Your cart is empty.

Indigenous Poetics in Canada

Edited by Neal McLeod
Subjects Indigenous Studies, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature, Poetry
Series Indigenous Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554589821, 416 pages, May 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771120081, 416 pages, May 2014

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Indigenous Poetics in Canada, edited by Neal McLeod
Introduction | Neal McLeod
Poetics of Memory
1 Achimo | Duncan Mercredi
2 Interview with Armand Garnet Ruffo | Conducted by Neal McLeod
3 Edgework: Indigenous Poetics as Re-placement | Warren Cariou
4 Pauline Passed Here | Janet Marie Rogers
5 Writer-Reader Reciprocity and the Pursuit of Alliance through Indigenous Poetry | Sam McKegney
6 Remembering the Poetics of Ancient Sound kistêsinâw/wîsahkêcâhk's maskihkiy (Elder Brother's Medicine) | Tasha Beeds
7 On Reading Basso | David Newhouse
8 The Pemmican Eaters | Marilyn Dumont
9 Cree Poetic Discourse | Neal McLeod
Poetics of Place
10 “Bubbling Like a Beating Heart”: Reflections on Nishnaabeg Poetic and Narrative Consciousness | Leanne Simpson
11 Getting (Back) to Poetry: A Memoir | Daniel David Moses
12 Kwadây Kwańdur-Our Shagóon | Alyce Johnson
13 “Pimuteuat/ Ils marchent/ They Walk”: A Few Observations on Indigenous Poetry and Poetics in French | Michèle Lacombe
14 Iskigamizigan (The Sugarbush): A Poetics of Decolonization | Waaseyaa'sin Christine Sy
15 The Power of Dirty Waters: Indigenous Poetics | Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
16 A Poetics of Place and Apocalypse: Conflict and Contradiction in Poetry of the Red River Resistance and the Northwest Resistance | Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber
17 My Poem Is an Indian Woman | Rosanna Deerchild
Poetics of Performance
18 Interview with Marvin Francis | Conducted by Rosanna Deerchild and Shayla Elizabeth
19 Blood Moves with Us—Story Poetry Lives Inside | Janet Rogers
20 Revitalizing Indigenous Swagger: Poetics from a Plains Cree Perspective | Lindsay “Eekwol” Knight
21 A Conversation of Influence, Tradition, and Indigenous Poetics: An Interview with Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm | Conducted by Rhiannon Johnson
22 The “Nerve of Cree,” the Pulse of Africa: Sound Identities in Cree, Cree-Métis, and Dub Poetries in Canada | Susan Gingell
23 Poetics of Renewal: Indigenous Poetics–Message or Medium? | Lillian Allen
Poetics of Medicine
24 Indigenous Poetry and the Oral | Lee Maracle
25 Poems as Healing Bundles | Gregory Scofield
26 Small Birds/Songs Out of Silence | Joanne Arnott
27 Stretching through Our Watery Sleep: Feminine Narrative Retrieval of cihcipistikwân in Louise Halfe's The Crooked Good | Lesley Belleau
28 “Learning to Listen to a Quiet Way of Telling”: A Study of Cree Counselling Discourse Patterns in Maria Campbell's Halfbreed | Gail MacKay
About the Contributors


Indigenous Poetics in Canada broadens the way in which Indigenous poetry is examined, studied, and discussed in Canada. Breaking from the parameters of traditional English literature studies, this volume embraces a wider sense of poetics, including Indigenous oralities, languages, and understandings of place.
Featuring work by academics and poets, the book examines four elements of Indigenous poetics. First, it explores the poetics of memory: collective memory, the persistence of Indigenous poetic consciousness, and the relationships that enable the Indigenous storytelling process. The book then explores the poetics of performance: Indigenous poetics exist both in written form and in relation to an audience. Third, in an examination of the poetics of place and space, the book considers contemporary Indigenous poetry and classical Indigenous narratives. Finally, in a section on the poetics of medicine, contributors articulate the healing and restorative power of Indigenous poetry and narratives.


  • Winner, ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism 2014


In a fine introduction, McLeod does an admirable job of framing the essays and interviews to come while giving readers less familiar with indigenous poetics insight into some of the tropes and rhetorical strategies practitioners use, including kiskino (‘things...pointed to, but never completely articulated’), kakêskihkêmowina (‘counselling narratives’), and aniskwâcimopicikêwin (‘the process of connecting stories together’). That this collection exists is at once a challenge to the white publishing world that has long refused to recognize indigenous poetic practices as ‘poetry’ and a testament to the health and vibrancy of the living word of indigenous consciousness.... Summing up: Highly recommended.

- B. Carson, Bridgewater State University, Choice, December 2014, 2014 December

Indigenous Poetics in Canada is that rare book of scholarship that speaks to the heart and spirit as well as the mind. The selections in this collection offer powerful individual and collective insight into the ways that diverse traditions of Indigenous poetics animate our imaginative possibilities and extend our cultural understandings across time, space, and difference. To study Indigenous poetics is to be forcefully reminded of both our historical traditions and their continuing significance, and the poets, writers, scholars, and story-makers featured in this volume are among the most eloquent and insightful voices on the topic today. This is a transformative intervention in Indigenous literary studies as well as the broader canon of Canadian literature, reminding us that questions of aesthetics are always in dynamic relationship with the lived experience of our politicized imaginations in the world.

- Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture, University of British Columbia, 2014 April

Conversations about Indigenous literatures will be forever enriched by this stunning new collection. Here, the leading voices in Indigenous literary studies draw upon deep currents of inspiration—both ancient and contemporary—as they reflect upon and powerfully perform the act of re-making the world through language. Joyful, humbling, and wonderfully diverse, Indigenous Poetics in Canada welcomes readers and writers into a re-indigenized rhetorical landscape-and I cannot wait to see what takes place there.

- Keavy Martin, Department of English and Film, University of Alberta; author of Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature (2012), 2014 April