With Lesley Belleau's recent win of the League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her collection, Indianland, we look back at her book, The Colour of Dried Bones, published by Kegedonce in 2008.
This beautifully written book is a collection of interconnected short stories that are told primarily through the eyes of a young Aninshinaabe woman struggling with her relationships with lovers, friends, family, children, community and culture. As some relationships dissolve or are wrenched apart, others endure and gain strength. An intimate glimpse into the reality faced by many young First Nations women, The Colour of Dried Bones is by turns dark and brooding, sensual and filled with intense longing, infused with anger and brutality and, ulitmately, uplifiting in its portrayal of one woman's winding path to reclaim her culture and sense of self.
Important stories told in beautiful prose through the experiences of profoundly real characters.
"And at midnights like these, I don't know what to do. With fathers. With long drawn-out days that fall into fogginess, leaving me emptied, sucked dry. With signing my name at the bottom of papers, forgetting to read what is on the top. With school work. With empty cupboards. Wtih mechanics who say to get rid of it, that it's not worth it to try to fix again. With hot foreheads in the middle of the night. With screaming in-laws. With mothers who think that I am the strong one. With my sister's laundry. With Sundays. And with a soft-eyed man who maybe I could love." --Lesley Belleau, The Colour of Dried Bones
Jules Arita Koostachin is a filmmaker, scholar, storyteller, and most recently, a poet. Her collection of poetry, Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths, will be released this summer by Kegedonce Press.
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 a 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.
Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths is her first book of poetry, and was a twenty year journey.
Welcome, Jules, to the Kegedonce family!
Think Indian is a collection of essays by Basil Johnston, one of Kegedonce’s most beloved and prolific writers. Originally published in 2011, Think Indian has been reprinted this year.
Johnston was an author, elder, cultural philosopher, historian, teacher, university lecturer, and linguist. He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 1989 for his work in preserving Ojibwe/Anishinaabe culture. He was also awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992, the Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award in 2003 and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Heritage and Spirituality in 2004. He passed away at age 86 in 2015.
In Think Indian, Johnston eloquently argues that understanding a people and their culture is very much dependent on understanding their language. For the Anishinaabek themselves, preserving their language and gaining fluency in it is a matter of knowing themselves.
While described as a collection of essays, the chapters of this book flow from history and reflections on language into the deeply moving legends of the Anishinaabek. They therefore preserve story and culture, as well as the insights of a remarkable elder, author, and educator. Think Indian confidently straddles the line between non-fiction and fiction, education and mythology.
Think Indian is a truly enjoyable and informative read, and a vital contribution to the preservation of Anishinaabe culture.
Read a review in Canadian Literature here.
Without Reservation, published by Kegedonce in 2003, is a truly unique anthology of short fiction and poetry. It is also international, bringing together works from Indigenous poets and writers from Canada, the U.S., New Zealand and Australia.
It is also a collection of erotica.
What is Indigenous erotica? It's about the loving, sexual, 'dirty,' outrageous, ribald intimacies of humanity and sexuality that we all crave. It shows us as we are: people who love each other, who fall in love and out of love, who have lovers, who make love, have sex, break hearts, get our own hearts broken, who have beautiful bodies. It's about all of the crazy, poignant, obscene, absurd things we do just to taste, touch, enjoy, and enter another. Go ahead, sneak a peek...
A poem from Without Reservation, by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, to whet your appetite...
a sweet taste of plum
a ripe plum
Twenty-Five Select Back List Titles at 50% Off!
Join Kegedonce Press in celebrating our 25th year of publishing beautiful Indigenous books! From May 1st to August 31st 2018, twenty-five of our back list titles will be on sale on the Kegedonce and All Lit Up websites for half off! Most of these titles are now less than $10!From children's picture books to poetry and fiction and even Indigenous erotica, there's something here for everyone!
Now is the time to fall in love with the amazing works of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis authors
from across Canada!
Quantities are limited, so order your books today!
1. Beautiful Razor by Al Hunter
2. Borderlands and Bloodlines, by Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy
3. The Colour of Dried Bones, by Lesley Belleau
4. The Dreamer's Legacy, by Celu Amberstone
5. Emma's Gift, by Deborah Delaronde
6. The Glass Lodge, John MacDonald
7. Honour Earth Mother, by Basil Johnston
8. Jimmy Tames Horses, by Garry Gottfriedson
9. The Long Dance, by David Groulx
10. Love Medicine and One Song, by Gregory Scofield
11. A Moon Made of Copper, by Chris Bose
12. My Heart is a Stray Bullet, by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
13. The Recklessness of Love, by Al Hunter
14. Spirit Horses, by Al Hunter
15. Steepy Mountain Love Poetry, by Joanne Arnott
16. The Stone Gift, by Deborah Delaronde
17. Stone the Crow, by Chris Bose
18. The Trees are Still Bending South, by Sharron Proulx-Turner
19. Under God's Pale Bones, by David Groulx
20. Wabigoon River Poems, by David Groulx
21. The Way of Thorn and Thunder book 1: Kynship, by Daniel Heath Justice
22. The Way of Thorn and Thunder book 2: Wyrwood, by Daniel Heath Justice
23. The Way of Thorn and Thunder book 3, Dreyd, by Daniel Heath Justice
24. W'daub Awae/Speaking True, edited by Warren Cariou
25. Without Reservation, edited by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
As Kegedonce celebrates its 25th anniversary year, we look back at some of our most memorable and important publications.
April is National Poetry Month, and this month we're pleased to focus on Joanne Arnott's wonderful collection, Halfling Spring: an internet romance.
Published in 2013, Halfling Spring is poetry that tracks the transformative aspects of desire through updates or notes posted thrugh a variety of virtual and real landscapes. Vivid ink and soft charcoal sketches by award-winning artist-author Leo Yerxa interweave with Joanne Arnott's love poetry, accompanying and illuminating the work. Traditional stories, electronic metaphors, bird life and geographic observastions, literary and song references combine with dream imagery and conversational turns, tracking the early stages of a love affair. Wtih refreshing simplicity, this book presents these artists' reflections upon the complexities of the inner life, and the weathers and landscapes of love.
Joanne's first book of poetry won the Gerald Lampert award in 1992 and in 2017, Joanne was awarded the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts.
"Her word an intimate song, the reader is led by the heart, from the Pacific, to the Rideau, to the far northern sea. Yet her words are both delicate and compelling, and the flower is not only a fragile one; in chorus, 'a water lily is thriving,' and rooted below the reader, Arnott's words are a powerful medicine." Sharron Proulx-Turner, author of Where the Rivers Join, what the auntys say, and creole métisse of french canada, me.
From Halfling Spring:
i write his name, Alastair
then i put a comma beside his name
i see that the comma beside his name
is like my hand on his shoulder, neck, face
i enjoy this
i write his name
i place my comma
Find a wonderful review of Halfling Spring, by James MacKay, here.
Award-winning author David A. Groulx published the poetry collection Wabigoon River Poems with Kegedonce in 2015.
"Wabigoon River Poems is breathtakingly beautiful. The poems tackle a wide range of issues such as genocide, revolution, and survival. David Groulx does not just speak of Indigenous struggles but he also places other battles, other atrocities and other genocides committed worldwide." Christine McFarlane, Anishinaabek News.
Sketch of a Small Town
In my small town
some young children
were playing cowboys & Indians
a younger Native boy
The police cut down the body
and he kicked a bit
like a pony
David A. Groulx, Wabigoon River Poems, p. 8.
As Kegedonce celebrates its 25th anniversary year, we look back at some of our most memorable and important publications.
This month: two poetry collections by writer, multi-disciplinary artist, musician, and filmmaker Chris Bose, A Moon Made of Copper and Stone the Crow. Chris's poetry creates raw, real worlds that powerfully draw on his personal experiences of meetings and wanderings in urban settings across Canada.
A Moon Made of Copper is a collection of non-fiction poems that look at the continual maturing and growth of a human being. The poems were written while touring across Canada, and they capture Bose’s experiences meeting people, wandering different cities, and getting into adventures and mis-adventures.
…sometimes living the dream gives you nightmares…
"...this collection is brutal, bloody and brilliant. Chris Bose is one of my all time inspirations. What a ferociously gorgeous roar! WOW!" Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed and Angel Wing Splash Pattern
Chris Bose's first collection of contemporary urban native poetry. The author takes the reader with him as he chases after coyote down the mountains on the back of a blue horse, riding across the river and into the concrete forests of the urban reservations of Canada.
"An important new voice on the Native literary scene, a voice much needed, a voice well expressed. A writer to watch." Tomson Highway.
2018 is Kegedonce Press's 25th Anniversary! As part of our celebrations, we will be presenting a retrospective on some of the wonderful books we have published over the years, featuring one each month. For January, we're looking at: LOVE MEDICINE AND ONE SONG by Gregory Scofield. Published in 2009, featuring an introduction by Warren Cariou.
A beautiful, luscious, and healing collection of poetry from one of Canada's greatest Indigenous poets. These poems are the medicine of love.
In Love Medicine and One Song, Gregory Scofield steps out of the urban rez and enters the fields of love. Intertwining lush scenes from the natural world with images of the human body, the poems in 'Love Medicine and One Song' celebrate human relationships with the land, and with the bodies of ourselves and our lovers. Beautiful, luscious, and erotic, these poems are the medicine of love.
“he is mountain lion / chewing bones, tasting marrow / rain water / trickling down my spine / he is spring bear / ample and lean / his berry tongue quick, / sweet from the feasting.” —excerpt from “He is,” Love Medicine and One Song.
“Daring to find ceremonies of healing in the earthly musk of erotic love, Gregory Scofield embeds images as precise as a taut drum in rhythms that haunt, knead flesh, and enter the marrow of bone. These are poems aching to be read.” Sam McKegney, author of Magic Weaons, Aboriginal Writers Reaking Community After Residential School.
Gregory Scofield is one of Canada's leading Aboriginal writers, whose numerous collections of poetry have earned him both a national and international audience. He is known for his unique and dynamic reading style that blends oral storytelling, song, spoken word and the Cree language. His maternal ancestry can be traced back to the fur trade and to the Métis community of Kinosota, Manitoba. His poetry and memoir, Thunder Through My Veins (Harper Collins, 1999) is taught at numerous universities and colleges throughout Canada and the U.S., and his work has appeared in many anthologies. He was the subject of a feature length documentary, Singing Home The Bones: A Poet Becomes Himself (The Maystreet Group, 2007) that aired on CHUM TV, BRAVO!, APTN, and the Saskatchewan Television Network. He has served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba and Memorial University of Newfoundland.