Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology is the only collection of its kind. It brings together the poetry of many authors whose work has not previously been published in book form alongside that of critically-acclaimed poets, thus offering a record of Native cultural revival as it emerged through poetry from the 1960s to the present. The poets included here adapt English oratory and, above all, a sense of play. Native Poetry in Canada suggests both a history of struggle to be heard and the wealth of Native cultures in Canada today.
About the authors
Jeannette Armstrong is an award-winning novelist, activist and poet born on the Okanagan Reserve. Known for her literary work, Armstrong has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions about Indigenous people. Her novel Slash is considered by many people to be the first novel by a First Nations woman. In 2013 she was appointed a Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy to research, document, categorize and analyze Okanagan syilx oral literature in Nsyilxcn.
Lally Grauer has long been involved in Canadian and Indigenous literatures and oratures in Canada. During her graduate studies at the University of Toronto she gathered and analyzed writings from the Riel Rebellion of 1885 (“In the Camp of Big Bear”). As an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan she taught both Canadian and Indigenous literatures. Together with Jeannette Armstrong, she published Native Poetry in Canada (2001) and has collaborated with Indigenous authors in papers and articles.
“In one of her poems Rita Joe writes, ‘I lost my talk/The talk you took away.’ In another, she claims, ‘And I will relate wonders to my people.’ The first statement brings us face-to-face with the attempted destruction of Native People and their rich and varied cultures, including their mother tongues. The second affirms the blessings that poems can bring to a particular people and to others who want to listen. What the poets in this anthology bring to the page is, indeed, a series of wonders. Such a gathering of writers and words, to borrow a phrase from Wayne Keon, makes ‘all the stars/cooperate/and come out shining.’” — Lorna Crozier, University of Victoria, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry
“This collection shows the breadth of contemporary Native poetry, from the resistance literature of the many poems remembering the murdered Helen Betty Osborne to the playful fishing game of Daniel David Moses; it is an excellent anthology.” — Terry Goldie, York University, co-editor of An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English
“Armstrong and Grauer have arranged a collection of works of extraordinary breadth in their thematic treatment of cultural, political, and spiritual subjects. Instructors will value the accompanying biographical information, the substantial selections from each poet’s work, and the authors’ prefatory comments, all of which situate this collection as an ideal text for the university classroom.” — Canadian Literature
Other titles by Jeannette Armstrong
Okanagan Women’s Voices
Syilx and settler writing and relations, 1870s to 1960s
Neekna and Chemai
Dancing with the Cranes
River of Salmon Peoples
Whispering in Shadows
Gatherings, Volume VII - Standing Ground
Strength and Solidarity Amidst Dissolving Boundaries
The Native Creative Process
A Collaborative Discourse