One Métis woman’s experience in Canada; 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.
"I wish I could be that brave. as brave as the big dipper. the great bear there, purring, watching, holding my hand. me looking to the side and down. the words I seek are buried there, under grief. inside the darkness of a cottonwood, inside the seeds of orange berries. the wings of a female mallard in flight, exposing blues and whites and blacks otherwise unseen, like a woman's beauty, often hidden until she looks up, sees the small spaces between the leaves, yellow hearts on the black bark after a fall rain."
- Excerpt from creole métisse of french canada, me
Sharron Proulx-Turner was a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Originally from the Ottawa river valley, Sharron was from Mohawk, Wyandat, Algonquin, Ojibwe, Mi'kmaw, French and Irish ancestry. Sharron was a two-spirit nokomis, mom, writer and community worker. Where the Rivers Join (1995), a memoir (Beckylane), was a finalist for the Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction, and what the auntys say (2002), was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Prize for poetry.
Sharron’s work appeared in several anthologies, including Oxford Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, Crisp Blue Edges, Tales from Moccasin Avenue, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood, and in literary journals, including Gatherings, Yellow Medicine Review and West Coast Line. Sharron had two more recent books, a mixed-genre-historical-fiction called, she walks for days/ inside a thousand eyes/ a two-spirit story (2008), and a book of dedication poems called she is reading her blanket with her hands (2008). Sharron passed away in 2016. Kegedonce Press is honoured to publish this manuscript in her memory.
Gwen Benaway is of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013 and her second collection of poetry, Passage, was published by Kegedonce Press in Fall 2016. As emerging Two-Spirited Trans poet, she has been described as the spiritual love child of Tomson Highway and Anne Sexton. In 2015, she was the recipient of the inaugural Speaker’s Award for a Young Author and in 2016 she received a Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer's Trust of Canada. Her work has been published and anthologized internationally. She and her many vintage dresses can be found on Instagram @gwenbenaway
In her second collection of poetry, Passage, Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender. Previously published as a man, Passage is the poet’s first collection written as a transwoman. Striking and raw in sparse lines, the collection showcases a vital Two Spirited identity that transects borders of race, gender, and experience. In Passage, the poet seeks to reconcile herself to the land, the history of her ancestors, and her separation from her partner and family by invoking the beauty and power of her ancestral waterways. Building on the legacy of other ground-breaking Indigenous poets like Gregory Scofield and Queer poets like Tim Dlugos, Benaway’s work is deeply personal and devastating in sharp, clear lines. Passage is a book burning with a beautiful intensity and reveals Benaway as one of the most powerful emerging poets writing in Indigenous poetics today.
Written by award-winning writer David Groulx, this is a ferocious, erudite collection centred around an epic poem "Wabigoon River Poem(s)" which is breathtaking in its unflinching and wide-ranging look at oppression, genocide, revolution, and survival.
Wabigoon River Poems draws upon Indigenous knowledge and traditions while pushing at the boundaries of what readers might expect Indigenous poetry to be. It is masterful, engaging, bold, brilliant, fearless and daring.
Halfling Spring: an internet romance
Author: Joanne Arnott (*shortlisted for the 2015 Pat Lowther Memorial Award!)
llustrations: Leo Yerxa
In Halfling Spring , a series of notes unfolds the dance of desire versus trust through a long season of actual and metaphorical springtime.
Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed blood mother of six, and in this collection she continues her explorations of love, intimacy, and family, with a focus on electronic connections (internet love). Transiting Canada from Victoria to Iqaluit, and transitioning from virtual to real (fantasy to reality), she inspects the realms of miscegenation and love in a class conscious and cross-cultural context, revealing en route the many ways that our deepest connections unveil the depths of old pain.
Optimistic and playful, romantic and mythic, affirming embodiment, this process of poetic revelation shows all the dirty tricks of love.
the trees are still bending south
By Author: Sharron Proulx-Turner
“I walked into this woman’s dreams through the pages of this book searching for he ghosts that inhabit these pages. I met Louis for the first time in a woman’s voice, a strong voice, a proud voice that had not sung for more than a hundred years…” Duncan (Keewatin)Mercredi –author of Wolf and Shadows
The Recklessness of Love
by author: Al Hunter.
"It gives us a hundred voices with one spirit in his book"
In his poems he's a lonely heart, a frozen Northerner, a dirty-talking dreamer, he's Bob Dylan, and he's a Rez Dog---Heid E. Erdrich, author of National Monuments and The Mother's Tongue
'The Recklessness of Love', the latest book of poetry from Al Hunter is a collection of beautifully crafted poems that are at times erotic, brooding and world-weary. There is edginess, passion, and, at times, desperation to these poems. Some are irreverent, some dreamlike, some filled with a mixture of sex and spirituality and in others pop icons appear. Hunter brilliantly conveys the frustration, surrender, longing, pain and loving that go with being human.
The Long Dance
by author: David A Groulx
"I am delighted with the polemical irreverence David Groulx brings to some of his poetry. He has a keen sense of the contradictions that being native means in a nation that still distrusts and discounts his cultural/historical existence."
- Marilyn Dumont
The Glass Lodge
by author: John McDonald.
"A compelling first book of poetry by young Mistawasis Cree writer John MacDonald, 'The Glass Lodge' is fearless in its descriptions of the often harsh realities of life for a young Aboriginal man. The poetry is honest, frank, passionate, and energetic. From sex, drugs, and rock and roll, to love won and lost the poems range from heartfelt laments, to love poems, to joyful songs of praise.
Dealing with life on the streets, drug and alcohol addiction, racism, gangbanging, young love, and identity, 'The Glass Lodge' is a celebration of overcoming despair, finding one's voice, surviving, and ultimately, discovering one's place in the world" 'The Glass Lodge' transcends all the cliches of the angst- ridden Urban Indian. Mc Donald's verse is a brilliant fusion of the brutality and hope that is inherent in the Aboriginal experience. I have never read poetry that so closely resembled my own experience as a First Nations man." Darrell Dennis, Writer 'Tales of an Urban Indian', 'Moccasin Flats'