READ INDIGENOUS: Witness, I Am

October 3, 2018

A prolific and talented poet, Gregory Scofield won the 2016 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize for  Witness, I Am (Nightwood Editions), a by turns gut-wrenching and incisive collection incorporating sound poetry, autobiographical work, and an epic poem about missing and murdered Indigenous women. Today's feature is his poem "She is Spitting a Mouthful of Stars (nikâwi’s song)."

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Keep up all October long as we read, share, and discover Indigenous authors and works.

 

 

From  Witness, I Am by Gregory Scofield (Nightwood Editions)

 

 

She is Spitting a Mouthful of Stars
(nikâwi’s song)

 

She is spitting a mouthful of stars
She is laughing more than the men who beat her
She is ten horses breaking open the day
She is new to her bones
She is holy in the dust

She is spitting a mouthful of stars
She is singing louder than the men who raped her
She is waking beyond the Milky Way
She is new to her breath
She is sacred in this breathing

She is spitting a mouthful of stars
She is holding the light more than those who despised her
She is folding clouds in her movement
She is new to this sound
She is unbroken flesh

She is spitting a mouthful of stars
She is laughing more than those who shamed her
She is ten horses breaking open the day
She is new to these bones
She is holy in their dust

 

 

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The Author

 

Gregory Scofield

Gregory Scofield is Red River Metis of Cree, Scottish and European descent whose ancestry can be traced to the fur trade and to the Metis community of Kinesota, Manitoba. He has taught First Nations and Metis Literature and Creative Writing at Brandon University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the Alberta College of Art + Design. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in English at Laurentian University where he teaches Creative Writing, and previously served as writer-in-residence at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and Memorial University. 

Scofield won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1994 for his debut collection, The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel. In addition to several volumes of poetry, Scofield is the author of the memoir, Thunder Through My Veins (1999), and his latest collection of poetry is Witness, I Am (2016). In 2016, The Writers' Trust of Canada awarded Scofield with the Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize.

 

 

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Remember: buy  Witness, I Am or any of our  READ INDIGENOUS books and get this stunning limited-run tote bag featuring colourful artwork from Indigenous visual artists Kaya Joan, Alan Syliboy, Dawn Oman, and Lauren Crazybull until November 15th (while supplies last). And don't forget to check out today's other READ INDIGENOUS feature, Marilyn Dumont's A Really Good Brown Girl (Brick Books).

 

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