The East Side of It All, written from the perspective of a drug user and single-room occupant in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, explores the ongoing process of healing through reconnection with family, the natural world and traditional Indigenous (Kwantlen) storytelling. Dandurand’s voice is lyrical yet intimate, obscured yet sitting with you at the kitchen table having a cigarette. The East Side of It All is the journey of a broken man who finally accepts his storytelling gift and shares with the world his misery, joy and laughter. Dandurand’s previous poetry collection was shortlisted for the 2020 Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize for Poetry.
About the author
JOSEPH A. DANDURAND is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River east of Vancouver. He is the Heritage and Lands Officer for the Kwantlen territory and has been performing his duties for over 15 years. He has been a Playwright-in-Residence for the Museum of Civilization in Hull in 1995 and for Native Earth in Toronto in 1996. He studied Theatre and Direction at Algonquin College and University of Ottawa. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He has also authored a radio script which was produced by CBC Radio in 1999.RANDY MORIN is a teacher, storyteller and English-Cree translator from the Big River First Nation, Treaty Six area. He is specializing in literary, radio and video translations from English to Cree. He is a strong supporter of maintaining and teaching of Cree language and culture and shares this knowledge in the classroom as a high school teacher in Saskatoon, SK.
How does the Romantic keep on if he’s a contemporary First Nations guy? Like the poet Dandurand. There’s an honest that gets bare bones scary in some of these free verse poems... but thanks to the clarity, often irony of his vision, our awkward humanity speaks through.
Daniel David Moses
Hands down, Joseph Dandurand is one of my all-time favourite writers... Good Lord—what a voice!
Richard Van Camp
These are powerful visionary parables of suffering, redemption and retribution...
The Toronto Star