Among her healing arts are Native symbolism and history, the memories of her childhood on the reserve, and her own dark brand of humour. Like Tomson HIghway and Thomas King, Halfe is actively involved in reclaiming the long overlooked Native comedic tradition. Her poems about the erosion of old ways, the terrors of residential school and hth pain inflicted by alcoholism abound with satiric portraits and shared jokes, yet pierce the heart with their truthfulness. Her angriest poems, infused with dark humour, are written in a Cree-inflected English she calls her "grassroots tongue." It is with this voice that she comes to terms with the legacy of Catholicism in the moving poems "ten hail mary's" and "dear poop."
Bear Bones and Feathers is a book overflowing with images representing the connection between body and nature in the landscape of the prairies. Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate Louise Halfe's poetry is a woman inside out, her bones and marrow one with the slick tadpoles, the wild bear skin smell, the deep earth roots of the prairie grass. It is marked by tight, rough fists, gentle kisses, the forceful probing of an unwanted hand. Both powerfully raw and full of images of Aboriginal spirituality, Bear Bones and Feathers is the story of a people, the telling of their secrets, the revelation of their pain, the richness of their experience. Louise Halfe is unflinching. -- Cahoots Magazine