Mohawk spoken-word artist Janet Marie Rogers’s newest collection pulses with the rhythms of the drum and the beat of the heart. Poems drawing on the language of the earth and inflected with the outspoken vocality of activism address the crises of modern “land wars”—environmental destruction, territorial disputes, and resource depletion.
About the author
Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations band in Ontario. She was born in Vancouver and has been living on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people in Victoria, British Columbia, since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, spoken-word performance poetry, video poetry, recorded poetry with music, and script writing. From 2012 to 2014, Janet served as Poet Laureate of Victoria. Janet has published three poetry collections to date: Splitting the Heart (Ekstasis Editions, 2007), Red Erotic (Ojistah, 2010), and Unearthed (Leaf Press, 2011). Her poetry CDs Firewater (2009), Got Your Back (2012), and 6?Directions (2013) all received nominations for Best Spoken Word Recording at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and the Native American Music Awards. Janet hosts Native Waves Radio on CFUV and Tribal Clefs on CBC Radio One in Victoria. Her radio documentaries Bring Your Drum: 50 Years of Indigenous Protest Music and Resonating Reconciliation won Best Radio at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media festival in 2011 and 2013.
“There’s no place to hide in the poetry of Janet Rogers. For her, memory is a pen, a tool of vindication creating a new literature that breathes with nature and roars when it does. But nature in Peace in Duress is given by the land, and unnatural acts of history are to be countered in the poetic with a longing, chanting voice for word-medicine, justice, and reclamation beyond language. Rogers’s poetry marks the terrain with sounds braided in history and soars like the songs of a politically tuned cosmic map-maker who dares to delve into personal journey. Lyrically astute, faithful, and full of fire. Fierce and rightfully righteous! Rogers has written a Magna Carta for our times.”
“I have read so many poets (and artists’ manifestos) that basically baffle you with bullshit and word play and deliver no substance as you check yourself to see if you been robbed of something valuable, besides the time to read or endure it. But you will be rewarded by [Rogers’s] poetry … she will fill your pockets and your hearts with things you can use in everyday life and struggles.”
—Alex Jacobs, Indian Country Today Media Network
“Peace in Duress is a statement on the nature of the Two-Row Wampum treaty agreement between the Haudenosaunee or Six Nations peoples and the Canadian State, as Rogers sees it. Rogers’ poems attest that the agreement does not fare well, that there are many troubles brewing under the surface, it is these things that she brings to light through her powerful words. … through her poetry and performances, people will begin to understand that ‘Peace’ with Indigenous Peoples of these lands was indeed wrought under duress. Read and revel in the poetry of Janet Rogers and you will see that she offers an idea that now is the time to renegotiate the terms for ‘Peace.’”