Indigenous Voices Award finalist
A celebratory, slyly funny, and bluntly honest take on sex and romance in NDN Country.
nedi nezu (Good Medicine) explores the beautiful space that being a sensual Indigenous woman creates - not only as a partner, a fantasy, a heartbreak waiting to happen but also as an auntie, a role model, a voice that connects to others walking the same path. From the online hookup world of DMs, double taps, and secret texts to earth-shakingly erotic encounters under the northern stars to the ever-complicated relationship Indigenous women have with mainstream society, this poetry collection doesn't shy away from depicting the gorgeous diversity in decolonized desire. Instead, Campbell creates the most intimate of spaces, where the tea is hot and a seat is waiting, surrounded by the tantalizing laughter of aunties telling stories.
These wise, jubilant poems chronicle many failed attempts at romance, with the wry humour needed to not take these heartbreaks personally, and the growth that comes from sitting in the silence of living a solo life in a world that insists everyone should be partnered up. With a knowing smile, this book side-eyes the political existence and celebrates the lived experience of an Indigenous woman falling in love and lust with those around her -but, most importantly, with herself.
nedi nezu is a smart, sensual, and scandalous collection dripping in Indigenous culture yet irresistible to anyone in thrall to the magnificent disaster that is dating, sex, and relationships.
About the author
Tenille Campbell is a Dene/Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC and is currently starting her fourth year of PhD studies at the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on Indigenous Literature. She is the owner and artist behind sweetmoon photography, a successful photography business that specializes in photographing Indigenous people. She has published poetry in Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (University of Arizona Press, Ed. Allison Hedge Coke), and photography in Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City and Dreaming in Indian (Annick Press, Eds. Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy). Current creative projects include #KissingIndigenous, a photography series focusing on the act of intimacy within Indigenous couples. She is also the creator of tea&bannock, an online collective blog featuring the photographs and stories of Indigenous women photographers throughout Canada. Storytelling - be it with ink, voice or photographs - is the life for her.
- Short-listed, Indigenous Voices Award
Since I was hit on by someone using lines from #IndianLovePoems and immediately went out to buy it, I've been eagerly waiting for Tenille K. Campbell's next collection. What a joy and a blessing to find myself in pages as intimate as staying up late with your best friend sharing truths, as hot as meeting your next lover's gaze, and as sharp as a mean auntie. nedi nezu cements Campbell's reputation as the matriarch of decolonized desire. -Eden Robinson, author of Trickster Drift
Campbell seamlessly portrays the quality of blending tradition with everyday life in today's world throughout the collection ... [Campbell] shows that she has no trouble maintaining her connections to her heritage while also living in the present moment; indeed, she refuses to operate as if they are mutually exclusive. -Arc Poetry
Campbell's warmth and willingness to show us her heart (and heartbreak) result in poems that are endearing, hilarious and moving. -Geist
Dare we all have such an opportunity to revel in the intimate oratories of Tenille K. Campbell's matriarchy. She asks us to 'know that we are in ceremony' as she undertakes an album of sensual and sexual vignettes rinsed clean of seeds in gentle spring waters. Alternatively, she interrogates fatphobia, Indigenous masculinities, academia, heteropatriarchy, and untangles the ways in which poetry hinges on the pervasive in the stratosphere of social media. Campbell shows us yet again why Indigeneity is wholly and irrevocably erotic by nature. -Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed
There are many kinds of intimacy in Tenille Campbell's delicious second collection: that of laughing lovers entangled in damp sheets under the star-strewn northern sky; that of a Dene/Metis woman dreaming her relations with the living land, its histories, and its futures; that of a formidably talented woman in all her complex contexts - poet, scholar, mother, lover - who shifts with ease between evocations of knee-trembling desire, wry humour, tender kindness, and aching loneliness. The poems are a love-language that honours the messy, meaningful complexities of sensual self-determination, the fierce assertion of an Indigenous woman's embodied and visionary power. We are lucky indeed to have the restorative gift of Campbell's work in this ever more alienating world. Read it, share it, be transformed. -Daniel Heath Justice, author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter