Intimate Reviews- Indigenous Poets (3)


This is a series where Indigenous writers and readers alike write reviews for some of their favourite pieces of writing and post them on Amazon, Goodreads, and the CiTR blog! Enjoy what they have to say about these texts.


The Crooked Good by Louise Bernice Halfe

Review by Selina Boan

This book is poignant, haunting, a wonder. Louise Halfe writes poems from the body, rich with sound, silences and imagery that will take your breath away. Through the figure of Rolling Head, Louise Halfe invites us into a world where “you will pick your lover out of your skin” and “laughter is winter gravel.” Cannot say enough about this book. Worth the read.

This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Review by Jessica Johns

This collection of poetry moved and astounded me. I’ve never seen language and form used so intuitively in a collection of poetry. With every revisit I’m finding something else I hadn’t noticed before, another gem to hold onto and unpack. This book, to me, is a piece of home that I can take with me everywhere. This collection is where “history lays itself bare,” love answers heartbreak, 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 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”; how worlds can be made and unmade. These are poems to be returned to again and again with reverence. A must-read.

North End Love Songs by Katherena Vermette

By Molly Cross-Blanchard

This book is dynamite, one I come back to again and again when I’m looking for inspiration. The short snappy lines make it ideal for re-reading. If you liked “The Break” you’ll love this book as well and may recognize some of the characters in the “birds.” Be prepared to cry. Can’t wait for “River Woman” to come out!

Written by:

Selina Boan: lives on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Her work has appeared in CV2, Room, SAD mag, Poetry Is Dead and The New Quarterly, among others. She won the Gold National Magazine Award for poetry in 2017 and was shortlisted for the 2016 CBC poetry prize. She is currently working on a collection of poems exploring her Cree and European heritage.

Molly Cross-Blanchard: Molly Cross-Blanchard is a Metis writer from the prairies. Her first poetry chapbook is forthcoming this Spring with Rahila’s Ghost Press, and she is currently training to be Circulation Editor at PRISM international.

Jessica Johns: is a writer of Cree ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation. She was the winner of Saltern’s 2017 Short Forms contest, The Rusty Toque’s 2017 Flash Fiction contest, and was first runner-up for the 2017 Glass Buffalo poetry contest. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SAD Mag, Bad Nudes, and Cosmonauts.