Award-winning Nisg̱a'a poet Jordan Abel's second collection of poetry, Un/inhabited, maps the terrain of the public domain to create a layered investigation of the interconnections between language and land. This updated edition has been revised to follow contemporary stylistic guidelines for Indigenous orthography and usage; it also includes a beautiful new cover featuring the work of Alanna Irene Edwards, an artist, curator, and writer of Mi'gmaq and settler descent, as well as updated concrete poems, and essays by Project Space founder Tracy Stefanucci and independent curator Kathleen Ritter - the first pieces of scholarship on Abel's work. Abel constructed the book's source text by compiling in their entirety ninety-one western novels found on the website Project Gutenberg, an online archive of works whose copyright has expired. Using his word processor's Ctrl+F function, he searched the compilation for words that relate to the political and social aspects of land, territory, and ownership. Each search query represents a study in context (How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What is left over once that word is removed?) accumulating toward a representation of the public domain as a discoverable and inhabitable body of land.
About the Author
Jordan Abel is a Nisg̱a'a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel's latest project NISHGA (McClelland & Stewart, spring 2020) is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence and the often invisible intergenerational impact of residential schools. Abel recently completed a Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, and is currently working as an assistant professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.