"Joanne Arnott's poems tell a story of a love lost and found again in language so naked, you feel you've stumbled across notes she maybe left tucked under his--or her--pillow. These notes are made with familiar words but they quaver with particular, lyric detail: 'Do not be afraid, small one/the man with the beautiful song/will come to touch your face again/in the clearing.' These notes are songs each of us, still and again, do hope to sing." Daniel David Moses.
About the author
Joanne Arnott (born 16 December 1960 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian Métis writer.Arnott's works are intimate with an activist slant, exploring the issues faced by a mixed-race girl and woman in poverty, the family, danger, love and childbirth. She writes about these topics from personal experience, as a Métis and a mother of six. She has conducted workshops across much of Canada, and in Australia, including a recent series at the Carnegie Centre, sponsored by SFU.She received the Gerald Lampert Award for her 1991 collection of poetry Wiles of Girlhood.Arnott lives in British Columbia with her family. She is a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, and The Aunties Collective. She has served on The Writers Union of Canada National Council (2009), The Writers Trust of Canada Authors Committee, and as jury member for the Governor General's Awards/Poetry (2011).
Excerpt: Steepy Mountain: Love Poetry (by (author) Joanne Arnott)
Steepy Mountainsall that has so perturbed us these yearsunperturb usall shining dreamsall shadowy conflictsout on the groundthe painter loves the poetthe drugstore clerk eyesthe welfare mom:call security?watch her moving slowlydown the aislethe soda fountain is gonelike so much else, stillhe might make an honestwoman of herfinallythe sun is always on your hairyou are always standingat roadsidesmiling at mewhile flowers, grasses, and treesbob gentlybeautiful vales beckontowns call out their namessteepy mountains rise, and yieldthe poet loves the painterthe Metis woman eyesher German-Irish loverthe road allowance peopleplay guitar and tune fiddles, watchinganother roadside attractionas the mist leaves no scaron the dark green hillso the sea waves surgeupon the shore and always willat university I understood how all of lifecould be gathered intoone poemin the school of hard knockswith a long row to hoeI thought about you now and thenserved warm drinks to small children, woreyour striped shirtgrew my hair to my waistand cut it short againsaw the grey come inall that has so perturbed us these yearsunperturb usall shining dreamsall shadowy conflictsout on the groundbeautiful vales beckontowns call out their namessteepy mountains rise, and yieldthe shepherd calls to his mistresspromises to decorate her worldone catholic boyone catholic girlprepare to receive a sacramentthey do not understand two middle age strangersholding keys and deep knowledgesift through their sweet heartsof rainbows and rubbleand tentativelyhold out their handsall that has so perturbed us these yearsunperturb usall shining dreams all shadowy conflictsout on the groundbeautiful vales beckontowns call out their namessteepy mountains rise, and yieldstanding under constellationswe may build a big fire, togetherwhile tree frogs creak andbirds singmadrigalsand from the comfort of ourold porch swing, star blanketpulled across our kneeswe maydeep into eveningwatch itburn down