Gregory Scofield's Thunder Through My Veins is the heartbreakingly beautiful memoir of one man's journey toward self-discovery, acceptance, and the healing power of art.
Few people can justify a memoir at the age of thirty-three. Gregory Scofield is the exception, a young man who has inhabited several lives in the time most of us can manage only one. Born into a Métis family of Cree, Scottish, English and French descent but never told of his heritage, Gregory knew he was different. His father disappeared after he was born, and at five he was separated from his mother and sent to live with strangers and extended family. There began a childhood marked by constant loss, poverty, violence and self-hatred. Only his love for his sensitive but battered mother and his Aunty Georgina, a neighbor who befriended him, kept him alive.
It wasn't until he set out to search for his roots and began to chronicle his life in evocative, award-winning poetry, that he found himself released from the burdens of the past and able to draw upon the wisdom of those who went before him. Thunder Through My Veins is Gregory's traumatic, tender and hopeful story of his fight to rediscover and accept himself in the face of a heritage with diametrically opposed backgrounds.
GREGORY SCOFIELD is a Red River Métis of Cree, Scottish and European descent whose ancestry can be traced to the fur trade and Métis community of Kinosota, Manitoba. He has taught creative writing and First Nations and Métis literature at Brandon University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Alberta University of the Arts. He currently holds the position of associate professor in the department of creative writing at the University of Victoria. Scofield won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1994 for his debut collection, The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel, and has since published seven further volumes of poetry, including Witness, I Am. He has served as writer-in-residence at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and most recently the Writers’ Trust of Canada Latner Poetry Prize (2016), awarded to a mid-career poet in recognition of a remarkable body of work. Further to writing and teaching, Scofield is also a skilled beadworker, and he creates in the medium of traditional Métis arts. He continues to assemble a collection of mid-to-late nineteenth-century Cree-Métis artifacts, which are used as learning and teaching pieces. Scofield’s first memoir, Thunder Through My Veins, will be re-published in fall 2019. His second memoir, Sitting With Charlotte: Stitching My History Bead by Bead (Doubleday Canada), will be published in 2021.
"Gregory Scofield is the literary uncle to all of Indigenous Lit. . . . The return of Thunder Through My Veins marks an important shift in thinking about the cyclical nature of how our stories weave through time." —Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed
"It's impossible to read Thunder Through My Veins and not be moved by Gregory Scofield's story and transported by his powerful and widely-admired prose. . . . Gregory Scofield can write. He tells his story with a simple yet engaging honesty that doesn't ask for sympathy or even understanding. And—yet—somehow the reader can't help but offer both. Like the tree that grew in Brooklyn, Scofield has grown against impossible odds to offer hope to any that might be following." —January Magazine