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Poetry Indigenous


by (author) Douglas Walbourne-Gough

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Oct 2024
Indigenous, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2024
    List Price

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“Canada rejected our applications for enrolment in the Qalipu First Nation. Initially, I was relieved by the rejection. I’d watched my hometown divide itself — are you Mi′kmaq or settler? Mi′kmaq or not Mi′kmaq enough?”

Centred around the Newfoundland Mi'kmaq experience in the wake of the controversial Qalipu First Nation enrolment process, Island wades through the fracture and mistrust that continues to linger in many communities. In this new collection, Douglas Walbourne-Gough expands upon issues of identity and history that he introduced in Crow Gulch, offering a deeply personal and equally beautiful exploration of Mi'kmaw and Newfoundland identity.

Walbourne-Gough’s narrative poems trace the formation of identity, not through status documentation, but through its deeper roots in childhood memories, family, spirituality, and dreams. Throughout this collection, he approaches life in fragments — snuggling into his nan’s sealskin snowsuit, learning Mi'kmaq from an app, or the myriad of complex emotions that come with receiving a status card — and watches them transform into pieces of an everlasting puzzle. Island reckons with an often-ignored, yet persistent, effect of colonialism — fractured identities.

About the author

Poet. Newfoundlander. Mixed/adopted Mi’kmaw. Life is hyphenated.

Walbourne-Gough’s father’s family lived in Crow Gulch until the community was legally ushered out, mostly relocating to Corner Brook’s first social housing project, Dunfield Park. Walbourne-Gough holds an MFA in creative writing from UBC-Okanagan. His poetry has appeared in Riddle Fence, Canadian Literature, Prairie Fire, Newfoundland Quarterly, QWERTY, Forget Magazine, the Capilano Review, and Contemporary Verse 2. Crow Gulch is his debut collection.

Douglas Walbourne-Gough's profile page

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