The incisive and vital first poetry collection from Mi'kmaw spoken-word poet and former poet laureate of Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia.
We remember tomorrow and a thousand years ago.
From eel weirs to the buffalo.
We remember petroglyphs and Instagram photos.
See, we remember our history,
Without statues, money, or pictures of the Queen.
In Mi'kmaw, three similarly shaped words have drastically different meanings: kesalul means "I love you"; kesa'lul means "I hurt you"; and ke'sa'lul means "I put you into the fire." In spoken-word artist and critically acclaimed author (I'm Finding My Talk) Rebecca Thomas's first poetry collection, readers will feel Thomas's deep love, pain, and frustration as she holds us all to task, along the way mourning the loss of her childhood magic, exploring the realities of growing up off reserve, and offering up a new Creation Story for Canada.
Diverse and probing, I place you into the fire is at once a meditation on navigating life and love as a second-generation Residential School survivor, a lesson in unlearning, and a rallying cry for Indigenous justice, empathy, and equality. A searing collection that embodies the vitality and ferocity of spoken-word poetry.
About the author
Rebecca Thomas is an award-winning Mi'kmaw poet. She is Halifax's former Poet Laureate (2016—2018) and has been published in multiple journals and magazines. She coordinated the Halifax Slam Poetry team from 2014 to 2017, leading them to three national competitions with the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Her first children's book, I'm Finding My Talk, was a Globe & Mail Top 100 Pick of 2019, as well as a CBC Best Picture Book of 2019, and was nominated for both the 2019 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature and the 2019 Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award (with companion title I Lost My Talk). The book is a White Ravens 2020 selection, chosen by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, and has been nominated for First Nations Communities READ 2020. Thomas's first adult collection of poetry, I Place You into the Fire, was a CBC Best Canadian Poetry pick of 2020.
Rebecca Thomas, 84 LaPierre Cres, Dartmouth, NS, B2W 5C8