Poetry

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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

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

Additional Information
96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$16.95

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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.

Additional Information
160 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | duotone photographs

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$19.95

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Stars
Artists:
Michael Joyal
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.

Additional Information
80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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