It is no small thing to be returning home with a book in hand and an opportunity to share it with other Winnipegers. As I struggled in life I often joked that the best "revenge" would be to be successful. I turned 60 in January of this year and published my first book of poetry in April of this same year. As many of you know writing and publishing a book requires a gritty persistence accompanied by a lot of surrendering to the Muse or what some might call the Great Mystery. This is my version of success. Birthing a book of poetry that offers glimpses into my life and certainly into the way my mind works was no small thing. I am grateful to my mentors, Betsy Warland and Ingrid Rose. Between the two of them I was book ended with support and the kind of critiquing that brought forth more than I had imagined myself capable of. Both could see the story that was emerging and encouraged me to stay in close proximity to what needed to be said.
I hold my hands up to Betsy and Ingrid for their kind assistance as I wrote Page as Bone ~ Ink as Blood. This collection of poety has been well received to date and it is time to take to other cities. If you live in the Winnipeg area please come out and join me at McNally Robinson, 7 pm, August 24th, 2015 at Grant Park Plaza in the Atrium. I am most excited to have Rosanna Deerchild join me as my guest reader. I am not sure what is more exciting. A reading in Winnipeg or having the honour of reading with Rosanna Deerchild. See below for her bio.... she will be at the Winnipeg International Writers Festival this year.
Writer and broadcaster Rosanna Deerchild’s family is from the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation at South Indian Lake, Manitoba. A co-founder and member of the Indigenous Writers Collective of Manitoba, she won the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/prix Lansdowne de poésie for her debut poetry collection, this is a small northern town (The Muses’ Company). Her second collection, calling down the sky, forthcoming from BookLand, is about her mother’s Residential School experience. A journalist for 20 years, with stints at APTN, Global, and a variety of indigenous newspapers, she is the host of Unreserved, now airing nationally on CBC Radio One. Deerchild lives in Winnipeg.