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Poetry Canadian

The Thunderbird Poems

by (author) Armand Garnet Ruffo

Publisher
Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
May 2015
Category
Canadian, Artists, Architects, Photographers
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781550177060
    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price
    $18.95

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Description

Norval Morrisseau's revered work has been honoured, copied and recognized throughout the art world and beyond. Less widely known but equally captivating is the artist's personal life story, which poet and biographer Armand Garnet Ruffo related in his powerful narrative biography, Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014). Ruffo immersed himself in the life and work of the artist, gaining insight into the struggles and sources of inspiration underlying Morrisseau's greatest works through research and interviews with the artist himself--a connection further strengthened by their shared Ojibway heritage.

His lengthy study of Morrisseau inspired Ruffo to write poems reflecting on both the works of art and the emotional context in which Morrisseau painted them. The Thunderbird Poems complements the highly evocative and poetic biography, delving into Morrisseau's creative life through compressed, imagistic language, while untangling the complex and powerful threads of meaning, tradition and emotional power that resonate throughout Morrisseau's strong lines and vibrant colours.

Significant themes in Morrisseau's work are mirrored in The Thunderbird Poems: Ojibway legends, Morrisseau's conflicted religious beliefs, political tensions between white and aboriginal Canadians. Significant moments in Morrisseau's life are also traced along with the development of his artistic career. Deeply immersed in Morrisseau's life story, and possessing thorough knowledge of the Ojibway storytelling traditions which grounded so much of the artist's beliefs and creativity, Ruffo provides fresh poetic interpretations of the most renowned and striking works of one of Canada's most celebrated painters.

About the author

Armand Garnet Ruffo's work is strongly influenced by his Ojibway heritage. His first poetry collection, Opening in the Sky, was published in 1994 (Theytus Books). His work has also appeared in such anthologies as Looking at the Words of Our People (Theytus Books), Voices of The First Nations (McGraw Hill Ryerson), and Native Literature in Canada (Oxford University Press) as well as numerous literary journals including Dandelion, CVII, and Absinthe. In addition to his numerous publication credits, Ruffo has written several plays.Born in northern Ontario, at the Biscotasing where Grey Owl lived, Ruffo grew up with a photo of his uncle Jimmy and Archie Belaney hanging on his wall - Archie boarded at Ruffo's grandmother's. Since then, Ruffo has travelled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa, and South America. He has worked as a harvester of wild rice, journalist, editor, civil servant, and teacher. Ruffo has studied at York University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Windsor. He now makes his home in Ottawa, where he is a lecturer and associate director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture at Carleton University.

Armand Garnet Ruffo's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Raymond Souster Award

Other titles by Armand Garnet Ruffo

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