Poetry Muse: Carol Rose GoldenEagle + Essential Ingredients

April 2, 2022

This weekend Carol Rose GoldenEagle author of Essential Ingredients joins us to share when she began her writing journey, whose poetry collections she admires, and how memories hold magic. 

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Who is your muse?

My muse is Mother Earth. I live by a lake. Every day I walk along the shoreline with my dog. Being outdoors, with the fresh air, slight breeze and sunlight, always puts me in a good frame of mind, and inspires.

 

What inspired you when you started writing your poetry collection? And what is your creative process when you begin writing? 
If you have read my fiction titles, the storyline is often dark, as the subject matter pertains to the treatment of Indigenous Peoples in Canada throughout Canadian history.  From the banishment to reserves, the pass system, residential school and the sixties scoop, there is no nice way to depict those realities.

Hence, my latest collection of poetry entitled Essential Ingredients is what I wrote as a way of balancing out. It is a manuscript filled with love and light and is my ode to the blessings of being a mother to my 3 children. They are all now young adults, doing well in post-secondary studies and living on their own. I continue to be blessed, in that, regularly they visit often staying overnight. When this happens, we usually sit around my fire pit, and as we have been doing since they were little, we recollect stories of things we all did as a family while they were growing up. It occurred to me that our memories hold magic, and that I needed to write it down. Essential Ingredients chronicles cherished moments from their early childhood all the way through to me, as a Mom, having to deal with bidding them farewell and adjusting to the empty nest.

 

Picture of the Author's MusePicture of the Author's Muse

Picture of the Author's Muse

 

When did you start writing poetry and why did you choose to write poetry over other forms of literature?

I have been writing poetry ever since I can remember. Ages ago it was called keeping a diary. I never did that. Instead, I would write, in the form of poetry, my thoughts, feelings and observations – particularly as a teenager. Back then, I didn't think of it as poetry, because in school we had been taught that if it doesn't rhyme is isn't. I have also put into poetry, my thoughts as an adult, whether written down or not. Everything captures place, time and emotion. Life revolves around poetry. But I love writing, in general, which is why I also create works of fiction and children's work.

 

How would you describe your poetry collection? 

Love, cherished memory, family.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring poets?

Never let anyone tell you that you are not a poet.  So often, emerging writers will be passionate about this writing style but may be hesitant to share their words or feel the need to edit or sanitize what they write, worrying about what others will think.

In the craft book, On Writing - Stephen King - there is a great piece of advice, that your writing is not polite conversation. Be bold. Be expressive. Be fearless.

 

Are there any poets or poetry collections that you admire?

D.A. Lockhart - Devil in the Woods
Randy Lundy - Blackbird Song
Dave Margoshes- A Calendar of Reckoning
Gregory Scofield - Thunder Through My Veins

 

Does music inspire you when you start writing poetry?

When I write, it is important to me that it is quiet with no distractions. I think a big part of this stems from the fact that I was a single parent. When my children were little, like every household with kids, there is always movement, busyness and noise. So when they were small, I would embrace the silence after they went to sleep. It's what I still do today, although my children are now young adults and no longer live at home, I still find that quiet moments are the best for expressing my creativity.

 

A poem from Essential Ingredients 

 

BACK EDDY

the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls an eddy
                                               a circular current of water

 

describing it as a small whirlpool

        the swirling motion of eddies in the ocean
        cause nutrients that are normally found
        in the colder, deeper waters
        to come to the surface

 

such was the case with my heart

once closed with few nutrients to nourish me

at a young age

I found myself living in cold and deep waters

a child of the Sixties Scoop

too early knowing intolerance racism abuse

 

until years later

I felt

the eddies swirling

3 magical currents

and my source of nourishment

for healing

 

a gift

I gave

those eddies each a name Jackson Nahanni Daniel

eddies too beautiful to describe

I must keep them afloat love honour them

put my needs behind me so they can thrive

 

* * * 

 

Carol Rose GoldenEagle is Cree and Dene with roots in Sandy Bay, northern Saskatchewan. She was recently named Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan (2021-2023). Carol is author of the award-winning novel, Bearskin Diary, which was selected as the National Aboriginal Literature Title for 2017. The book was also shortlisted for three Saskatchewan Book Awards, and the French language translation, Peau D’ours, won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019. Hiraeth, Carol’s debut book of poetry, was shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019. Her second novel, Bone Black, was released in the fall of 2019, and was shortlisted for both the Rasmussen & Co. Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Book Award (2020) and Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Book Award (2020). Carol’s most recent novel, The Narrows of Fear (Wapawikoscikanik), won the Rasmussen & Co. Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Book Award (2021). Carol’s collection, Essential Ingredients was released in 2021 and Stations of the Crossed is forthcoming in fall 2022.  As a visual artist, Carol’s work has been exhibited in art galleries across Saskatchewan and Northern Canada. As a musician, a CD of women’s drum songs, in which Carol is featured, was recently nominated for a Prairie Music Award. Before pursuing her art on a full-time basis, Carol worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in television and radio at APTN, CTV, and CBC. She lives in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan.  www.carolrosegoldeneagle.ca


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