From soldiers parachuting into battle to children jumping from a swing, the name Geronimo echoes through time. But the reality of the great Apache warrior’s fate is little remembered. In At Geronimo’s Grave, award-winning poet Armand Garnet Ruffo uses Geronimo’s life as a metaphor for the lives of the many downtrodden and abandoned Indigenous people on this continent. With affection and concern, Ruffo considers the lives and experiences of those who struggle to make their way in a world that has no place for them. Once feared for his great prowess, Geronimo, the resistance fighter, was reduced to wearing a top hat and riding in an early Ford Model T car, a grim caricature of assimilation into the dominant culture. The bitter irony of this fate echoes through the personal poems in At Geronimo’s Grave. This collection is a love letter to a people trapped in the slow-moving vehicle of another culture that is taking them nowhere.
About the author
Armand Garnet Ruffo's work is strongly influenced by his Ojibway heritage. His first poetry collection, Opening in the Sky, was published in 1994 (Theytus Books). His work has also appeared in such anthologies as Looking at the Words of Our People (Theytus Books), Voices of The First Nations (McGraw Hill Ryerson), and Native Literature in Canada (Oxford University Press) as well as numerous literary journals including Dandelion, CVII, and Absinthe. In addition to his numerous publication credits, Ruffo has written several plays.Born in northern Ontario, at the Biscotasing where Grey Owl lived, Ruffo grew up with a photo of his uncle Jimmy and Archie Belaney hanging on his wall - Archie boarded at Ruffo's grandmother's. Since then, Ruffo has travelled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa, and South America. He has worked as a harvester of wild rice, journalist, editor, civil servant, and teacher. Ruffo has studied at York University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Windsor. He now makes his home in Ottawa, where he is a lecturer and associate director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture at Carleton University.