imagination.

Reviews"
This brilliant book is endlessly giving, lingering in tight spaces within the forms of loneliness, showing us their contours. These poems do the necessary work of negotiating with the heart-killing present from which we imagine and make Indigenous futures. Every line feels like a possible way out of despair.” — Elissa Washuta, author of My Body Is a Book of Rules

“‘I believe I exist. / To live, one can be neither / more nor less hungry than that.’ How grateful I am that Billy-Ray Belcourt and these poems believe in themselves enough to exist. With prodigious clarity, this work moves swiftly amongst theory and prose, longing and lyric, questioning and coping, ‘not dying’ and ‘obsessively apologizing to the moon for all that she has to witness.’ It is not hyperbole to say these poems are brilliant. And so brilliantly, searingly, they live.” — TC Tolbert, author of Gephyromania

NDN Coping Mechanisms is a haunting book that dreams a new world — a ‘holy place filled with NDN girls, hair wet with utopia’ — as it simultaneously excoriates the world that ‘is a wound’ and the historic and present modalities of violence against Indigenous peoples under Canadian settler colonialism. Belcourt considers the genocidal nation-state, queerness, and the limits and potential of representation, often through a poetic/scholarly lineage that includes Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Saidiya Hartman, Anne Boyer, José Esteban Muñoz, Christina Sharpe, and Gwen Benaway, among others. This is the beautiful achievement of NDN Coping Mechanisms: Belcourt conjures a sovereign literary space that refuses white sovereignty and is always already in relation to the ideas of the foremost decolonial poets and thinkers of Turtle Island.” — Mercedes Eng, author of Prison Industrial Complex Explodes

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112 pages | 6.00" x 8.00"

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$19.95

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In Our Own Aboriginal Voice 2: A Collection of Indigenous Writers & Artists in Canada
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Through our own Indigenous stories we discover our roots.

A collection of short fiction, memoirs, non-fiction, and poetry written by Indigenous writers from across Canada, plus original Indigenous artwork. This anthology contains the work of established authors such as the late Connie Fife, and up-and-coming Indigenous authors to watch out for (according to CBC Books) Joanne Arnott, Michelle Sylliboy, and Dennis Saddleman, as well as emerging writers from across Canada, who shine a light on the lives of Indigenous Peoples living in Canada.

"The time for our own stories has arrived, our own written words, our own voices. It is through our stories that we discover our roots." - Terri Mack, Strong Nations

Educator Information
The Indigenous selection committee comprised of librarians, educators, and administrators also included author Richard van Camp.

Foreword by former Chief Edmund Metatawabin, author of Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History.

Edited by Indigenous editor, Michael Calvert.

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6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$18.99

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Fireweed
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Fireweed is a collection of poetry that explores the rawness, trauma, and realities of adolescence compounded with the experience of being a young, Indigenous, and two-spirit intergenerational residential school survivor. Rooted in the symbolism and growth of fireweed, a flower native to the northwest of Canada, this collection takes readers through the hurt, healing, love, and spreading that encompassed the first 23 years of the author's attempt to find truth, safety and connection. Grounded in the simplicity of words and the illustration of the north, this book is a powerful window into the process of finding oneself while reclaiming culture and identity.

Educator Information
Fireweed is dedicated to Indigenous youth, Indigenous women, and two-spirit people who are quite literally dying to not only have relevant content and support available to them but also content and support that is healing and hopeful. In a time of openness and discussion around colonialism, identity, and reconciliation, non-Indigenous Canadians are now, more than ever, engaging with Indigenous and two-spirit content in order to better understand the context of Indigenous youth, people, and culture. This book is an important part of that conversation.

Recommended for ages 16+

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190 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$16.00

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The Scorpion Season
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

A strange time to be alive.

In this narrative in verse, a failed academic with a dead-end domestic labour job disappears into her own consciousness in an attempt to distance herself from her circumstances. Up against poverty and political tyranny that seems to worsen by the day, she finds solace in substance abuse and destructive relationships. But as the boundaries between fantasy, reality, her past, and her present start to break down, she's left to figure out what in her life is within her control and what is simply written in the stars. A meditation on grief, pleasure, free will, and totalitarianism, Scorpion Season is an experimental and genre-bending book of poetry about a strange time to be alive.

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114 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

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$19.95

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Devil in the Woods: Poems
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: University/College;

A collection of letter and prayer poems in which an Indigenous speaker engages with non-Indigenous famous Canadians.

D.A. Lockhart's stunning and subversive fourth collection gives us the words, thoughts, and experiences of an Anishinaabe guy from Central Ontario and the manner in which he interacts with central aspects and icons of settler Canadian culture. Riffing off Richard Hugo's 31 Letters and 13 Dreams, the work utilizes contemporary Indigenous poetics to carve out space for often ignored voices in dominant Canadian discourse (and in particular for a response to this dominance through the cultural background of an Indigenous person living on land that has been fundamentally changed by settler culture).

The letter poems comprise a large portion of this collection and are each addressed to specific key public figures--from Sarah Polley to Pierre Berton, k.d. lang to Robertson Davies, Don Cherry to Emily Carr. The second portion of the pieces are prayer poems, which tenderly illustrate hybrid notions of faith that have developed in contemporary Indigenous societies in response to modern and historical realities of life in Canada. Together, these poems act as a lyric whole to push back against the dominant view of Canadian political and pop-culture history and offer a view of a decolonized nation.

Because free double-doubles...
tease us like bureaucratic promises
of medical coverage and housing
not given to black mold and torn-
off siding. Oh Lord, let us sing anew,
in this pre-dawn light, a chorus
that shall not repeat Please Play Again. (from "Roll Up the Rim Prayer")

Reviews
"Rock-solid... full of heartfelt grit and conviction. D.A. Lockhart conjures the world through a catalogue of vivid particulars and a cast of inimitable characters, from Edna Puskamoose, a locally famous Pow-Wow dancer, to James Bond, that internationally notorious 'colonial trickster'. THis is poetry that follows the 'right crooked path' through 'the medicine smoke of history". - Campbell McGrath

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72 pages | 6.00" x 8.75"

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$20.00

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What Fox Knew
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: University/College;

"His voice was as thick as pine resin when he began to read and as the words travelled down my spine."

Mary Barnes has identified beauty in subtlety. What Fox Knew captures our gentle world in rich poems that calm and awaken. Amid landscape and truth, the quiet world we take for granted is revealed anew with tempered grace. Bringing her Ojibwe roots to the fore, the poet has constructed a first collection that settles on masterful.

Reviews
"What Fox Knew is a beautiful collection of poems that lead us to reflect on the essential spaces of beauty, justice, love, home and nation. Mary Barnes is the poet whose work I've been waiting to read; I had no idea how much until I read these poems. These are not quick poems; they are not desperate, or rushed. Barnes' poems are, to quote her, "thick as resin" and also gorgeously clear as amber in the light. --Juliane Okot Bitek

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136 pages | 5.00" x 7.50"

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$19.95

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Resisting Canada: An Anthology of New Poetry
Editors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A poetic letter to Canada's politicians and leaders. 

Resisting Canada gathers together poets for a conversation bigger than poetic trends. The book's organizing principle is Canada--the Canada that established residential schools; the Canada grappling with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; the Canada that has been visible in its welcome of Syrian refugees, yet the not-always-tolerant place where the children of those refugees will grow up; the Canada eager to re-establish its global leadership on the environment while struggling to acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty on resource-rich land and enabling further colonization of that land. In the face of global conflicts due to climate change, scarcity, mass migrations, and the rise of xenophobic populisms, Canada still works with a surface understanding of its democratic values--both at their noblest and most deceptive.

The work included in Resisting Canada--by celebrated poets such as Lee Maracle, Jordan Abel, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Louise Bernice Halfe, Michael Prior, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson--addresses, among other things, Indigenous agency, cultural belonging, environmental anxieties, and racial privilege. These poems ask us to judge and resist a statecraft that refuses to acknowledge past and present wrongs. Think of Resisting Canada as a poetic letter to Canada's politicians and leaders.

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280 pages | 5.00" x 7.50"

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$22.95

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Junk
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American;
Grade Levels: University/College;

From 2018 Whiting Award winner Tommy Pico, Junk is a book-length break-up poem that explores the experience of loss and erasure, both personal and cultural.

The third book in Tommy Pico’s Teebs series, Junk is a breakup poem in couplets: ice floe and hot lava, a tribute to Janet Jackson and nacho cheese. In the static that follows the loss of a job or an apartment or a boyfriend, what can you grab onto for orientation? The narrator wonders what happens to the sense of self when the illusion of security has been stripped away. And for an indigenous person, how do these lost markers of identity echo larger cultural losses and erasures in a changing political landscape? In part taking its cue from A.R. Ammons’s Garbage, Teebs names this liminal space “Junk,” in the sense that a junk shop is full of old things waiting for their next use; different items that collectively become indistinct. But can there be a comfort outside the anxiety of utility? An appreciation of “being” for the sake of being? And will there be Chili Cheese Fritos?

Awards

  • NPR Book of the Year Award 
  • Winner of the 2018 Whiting Award

Reviews
"Tommy Pico's books are contemporary epics. He writes poetry of rare brilliance, assured in form and forceful in its interrogation of myth and cultural expectations and self."—Whiting Award Committee

"Tommy Pico's new collection, Junk, is nimble as jazz, intentionally unstable, a queer Beat novel in verse for the social media age." —Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review

"Junk is a true American odyssey, complete with a reluctant hero who defies all odds to survive. Repulsed by the trashiness of empire, the violence of occupation, this book nonetheless searches in earnest for real tenderness, a romance that isn’t corny. . . . This is poetry of the highest order, on the level of a pop song, with the crystalline visions of a seer. I consumed it greedily, repeatedly, and am forever changed because of it." —Jenny Zhang, author of SOUR HEART

"Tommy Pico’s complex and lush third collection, Junk, explodes, rewinds, meditates, and explodes again. It binges and purges—on class, identity, sex, politics, snacks, comfort, and fear. . . . Pico is a master of inclusion, of elevating the mundane to the sublime, of examining absurdity and grave seriousness with equal measure. This is an ambitious long poem, and Pico is uniquely qualified to both drag and celebrate modern day consumption and indulgence with graceful humor and grit."—Morgan Parker, author of THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAN BEYONCE

"Whiting Award-winner Tommy Pico follows his cult favorites Nature Poem and IRL with a gloriously wide-ranging monologue on love and friendship, queer and indigenous identity, Janet Jackson and nacho cheese. Pico builds his own 21st-century poetics, junk and all—and as he writes, 'It's important / to value the Junk, Junk has the best stories.'" —NPR

"Build[s] into an apocalyptic crescendo via Pico’s propulsive fervor . . . Pico demonstrates that a person’s many selves, traumas, anxieties, hookups, and breakups can become a marker of courage and survival."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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80 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$21.95

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From Turtle Island to Gaza
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

With a sure voice, Groulx, an Anishinaabe writer, artistically weaves together the experiences of Indigenous peoples in settler Canada with those of the people of Palestine, revealing a shared understanding of colonial pasts and presents.

Reviews
“David Groulx is an important poetic voice. Intellectually and emotionally generous, his poetry both gives and demands presence, and a willingness to acknowledge reality and engage at a deeper level.” —Joanne Arnott, author of A Night for the Lady

“Powerful . . . triumphant and heartfelt.” —Lee Maracle

“Trauma has no boundaries, it does not discriminate. Groulx’s poetry is subliminal, a one-two punch to the gut and straight to the heart. A must-read.” —Welalin aqq Numultes (Michelle Sylliboy), author of Kiskajeyi - I am Ready

“David Groulx has a gift for creating community, for seeing and celebrating the threads that draw us together. From Turtle Island to Gaza finds commonality in the experiences of those who have been colonized, connecting Indigenous people in Canada with Palestinian people in acknowledgment of shared trauma, respect for the land, and celebration of resilience.” —Jenna Butler, author of Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard

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80 pages | 5.50" x 7.50"

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$19.95

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Inconvenient Skin / nayêhtâwan wasakay
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Inconvenient Skin challenges how reconciliation has become a contested buzzword filled with promises and good intentions but rarely any meaningful follow-through. While Canada's history is filled with darkness, these poems aim to unpack that history to clean the wounds so the nation can finally heal. Powerful and thought-provoking, this collection will draw you in and make you reconsider Canada's colonial legacy. The cover features the art of Kent Monkman, and the interior features work by Joseph Sanchez, a member of the Indian Group of Seven.

Written in English and Cree.

Educator Information
This collection of poems features Shane Koyczan's well-known poem, "Inconvenient Skin," delivered in a dual-language format of English and Cree and paired with illustrations, artwork, and photography.

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80 pages | 8.50" x 8.50" | Colour Illustrations

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$29.95

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Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

This critical edition delivers a unique and comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Vera was at the forefront of residential school writing and did groundbreaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of Canada’s Indian residential schools, Vera Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing. She became a grassroots leader addressing the need to bring to light the stories of survivors, their journeys of healing, and the therapeutic value of writing and performing arts.

A collaboration by four Indigenous writers and scholars steeped in values of Indigenous ethics and editing practices, the volume features Manuel’s most famous play, "Strength of Indian Women"—first performed in 1992 and still one of the most important literary works to deal with the trauma of residential schools—along with an assemblage of plays, written between the late 1980s until Manuel’s untimely passing in 2010, that were performed but never before published. The volume also includes three previously unpublished short stories written in 1988, poetry written over three decades in a variety of venues, and a 1987 college essay that draws on family and community interviews on the effects of residential schools.

Reviews
“An invaluable contribution to our literature about residential school experiences and the effects of transgenerational trauma. With so many current projects focused on “reconciliation,” this republication of Vera Manuel’s works recalls the often forgotten side of the equation: the truth, unvarnished by politics or bureaucracy.”– Jesse Archibald-Barber, Associate Professor of Indigenous Literatures and Performance, First Nations University of Canada

“Layered with intergenerational wisdom, replete with lived experience, this collection deftly presents both the devastating legacy of residential schools and the complex systems of care that sustain Indigenous women and fuel Indigenous resurgence.”– Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the First Voices, First Texts series.

Topics: Indigenous Studies, Literature, Performing Arts, Poetry.

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416 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 13 b&w photographs | bibliography

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$24.95

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Clinging to Bone
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

Garry Gottfriedson's Clinging to Bone digs into the marrow, heart and soul of the human condition. Looking deeply into the Secwepemc (Shuswap) world of today, he examines betrayal, grief, love and survival. He states, "the broken winged sparrows are lost in flight, surviving starvation in the empty belly of wind." In "Foreigner" he describes how "my skin is the scent of Secwepemcúlucw / a rez Indian, a foreigner / in my own homeland / can you imagine that?" (where "Secwepemcúlucw" means land of the Shuswap). But he also sees humour in the very mechanics of surviving as an Indigenous individual in the Canada of today. His poetry will draw you into love, laughter and sorrow, but leave you contemplating your own survival. A glossary of Secwepemc words is included.

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100 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$17.95

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Treaty#
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

A treaty is a contract. A treaty is enduring. A treaty is an act of faith. A treaty at its best is justice. It is a document and an undertaking. It is connected to place, people and self. It is built on the past, but it also indicates how the future may unfold. Armand Garnet Ruffo's TREATY# is all of these. In this far-ranging work, Ruffo documents his observations on life - and in the process, his own life - as he sets out to restructure relationships and address obligations nation-to-nation, human-to-human, human-to-nature. Now, he undertakes a new phase in its restoration. He has written his TREATY# like a palimpsest over past representations of Indigenous bodies and beliefs, built powerful connections to his predecessors, and discovered new ways to bear witness and build a place for them, and all of us, in his poems. This is a major new work from an important, original voice.

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80 pages | 5.75" x 8.50"

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$18.00

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Disintegrate/Dissociate
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

In her powerful debut collection of poetry, Arielle Twist unravels the complexities of human relationships after death and metamorphosis. In these spare yet powerful poems, she explores, with both rage and tenderness, the parameters of grief, trauma, displacement, and identity. Weaving together a past made murky by uncertainty and a present which exists in multitudes, Arielle Twist poetically navigates through what it means to be an Indigenous trans woman, discovering the possibilities of a hopeful future and a transcendent, beautiful path to regaining softness.

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80 pages | 6.00" x 8.00"
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$16.95

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The Crooked Good
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Through the voice of "Turn-around Woman", Louise Halfe guides the reader on a three-fold journey down a path where the personal, the historical and the mythic walk hand-in-hand. Louise Halfe revisits familiar aboriginal themes, but pushes them farther than she has before, in this third collection of her moving, powerful poetry. The ancestors speak through a Mother's fireside stories, and the figure of Rolling Head recurs everywhere on the path - as nightmare, as conscience, as maternal lover. The heartbreaking dysfunction of a Native family, and the haunted memories and temptations of one woman's quest, are tempered by the tenderness, the loyalty, and the outbursts of earthy laughter that distinguish Louise Halfe's unique gifts as a poet and as mediator between two cultures.

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152 pages | 5.58" x 8.27"

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$14.95

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#IndianLovePoems
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Covering Indigenous adventures from Wahpole Island to Northern Saskatchewan to the coast of Vancouver, #IndianLovePoems is a poetry collection that delves into the humour and truths of love and lust within Indigenous communities. Sharing stories in search of The One, or even better, that One-Night-Stand, or the opening of boundaries -- can we say medicine wheel -- this collection fearlessly sheds light on the sharing and honesty that comes with discussions of men, women, sex, and relationships, using humour to chat about the complexities of race, culture and intent within relationships. From discovering your own John Smith to sharing sushi in bed, #IndianLovePoems will make you smile, shake your head, and remember your own stories about that special someone.

Reviews
"These are resolutely modern poems written for the great variety of women and LGBTQ2S people of today. They turn the stereotypes of the “Vanishing Indian” and “unchanging cultures” upside down with mentions of campus life, sexting, Tinder, and of course Twitter (the poems have non-serialized numbers with hashtags). There is power in Campbell’s creative use of imagery and everyday language. #IndianLovePoems is a must-read from a very exciting new voice who will undoubtedly become an established name." - Sylvie Vranckx, Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review

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96 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$17.95

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I Am a Body of Land
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

I Am a Body of Land by Shannon Webb-Campbell explores poetic responsibility and accountability, and frames poetry as a form of revisioning. In these poems, Webb-Campbell returns to her own text Who Took My Sister?, to examine her self and to decolonize, unlearn, and undo harm. By reconsidering individual poems and letters, Webb-Campbell's confessional writing circles back upon itself to ask questions of her own settler-Indigenous identity and belonging to cry out for community, and call in with love.

With an introduction by multiple award-winning writer and activist Lee Maracle.

Reviews
“Shannon Webb-Campbell’s work forces readers out of polite conversation and into a realm where despair and hard truths are being told, being heard and finding the emotional strength to learn from it, find our way out and embrace our beauty as Indigenous women.”—Carol Rose Daniels, author of Hiraeth and Bearskin Diary, winner of the First Nations Communities READ Award and the Aboriginal Literature Award.

“Poetry awake with the winds from the Four Directions, poetry that crosses borders, margins, treaties, yellow tape warning: Police Line. Do Not Cross. Poetry whose traditional territory, through colonization, has become trauma and shame. Unceded poetry. Read. Respect. Weep.”—Susan Musgrave, author of Origami Dove

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74 pages | 5.25" x 8.00"

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$18.00

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Hope Matters
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Hope Matters, written by multiple award-winner Lee Maracle, in collaboration with her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, focuses on the journey of Indigenous people from colonial beginnings to reconciliation.

Maracle states that the book, "is also about the journey of myself and my two daughters." During their youth, Bobb and Carter wrote poetry with their mother, and eventually they all decided that one day they would write a book together. This book is the result of that dream. Written collaboratively by all three women, the poems in Hope Matters blend their voices together into a shared song of hope and reconciliation.

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104 pages | 5.25" x 8.00"

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$18.00

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Blueberries and Apricots
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In this, her third volume of poetry, this Aboriginal writer from Quebec again confronts the loss of her landscape and language.

On my left hip
a face

I walk
I walk upright
like a shadow

a people on my hip
a boatload of fruit
and the dream inside
women and children first

"A cry rises in me and transfigures me. The world waits for woman to come back as she was born: woman standing, woman powerful, woman resurgent. A call rises in me and I've decided to say yes to my birth."

Reviews
"Poetess, painter, actress, slammer ... Natasha Kanapé Fontaine speaks with a soft voice, but her words are powerful. In a few years, the young Innue has become a model for young people and for her community." —La Presse

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72 pages | 5.00" x 7.50" | Translated from French by Howard Scott.

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SH:LAM (The Doctor)
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Meditations upon the decimation of the Kwantlen people of western Canada.

This powerful collection, all too relevant today, tells a story that needs to be told. The author writes, "This is the truth of what has happened to my people. The Kwantlen people used to number in the thousands but like all river tribes, eighty percent of our people were wiped out by smallpox and now there are only 200 of us. As a Kwantlen man, father, fisherman, poet and playwright I believe the gift of words was given to me so I can retell our stories?"

These poems tell the story of a Kwantlen man who has been given the gift of healing but is also is a heroin addict.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.25"

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creole métisse of french canada, me
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

One Métis woman’s experience in Canada; true stories from the inside out.

Sharron's poems and writings in creole métisse of french canada, me include insights into her experiences as a child, a student and beyond; inviting the reader to understand her life, Métis experience in Canada, the true stories from the inside out.

creole métisse of french canada, me is poetry written in a unique, prose-like fashion, without capitalized words. Sharron's personal stories enable the reader to see the bigger picture: the ongoing effects of colonialism, the historic treatment of Indigenous people, and the experience of being a woman, Métis, and two-spirited in Canada.

"if I could believe that, then maybe I could believe my own childhood pictures and words all neatly drawn and gridded and hidden inside dust devils on clean white paper, like cartoons in a comic book. I learned a cartoon can be a stand-alone drawing on strong, large paper. so I changed up the form. a cartoon. life size. bright crayon scribbles painted over with black india ink. but willow stick scratches on the surface revealed a new story underneath. clear, living sundog colour blink-blinking out and into the room. I wrote a new story that way. already I believed in the power of writing. already I knew how words could pull you in, their power unyielding. binding." - Excerpt from creole metisse of french canada, me

Reviews
"This text revolves around itself, weaves a lineage into its own lining, retells and untells stories from before and after. This text is a reach into the breach, a simultaneous digesting and retching that fetches the wretched of the earth and beads it into balance. This text allows the vitriol of history to surface but not surpass the story of songlines, breaths of care that filter into alveoli, sustaining and disclaiming all at once. This text is a single word writ worldly on our skin." - Ashok Mathur, Ph.D. Head, Department of Creative Studies, University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

"Readers of Sharron’s earlier books will be moved to hear more of her poetic storytelling, while readers new to her work have in this book an open doorway through which to visit with a woman of knowledge, energy, challenge, and wit, an important métisse/Métis writer." - Joanne Arnott, author of Halfling Spring

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80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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sitting by the rapids
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Poetry is the raging rapids and it is the little fish which doesn’t give up until the turbulent waters are behind it. Poetry is purpose, renewal and rebirth. sitting by the rapids is all of this and offers insight into the mind of an Indigenous man who lives with severe chronic pain and who found the strength through spirituality and poetry to put a life of alcohol abuse behind him forever.

Albert Dumont writes of sitting by the rapids: “The ancestors, living at the time of European contact had a way with words. Poetry spilled effortlessly from their lips because the spirit of the land guided their words. I take seriously my belief that medicine of extraordinary healing power is found in the verses of a poet who puts words together for the purpose of bringing peace and serenity to people in want of it. The counsels and poetry of a person living with pain are special and more meaningful to an individual in the throes of heartache.”

Reviews
"These gentle words full of love and powerful energy are like Albert himself. They encourage and guide the way for all who read them and are prepared to move on." —Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed.

"Reading sitting by the rapids is a literary experience much like Indigenous poet Albert Dumont’s title for his collection. His reflective lines of personal spirituality and salvation flow over the hidden rocks of his life with a raw grace, and his evolving relationship with Nature and the Great Spirit washes powerfully over the reader, who may well see their reflection in it." —Phil Jenkins, author of An Acre of Time.

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65 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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you are enough: love poems for the end of the world
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In his debut poetry collection you are enough: love poems for the end of the world, Smokii Sumac has curated a selection of works from two years of a near daily poetry practice. What began as a sort of daily online poetry journal using the hashtag #haikuaday, has since transformed into a brilliant collection of storytelling drawing upon Indigenous literary practice, and inspired by works like Billy Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World, and Tenille Campbell's #IndianLovePoems.

The poems follow the haiku format, often stringing together three lines to tell a story. With sections dealing with recovery from addiction and depression, coming home through ceremony, and of course, as the title suggests, on falling in and out of love, Sumac brings the reader through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person. This collection will move you as Sumac addresses the grief of being an Indigenous person in Canada, shares timely (and sometimes hilarious) musings on consent, sex, and gender, introduces readers to people and places he has loved and learned from, and through it all, helps us all come to know that we are enough, just as we are.

Awards

  • 2019 Indigenous Voices Awards Winner for Published Poetry in English

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108 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths delves into the life and the healing of an lnnininew woman from the ancestral lands of the Moshkekowok, now called Northern Ontario. It is through the process of writing broken poetry--visual poetry rooted in the haunting memories of her childhood--that she provides the reader a glimpse into the mind of child survivor who was saved by her ancestors. This thought provoking poetry sheds light on a personal account of how she comes to terms with intergenerational trauma inflicted by the residential school system.

To unearth our secrets means we must face our past, and in doing so, we will find our voice. Unearthing Secrets: Gathering Truths explores the heartfelt and evocative fragmented experiences through the eyes of an Indigenous woman. Through the honesty of her words, she embraces the spirit world, the resilience of her foremothers, the integral healing powers of disassociation as a survival mechanism, and the richness of her mitewin - dreams, which reconnects her to herself. Through her poetry, she has found the courage to face her difficult past, and now as a mother, she is gathering the truths of her family to help in the healing process.

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97 pages | 6.50" x 10.00" | 8 illustrations

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A Tea in the Tundra / Nipishapui Nete Mushuat
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In this bilingual English-Innu poetry collection, Joséphine Bacon challenges our traditional notions of culture and perception, landscape and wilderness, the limits of experience, and the nature of human being. With a surreal blend of emotions and memories, A Tea in the Tundra / Nipishapui Nete Mushuat portrays a complex and ever-shifting landscape of possibilities. The author passionately reveals a finely wrought sensibility, which elevates the subtle scenery of life's everyday events.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Translated by Donald Winkler 

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The Rumour
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

The Rumour is a collection of poetry that exposes many important issues of Indigenous discrimination, poverty, drug abuse, brutal violence, love, family, and complex human relationships. As a skilled painter, Joseph A. Dandurand portrays the essence of strong connections with rich Indigenous history, culture, traditions, and family values with broad but precise strokes. The poems come from author's lifetime experience living on the Kwantlen First Nation reserve and give a true picture of the resilience and the struggles Indigenous people experience in everyday life.

Series Information
This book is part of the Modern Indigenous Voices series.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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As Long as the Sun Shines
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

This poetry collection creatively reveals the beautiful and bitter essences of the world from a distinctive Indigenous female voice. Speaking from her unique Mohawk perspective, the poet unapologetically sings words of wisdom and cultural confidence. By using this creative foundation to unite distinctive communities, she expresses raw emotion throughout her journey toward inner peace from a uniquely Indigenous point of view. It is this strong expression that the poet hopes will become a global guide for her communities to follow and interpret while encountering their truths and identity.

Series Information
This book is part of the Modern Indigenous Voices series.

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104 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Tsi Niio:re Enkarakhotenhseke (Mohawk Edition)
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Tsi Niió:re Enkarakhoténhseke is the first ever poetry book in the Mohawk language published in Canada. The poems creatively reveal the beautiful and bitter essences of the world from a distinctive Indigenous female voice. Inspired by her recent global travels, experiences, relationships and Haudenosaunee perspective, the poet unapologetically sings words of midlife wisdom and cultural confidence. By using this creative foundation to unite distinctive communities, the author expresses raw emotion throughout her journey toward inner peace from a uniquely Indigenous point of view. It is this strong expression that the poet hopes will become a global guide for her communities to follow and interpret while encountering their truths and identity.

Educator & Series Information
Poetry in the Mohawk language.

This book is part of the Modern Indigenous Voices series.

Translated by Jeremy Green. Jeremy Green is a Six Nations Community Scholar residing in Ohsweken, Ontario. He is an experienced Mohawk translator and has PhD in Indigenous Language Revitalization. His extensive Mohawk teaching experience includes Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario and Six Nations Polytechnic in Ohsweken, Ontario. During his distinguished career as a teacher and translator, he worked for Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Ontario College of Teachers, and Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council of Chiefs.

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120 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Coming Soon
Kiskajeyi- I AM READY: A Hermeneutic exploration of Mi'kmaq komqwejwi'kasikl poetry
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

This hieroglyphic poetry book is the first of its kind. Artist and writer, Michelle Sylliboy blends her modern poetry, photography, and Mi’kmaq (L'nuk) hieroglyphic poetry together in this unprecedented book. 

Reviews
"Crystalline and fluid, the word art and visuals of Michelle emerges sharp, poignant and catalytic moving us between our world and the one surrounding us. - Lee Maracle, author of Celia's Song

"[Kiskajeyi] is a cultural basket filled with the poet's harvest in words, in ancient komqwej'wikasikl hieroglyphics and perfectly accented photographs. - Janet Rogers, author of As Long as the Sun Shines

Educator Information
Today, Mi'kmaq language is written with the Latin alphabet. However, a Mi'kmaq hieroglyph writing system, called komqwejwi'kasikl in Mi'kmaq, has been used in the past. Those hieroglyphs are partially from Indigenous creation, making Mi'kmaq one of the few American languages to have a writing system pre-contact with the Europeans.

Recommended Ages: 12+

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6" x 9" | 76 pages 

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Stars
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In this second installation of the Overhead Series, Lucy Haché once again transports the reader with intimate revelations on identity by exploring both her personal and ancestral relationship to the sky and stars. Hache's prose is extraordinary in its combination of self-awareness yet unselfconscious honesty and skillful restraint, creating a sense of connection under the vastness of the stars above. Masterfully illustrated by artist Michael Joyal, his evocative astronomic drawings contribute to the overall sensory and transcendent experience.

Reviews
"[Hache] uses the stars to remember not only the tribulations of the past - Residential Schools and the loss of her traditional village - but also to remember the happiness of her grandmothers and to remember her language. Her poetic prose if full of imagery so rich that the reader can feel swept away with the power of the language." - Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2018-2019

"Indigenous People have always had a strong relationship with the sky. Here, Joyal's stark, beautiful illustrations combine perfectly with Haché's voice as she sings a story of loss, and ultimately, reclamation." --David A. Robertson, author of When We Were Alone (winner 2017 Governor General's Literary Award) and Strangers

Educator & Series Information
Recommended resource for Grades 8-12 for these subject areas: English Language Arts. 

A Kwak'wala language glossary is found at the back of the book.

This book is part of the Overhead Series.

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80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Little Athapapuskow: A Metis Love Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Little Athapapuskow is collection of poems named after a lake Guy Freedman grew up on near Flin Flon, Manitoba. They represent his efforts to challenge Catholicism and its complicity with the Confederation project, which dismantled the New Nation developing in the Canadian Northwest. The poems are organized into three parts—past, present, and future—and they address the inter-generational impacts of the Church on his family in relation to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This book is his love song to his home and to his country.

Educator Information
Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Contains poems about the history of the Metis people, family, love, celebration of culture, colonialism, religion, violence.

Caution: Some poems contain strong language and mature subject matter, such as discussions of violence, alcoholism, and sexuality.

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86 pages | 7.25" x 5.75 " 

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Hiraeth
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Hiraeth is about women supporting and lending strength and clarity to other women so they know that moving forward is always possible-- and always necessary. It documents a journey of struggle that pertains to a dark point in Canadian history that few talk about and of which even fewer seem aware. Poems speak to the 1960's "scoop up" of children and how this affected the lives of (one or thousands) of First Nations and Métis girls-- girls who later grew to be women with questions, women with wounds, women who felt like they had no place to call home. That is, until they allowed themselves to be open to the courage others have lived and shared. "Hiraeth" is a word that is Celtic in origin and it means looking for a place to belong that never existed. But this place does exist -- in the heart.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 9-12 for English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Caution: some poems contain depictions of violence and racism and use strong language.

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112 pages | 7.50" x 6.00"

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Whereas: Poems
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

WHEREAS her birth signaled the responsibility as mother to teach what it is to be Lakota therein the question: What did I know about being Lakota? Signaled panic, blood rush my embarrassment. What did I know of our language but pieces? Would I teach her to be pieces? Until a friend comforted, Don’t worry, you and your daughter will learn together. Today she stood sunlight on her shoulders lean and straight to share a song in Diné, her father’s language. To sing she motions simultaneously with her hands; I watch her be in multiple musics. —from “WHEREAS Statements”

WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. “I am,” she writes, “a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.” This strident, plaintive book introduces a major new voice in contemporary literature.

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114 pages | 7.04" x 8.84"

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Living in the Tall Grass: Poems of Reconciliation
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

“We should not have to change to fit into society the world should adapt to embrace our uniqueness.” -- Chief Stacey Laforme

In Living in the Tall Grass: Poems of Reconciliation, Chief Stacey Laforme gives a history of his Anishinaabe people through stories and poetry to let Canadians see through the eyes of Indigenous people. Living in the Tall Grass is written in a way that makes the reader feel he or she might be sitting down with Chief Laforme, sharing experiences from their lives. Some poems share humour, while others express pain, though each comes from the heart.

Reviews
"Laforme is a high-profile leader, attending scores of events, large and small in Ontario and gently reminding listeners that most of the southern part of the province is the traditional homelands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. True to his belief in the longer-lasting impact of the arts, he’ll often open a speech with a verse. “The future lies in the arts, and it lies in all our youth, not just the Indigenous youth,” he says. “Arts make change … if we can share a moment through the arts whether its song, dance, poetry, painting, it transcends even language barriers." — Steve Milton, The Hamilton Spectator

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades 5-12 for English Language Arts.

Caution: Some poems touch on violence and suicide.

Themes: hope, the environment, Residential Schools.

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160 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | duotone photographs

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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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Witness, I Am
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Witness, I Am is divided into three gripping sections of new poetry from one of Canada's most recognized poets. The first part of the book, "Dangerous Sound," contains contemporary themed poems about identity and belonging, undone and rendered into modern sound poetry. "Muskrat Woman," the middle part of the book, is a breathtaking epic poem that considers the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women through the reimagining and retelling of a sacred Cree creation story. The final section of the book, "Ghost Dance," raids the autobiographical so often found in Scofield's poetry, weaving the personal and universal into a tapestry of sharp poetic luminosity. From "Killer," Scofield eerily slices the dreadful in with the exquisite: "I could, this day of proficient blooms, / take your fingers, / tie them down one by one. This one for the runaway, / this one for the joker, / this one for the sass-talker, / this one for the judge, / this one for the jury. / Oh, I could kill you."

Educator Information
Recommended for students in grades 11 and 12, or at a college/university level, for courses in creative writing, English First Peoples, English, poetry, and English language arts.

Caution: explicit coarse and sexual language.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.00"

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Totem Poles & Railroads
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Totem Poles and Railroads succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers' expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters--real and imagined, historical and present day -- from Sacajawea to Nina Simone. Placing poetry at the centre of our current post-residential school/present-day reconciliation reality, Rogers' poems are expansive and intimate, challenging, thought-provoking and always personal.

Reviews
"To give Rogers’ poems a form, a body, I would have to name them blackbirds, formidable winged creatures who’ve chosen the highest branch and whose eyes allow us the vision we so often cannot see ourselves. I’m honoured to be called into this ceremony, sung awake by her prayers. Praise for Totem Poles and Railroads." —Gregory Scofield, author of Witness, I am

"These new poems by Janet Rogers are a straight shot metaphysical call to action in the wake of historical trauma, police violence, shameful treatment of our body Earth. They stand as urgent witness, clear talk in the face of colonized law built on lies. Rogers reminds us to pay attention, to listen. These words can heal." —Joy Harjo

"Janet Rogers’ latest book Totem Poles and Railroads doesn’t pull any punches. All of the stinging and difficult realities of colonialism are confronted head-on and with ferocity. Rogers is here to disrupt these white landscapes. Rogers is here to call out all of the bullshit both past and present. Totem Poles and Railroads is burning to be read." —Jordan Abel, Nisga’a Nation, author of Injun

Educator Information
This book would be useful for courses in creative writing, English, and language arts for students in grades 11 and 12 and those at a university/college level.

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168 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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Talking to the Diaspora
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Lee Maracle has earned the reputation as one of Canada's most ardent and celebrated writers. Talking to the Diaspora, Maracle's second book of poetry, is at once personal and profound. From the revolutionary "Where Is that Odd Dandelion-Looking-Flower" to the tender poem "Salmon Dance," from the biting "Language" to the elegiac "Boy in the Archives," these poems embody the fearless passion and spirited wit for which Lee Maracle is beloved and revered.

Reviews
"Lee Maracle is one of our greatest gifts. Always smart, smooth and full of sly smiles, Maracle's latest, Talking to the Diaspora is a beautiful collection of thoughtful, rhythmic gems. Poetry is so lucky to have her back again.—Katherena Vermette, Governor General Award winning author of North End Love Songs

"The book’s unconventional and striking design, which alternates between black text on white and white text on a black background, lets us know that Talking to the Diaspora is not like other collections of poetry. The unnumbered pages contain full-page images of textured stone surfaces and grassland that serve as a reminder of the transitory nature of our words and songs... Talking to the Diaspora is a full, varied and energetic collection that ranges over a lifetime's worth of experience and engagement with the world. Here, Lee Maracle generously gives us a vision of the holistic, complex and fluid relationships between her peoples' history, their traumas, memories, bodies, songs, spirits, dreams and lives. Talking to the Diaspora is a rallying cry from a poet who draws from a "from a pool of ancient meaning" to lead us to regeneration and renewal...these poems are not meant merely to be read, but also to be lived.—Phoebe Wang, The Winnipeg Review

Educator Information
This book is recommended for students in grades 10-12 and those at a college/university level for courses in creative writing, English, poetry, and English language arts.

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120 pages | 5.00" x 9.00"

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The Pemmican Eaters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A picture of the Riel Resistance from one of Canada’s preeminent Métis poets.

With a title derived from John A. Macdonald’s moniker for the Métis, The Pemmican Eaters explores Marilyn Dumont’s sense of history as the dynamic present. Combining free verse and metered poems, her latest collection aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel. 

Included in this collection are poems about the bison, seed beadwork, and the Red River Cart, and some poems employ elements of the Michif language, which, along with French and Cree, was spoken by Dumont’s ancestors. In Dumont’s The Pemmican Eaters, a multiplicity of identities is a strengthening rather than a weakening or diluting force in culture.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2016 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry 

Reviews
“A rollicking poem about the fiddle ('the first high call of the fiddle bids us dance/baits with its first pluck and saw of the bow/reels us, feet flick — fins to its lure and line') becomes a statement of cultural pride and defiance — much like The Pemmican Eaters as a whole.” — Toronto Star 

“Dumont’s work is visual and evocative, highlighting recurring symbols and images of a natural world that will be familiar to any dweller of the Prairies . . . The Pemmican Eaters builds off the poet’s earlier work and highlights a writer who has mastered both craft and voice.” — Quill & Quire 

“Dumont honours Métis traditions in music and beadwork in a number of lyrically driven poems. The Pemmican Eaters is a statement of cultural pride and defiance, much like Marilyn herself.” — CBC News Online 

“Marilyn Dumont uses both rhythmic and free verse to provide a brilliant and insightful look at Métis and Cree people.” — Scene Magazine

Educator Information
This book would be useful for grades 9 - 12 in courses such as creative writing, English language arts, and social studies.  Also recommended for students a college/university level.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

The Land We Are is a stunning collection of writing and art that interrogates the current era of reconciliation in Canada. Using visual, poetic, and theoretical language, the contributors approach reconciliation as a problematic narrative about Indigenous-settler relations, but also as a site where conversations about a just future must occur. The result of a four-year collaboration between artists and scholars engaged in resurgence and decolonization, The Land We Are is a moving dialogue that blurs the boundaries between activism, research, and the arts.

The contributors to this book include leading artists and scholars engaged in questions of resurgence, restitution, and decolonization.

Contributors: Jordan Abel, Leah Decter, Jonathan Dewar, David Garneau, Ayumi Goto, Allison Hargreaves, Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill, Jaimie Isaac, David Jefferess, Layli Long Soldier, The New BC Indian Art and Welfare Society Collective, Sophie McCall, Peter Morin, Skeena Reece, Dylan Robinson, Sandra Semchuk, Adrian Stimson, Clement Yeh, and Keren Zaiontz.

Reviews
"This beautifully produced, richly illustrated volume not only offers readers a visual journey into the featured artistic installations and performance pieces, but through its creative use of text and graphic design is itself an artistic statement on reconciliation." --Winnipeg Free Press

Educator Information
Recommended for students in grades 11 and 12, as well as at a college/university level.  

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240 pages | 6.50" x 9.50"

 

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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.

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104 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An)Other
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A unique collection of graphically reimagined fiction and poetry.

By merging works of contemporary North American Indigenous literature with imaginative illustrations by U.S. and Canadian artists, Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An)Other provides a unique opportunity for audiences to engage with works by prominent authors such as Stephen Graham Jones, Gordon Henry Jr., Gerald Vizenor, Warren Cariou, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, Richard Van Camp, and Gwen Westerman.

Through this exciting medium, Sovereign Traces beckons to audiences that are both new to and familiar with Native writing, allowing for possibilities for reimagined readings along the way.

Readers will find works of graphic literature, uniquely including both poetry and fiction, newly adapted from writing by Indigenous North Americans. 

Writers
Warren Cariou, Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, Gordon G. Henry Jr., Stephen Graham Jones, Sheldon Raymore, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Richard Van Camp, Gerald Vizenor, Gwen Nell Westerman

Illustrators and Colourists
Weshoyot Alvitre, Evan Buchanan, Nicholas Burns, GMB Chomichuk, Scott B. Henderson, Elizabeth LaPensée, Tara Ogaick, Neal Shannacappo, Delicia Williams, Donovan Yaciuk

Content
Preface: Beginnings and Future Imaginings
Foreword: Not (Just) (An)Other
Werewolves on the Moon
The Prisoner of Hiaku
Ice Tricksters
An Athabasca Story
Trickster Reflections
The Strange People
Deer Dancer
Mermaids
Just Another Naming Ceremony

Reviews
“Not just another book for fans of Indigenous stories and comics alike, this collection locates myth not in the past, but in the mundane, drawing on traditional cultures and stories to depict current Indigenous lives in their many complex forms.” — Nyala Ali, Winnipeg Free Press

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128 pages | 6.62" x 10.12"

 

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river woman
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Governor General’s Award–winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette’s second work of poetry, river woman, examines and celebrates love as postcolonial action. Here love is defined as a force of reclamation and repair in times of trauma, and trauma is understood to exist within all times. The poems are grounded in what feels like an eternal present, documenting moments of clarity that lift the speaker (and reader) out of our preconceptions of historical time, while never losing a connection to history. This is what we mean when we describe a work of art as being “timeless.”

Like the river they speak to, these poems return again and again to the same source in search of new ways to reconstruct what has been lost. Vermette suggests that it’s through language and the body — particularly through language as it lives inside the body — that a fragmented self might resurface as once again whole. This idea of breaking apart and coming back together is woven throughout the collection as the speaker revels in the physical pleasures of learning Anishnaabemowin (“the language / I should have already known”), as she contemplates the ongoing negotiation between the natural world and urban structures, and as she finds herself falling into trust with the ones she loves.

Divided into four sections, and written in her distinctively lean and elegantly spare style, where short lines belie the depth within them, river woman explores Vermette’s relationship to nature — its destructive power and beauty, its timelessness, and its place in human history. Here is a poet who is a keen observer of an environment that is both familiar and otherworldly, where her home is alive with the sounds and smells of the land it grows out of, where “Words / transcend ceremony / into everyday” and “Nothing / is inanimate.”

Reviews
“‘A snake carved / into prairie grass,’ river woman is a collection that will stay with you, question you, live in you. One cannot simply tread the surface of its open invitation. There are many layers here below the poetic surface, and Vermette is singer-guide to the true depths of this river. It’s a work to be read, shared, and read again.” — Liz Howard, author of the Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent

“In river woman, Katherena Vermette marshals the maternal energy of the river to spin the lyric poem into something that is awash with vitality. This ethic of care, which each section bears and ricochets about, has at its core a project of repair or nourishment, not just of the natural, but of those of us entangled with it. This us, Vermette deftly shows, is not an empty thing, but is instead teeming with Indigenous life — ‘we are the earth you are hurting.’ We are the river and, in this, we are without end, regardless of what history swells in us. Pick up this book and listen for the musicality of our beautiful rebellion!” — Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World, winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize 

river woman again displays Vermette’s extraordinary gift for narrative. ‘Ziibiwan (like a river),’ these are poems that gather pieces of personal experience and Indigenous history and in their sweep are bigger than the spare language we see on the page.” — Armand Garnet Ruffo, author of The Thunderbird Poems 

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 16 and up.

Curriculum Connections: English, Poetry, Indigenous Studies, Nature 

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112 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Seven Sacred Truths
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Seven Sacred Truths explores the perspective of an Indigenous Woman on a continuous journey of healing from trauma.

Seven Sacred Truths presents a powerful exploration of an Indigenous woman's healing journey. Seeing the world through "brown" eyes, poet Wanda John-Kehewin makes new meaning of the past, present, and future through a consideration of Love, Wisdom, Truth, Honesty, Respect, Humility, and Courage. By sharing her views on these Seven Sacred Truths and what they meant to her growing up, John-Kehewin instigates a therapeutic process of restoration and transformation. Her Seven Sacred Truths uncovers new meaning in the written word - meaning that can be shared with others who have lived trauma or who want insight into it. John-Kehewin strives to create a safe space and provide the opportunity to experience another perspective; she invites readers to embark on their own healing journeys. The closer you are to the truth, she writes, the freer you become.

Wanda John-Kehewin uses writing as a therapeutic medium to understand and respond to the near-decimation of First Nations cultures and traditions.

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120 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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This Wound is a World
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky to world inside.” Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

Awards

  • 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize
  • 2018 Indigenous Voices Award - Most Significant Work of Poetry in English

Reviews
"In This Wound is a World, love answers heartbreak, “history lays itself bare” (42) and a world glimmering with decolonial love and queer, Indigenous possibilities is split open. This is poetry at its brightest. It is electric, profound, necessary work. Belcourt bends genre, challenging the cage of colonialism through a poetics of intimacy. It is a collection unafraid to ask questions, exploring grief, desire, queer sexuality and Indigeneity with tender honesty. Belcourt asks us to consider the ways Indigenous bodies can be simultaneously unbound and “rendered again,” (40) how worlds can be made and unmade. These are poems to be returned to again and again with reverence." - PRISM International

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64 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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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.

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100 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Breaking Boundaries: LGBTQ2 Writers on Coming Out and Into Canada
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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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