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Poetry Indigenous

Cut to Fortress


by (author) Tawahum Bige

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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A stunning debut poetry collection confronting colonialism, relationships, grief and intergenerational wounds.

Cut to Fortress considers the possibility of decolonization through a personal lens, urging for a resistance that is tied using cord and old-growth tree roots; a resistance that tethers us all together in this contemporary existence.

With an upbringing in Surrey, fraught familial conflicts, the passing of his older brother and its influence on his world view, Bige slices through the forts built overtop occupied Turtle Island to examine their origin and his own. His journey climbs into the mountains while he reconnects with his Dene and Cree cultures like a gripping hand on jagged rock. His path draws into the concrete urban streets that Wetako-medicine lurks through, especially for his people. The labour of these travels brings him to the springs where healing passed-down traumas becomes possible by drawing water through vulnerability.

About the author

Tawahum Bige is a Łutselk'e Dene, Plains Cree poet who resides on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territory (Vancouver). Their Scorpio-moon-ass poems expose growth, resistance and persistence as a hopeless Two Spirit Nonbinary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. With a B.A. in creative writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Bige has performed at countless festivals and had poems featured in numerous publications. His land protection work against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion led him to face incarceration in 2020. Cut to Fortress is Bige’s debut poetry collection. Find him online @Tawahum on Instagram, Twitter and more.

Tawahum Bige's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The reinforcement of knowing the interconnectedness of all things—including the grime of (Vancouver) city and endangered forest beauty found within these lean staccato poems—ring with a desperate voice of “youth” who want to remain part of it all. Inspiration too, enacted in the listening and learning from those who have journeyed here before. Is this activism poetry, or reflections of a soul memory rife with humanity and new/old teachings of the way it could and can be?"

Janet Rogers