the tales are of loss and forgiveness
and they fill the room
The Punishment is the latest addition to the oeuvre of prolific Kwantlen writer Joseph Dandurand, whose stunning previous collection, The East Side of It All, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
In The Punishment, Joseph Dandurand's now-familiar storyteller's voice wrangles trauma, grief, forgiveness and love. His poems illustrate the poet's solitary existence. With scenes of residential school, the psych ward, the streets and the river, Dandurand reveals an arduous journey: one poet's need to both understand his life and find ways to escape it. Through poetry, he shares with us all his lovers. He shares the streets. He shares what he sees: the great eagles and small birds; his culture and teachings; the East Side; self-pity; the deception of love; the deception of hate; sasquatches; spirits; and his people, the Kwantlen.
At root, The Punishment is about survival. Dandurand's poems will show you disease. They'll show you cedar. They'll show you music. They'll show you shadows. They'll show you forgiveness, and they'll show you punishment.
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.
"Hands down, Joseph Dandurand is one of my all-time favourite writers ... Good Lord―what a voice!"
Richard Van Camp