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I am so grateful to Candie Tanaka and Dominion Reading Series for this. Some very important things were discussed after the poetry reading. I really e...

April 3, 2018

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Interview by the lovely Shazia Hafiz at Talon Books

June 28, 2016

If you have ever done interviews you know that a good question is a gift from the Gods and Goddesses or in this case from Shazia Hafiz. She asked questions that opened me up and I found myself articulating things that I had never before put in writing. I really enjoyed doing this. Below is an excerpt... for the full interview go here. 

"SHR: I feel that many of your poems are situated in an in-between state or a threshold, whether it’s between waking or sleeping, or the relationship between your Métis/Icelandic heritage and place, or between uncertainty and knowledge. I feel this liminality in your ease with shifting between lyric prose and poetry. How do you think the genre of poetry can express and enact liminal ways of being?

JK: Since I was a small child I felt different. I knew I experienced the world differently than my mother who was white and a good Christian. My father was Métis, but very patriarchal. We had the connection of the Indigenous world but that connection was often blocked by his need to be the man of the house. There were other problems, financial, mostly alcohol-related etc. I learned to live between, to not need much from either of them. I spent many happy days by myself in the forest behind our house in Goose Bay, Labrador. I did not need people as I had my woods, my books, what I now know to be some sense of Indigenous and Icelandic, or pagan spirituality. My imagination was deep and wide. I could disappear into a colour, float outside, speak with animals, hear the plants call for water etc.When young, that feeling of being different followed me to school. It made me shy so I often stood alone, put myself on the outside of the circle and in so doing became an observer noting subtle incongruities in people. Some might call it a gift. I was never sure why it was there. Most of what I witnessed and felt was very hard to describe and certainly not welcomed by my family who lived by the “don’t talk” rule. Poetry saved me, brought me out and gave me a way to express what I saw. I feel that poetry is another language, one more intimate with the liminal world. Things do not have to be pinned down or follow rules. Through poetry I can share the things that are in some ways so very difficult to express in words. So with words and the wild and wily ways of poetry we find our way to the other ways of knowing which refuse to be pigeon-holed. We can escape the need for empirical data and learn to trust ourselves. With poetry I can offer the reminder of the Great Mystery, the liminal to the others."

I am very grateful to Shazia who will be my editor for my next book, An Honest Woman, to be released in April 2017 with Talon Books. ~ All my Relations ~ Jónína


Photo is a mandala that I coloured years ago a number of years ago. At that time, which was a time of healing,  I spent many hours colouring mandalas. I found this practice to be soothing but more importantly it brought me closer to the divine feminine and the sacred. This is one of my favourites. 



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