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Poetry Indigenous

Where the Sea Kuniks the Land

by (author) Ashley Qilavaq-Savard

Publisher
Inhabit Media
Initial publish date
Nov 2022
Category
Indigenous, Women Authors, Places, Nature
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781772274448
    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price
    $21.95

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Description

This is the debut poetry collection from Inuk writer, artist, and filmmaker Ashley Qilavaq-Savard. The importance of land, culture, and identity play key roles in these poems, and the collection will move readers to think deeply on colonization, inherited trauma, and grief. It also paints beautiful pictures of Arctic landscapes, love stories, and growth. It will take readers on a journey through the seasons, from fierce snowstorms to a warm field of Labrador tea flowers.

About the author

Ashley Qilavaq-Savard is an Inuk writer, artist, and emerging filmmaker born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She writes poetry about decolonizing narratives, healing from intergenerational trauma, and love of the land and culture. She has published two short stories relating to her Inuit culture, “My Very First Ulu” with Nipiit magazine and “Miki and the Aqsarniit” with Chirp magazine. Since attending the Vancouver Film School, Ashley has led acting and storytelling workshops for children and youth with the Qaggiavuut Performing Arts Society and the Labrador Creative Arts Festival. Ashley also creates sealskin and beaded jewellery, and is a dedicated student of Inuktitut.

 

Ashley Qilavaq-Savard's profile page

Excerpt: Where the Sea Kuniks the Land (by (author) Ashley Qilavaq-Savard)

I Am an Inuk Woman

 

I am an Inuk woman

my markings say it so

don’t look at me and ask

taa Inuuviit?

because I too come from the land of snow and ice

my heart belongs to the place where the sea kuniks the land

an Arctic islander on ancient tundra

these histories etched into my roots

these lines filled with familiarity

this identity traced along skin

fighting flames

and

shining stars

from heart to hand

ink to being

chapters readily unfold

these lines are my markings

the story of my journey meant to be told

I walked these lands and know my way home

I washed my sorrows in the river and dried my body in the breeze

I wished for the bitterness of assimilation to stop being so damn easy

I am an Inuk woman

working hard to practise, protect, and preserve the raw beauty of us

as my histories must pass through me in seeds

these lines will welcome the next generation of Inuit

my markings are meant to help me grow

skin and soul

 

Arctic Adoration

can you imagine just barely escaping a snowstorm

enough to witness it in all its glory at your tail’s end

swallowing whole your home like a

sneaky fox and clueless lemming

swiftly, naturally, unapologetically

suffocating and cleansing all in the same

to feel that fierce wind forcing you into the self-realization of resilience

eyes squinting as a million tiny snowflakes dance so elegantly before you

lungs erupting with crisp clean air, heart outpouring the essence of the land

from the most quenching breath, you feel our ancestors flowing through your veins

leaving only clarity and vitality as they journey through you

 

Dance With Me

 

will you dance with me like the wind and snow do during a brazen blizzard?

mending together body and soul in a whimsical whirl 

I am drawn to you like a malikkaat flower follows the warm sun

you are the warm sun and cool breeze on the most dreamlike of Greenlandic sunny summer

days

the wonderland where I found you in all its radiance 

you are nature at its finest, embracing changing seasons and breathing colour to life like the

Torngat Mountains’ heartfelt tundra during Labrador’s most lively fall

you are the strongest river siku with the purest essence flowing underneath those icy blue eyes

I could happily drink you up for years to come as long as you’ll share your ambrosian love with

me