Garry Gottfriedson's Clinging to Bone digs into the marrow, heart and soul of the human condition. Looking deeply into the Secwepemc (Shuswap) world of today, he examines betrayal, grief, love and survival. He states, "the broken winged sparrows are lost in flight, surviving starvation in the empty belly of wind." In "Foreigner" he describes how "my skin is the scent of Secwepemcúlucw / a rez Indian, a foreigner / in my own homeland / can you imagine that?" (where "Secwepemcúlucw" means land of the Shuswap). But he also sees humour in the very mechanics of surviving as an Indigenous individual in the Canada of today. His poetry will draw you into love, laughter and sorrow, but leave you contemplating your own survival. A glossary of Secwepemc words is included.
About the author
Garry Gottfriedson, from the Secwepemc nation (Shuswap), was born, raised and lives in Kamloops, B.C. Growing up on a ranch in a ranching and rodeo family, he has been fully immersed in his people’s traditions and spirituality. He comes from four generations of horse people. His passion for horses, raising and training them, still continues to this day. He holds a Master of Education from Simon Fraser University and has studied Creative Writing at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. His published works include 100 Years of Contact (SCES, 1990); In Honour of Our Grandmothers (Theytus, 1994); Glass Tepee (Thistledown, 2002, and nominated for First People’s Publishing Award 2004); Painted Pony (Partners in Publishing, 2005); Whiskey Bullets (Ronsdale, 2006, and Anskohk Aboriginal Award finalist); Skin Like Mine (Ronsdale, 2010, and shortlisted for Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry); Jimmy Tames Horses (Kegedonce, 2012); Chaos Inside Thunderstorms (Ronsdale, 2014); Deaf Heaven (Ronsdale, 2016). His works have been anthologized both nationally and internationally. He has read from his work across Canada and in the USA, Europe and Asia.