Indigena Awry

New Star Books

Reviewed by Michael Minor

Perhaps too much has been said about how there are more people writing poetry than reading it in Canada. In the spirit of Indigena Awry’s praxis-based approach to the problems it tackles head on, let me propose a solution: read this book. “But, there are so many deserving books of poetry being published in Canada,” you say. Yes, read them too, but read this one first.

You should read this book because it matters. The summer 2013 issue of CV2 began a three-part feature called Resistance/Words for the Revolution. This feature presents writing inspired by the Idle No More movement, including works by Duncan Mercredi and Rosanna Deerchild. Many Aboriginal people in Canada have been using and continue to use poetry as a method of redress, resistance, and dare I say, revolution. Annharte, also published as Marie Baker, is a long time member of the group that she calls NDN word warriors. Indigena Awry is her fourth offering of poetry over a career that spans three decades and includes a long time partnership with Winnipeg’s Aboriginal Writers Collective. This book directly responds to the injustices facing Aboriginal people. It is revolutionary literature.

This review is excerpted from a longer piece published in CV2.

Michael Minor is a PhD candidate and instructor at the University of Manitoba in the department of English, Film and Theatre. He is studying Cree and Anishinaabe poetry and has published poetry in the Antigonish Review.