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Finalist for the 2019 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry
Edited, with an introduction by multiple award-winning writer, elder, and activist Lee Maracle.
If poetry is a place to question, I Am a Body of Land by Shannon Webb-Campbell is an attempt to explore a relationship to poetic responsibility and accountability, and frame poetry as a form of re-visioning.
Here Webb-Campbell revisits the text of her earlier work Who Took My Sister? to examine her self, her place and her own poetic strategies. These poems are efforts to decolonize, unlearn, and undo harm.
Reconsidering individual poems and letters, Webb-Campbell's confessional writing circles back, and challenges what it means to ask questions of her own settler-Indigenous identity, belonging, and attempts to cry out for community, and call in with love.
Praise for I Am a Body of Land:
"Poetry awake with the winds from the Four Directions, poetry that crosses borders, margins, treaties, yellow tape warning Police Line: Do Not Cross. Poetry whose traditional territory, through colonization, has become trauma and shame. Unceded poetry. Read. Respect. Weep." —Susan Musgrave, author of Origami Dove
"Shannon Webb-Campbell's work forces readers out of polite conversation and into a realm where despair and hard truths are being told, being heard and finding the emotion strength to learn from it, find out way out and embrace our beauty as Indigenous women." —Carol Rose Daniels, author of Hiraeth and Bearskin Diary, winner of the First Nations Communities READ Award and the Aboriginal Literature Award.
Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi'kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic. She is the author of Still No Word (2015), recipient of Eagle Canada's Out in Print Award, and I Am a Body of Land (2019; finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry). Shannon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is a doctoral candidate at the University of New Brunswick in the Department of English. She is the editor of Visual Arts News Magazine. Shannon is a member of Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation and lives in Kijpuktuk/Halifax in Mi'kma'ki.
Lee Maracle was the author of a number of critically acclaimed works, including Ravensong; Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel; Daughters Are Forever; Celia';s Song; I Am Woman; First Wives Club; Talking to the Diaspora, Memory Serves: Oratories; and My Conversations with Canadians, which was a finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Award and the First Nation Communities READ Award. Hope Matters, a poetry collection co-authored with her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, was published in 2019. Maracle was also the co-editor of My Home as I Remember and served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. Maracle received the J.T. Stewart Award, the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Blue Metropolis Festival First Peoples Prize, the Harbourfront Festival Prize, and the Anne Green Award. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, was a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was an Officer of the Order of Canada. In July 2019, she was announced as a finalist of the prestigious Neustadt Prize, popularly known as the American Nobel. A member of the Sto:lo Nation, Maracle passed away on November 11, 2021, in Surrey, British Columbia. She was 71.