At Geronimo's Grave
From soldiers parachuting into battle to children jumping from a swing, the name Geronimo echoes through time. But the reality of the great Apache warrior’s fate is little remembered. In At Geronimo’s Grave, award-winning poet Armand Garnet Ruffo uses Geronimo’s life as ... Read more
From soldiers parachuting into battle to children jumping from a swing, the name Geronimo echoes through time. But the reality of the great Apache warrior’s fate is little remembered. In At Geronimo’s Grave, award-winning poet Armand Garnet Ruffo uses Geronimo’s life as a metaphor for the lives of the many downtrodden and abandoned Indigenous people on this continent. With affection and concern, Ruffo considers the lives and experiences of those who struggle to make their way in a world that has no place for them. Once feared for his great prowess, Geronimo, the resistance fighter, was reduced to wearing a top hat and riding in an early Ford Model T car, a grim caricature of assimilation into the dominant culture. The bitter irony of this fate echoes through the personal poems in At Geronimo’s Grave. This collection is a love letter to a people trapped in the slow-moving vehicle of another culture that is taking them nowhere.
Armand Garnet Ruffo
Armand Garnet Ruffo's Ojibwe relations were signatories to the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. His great-great-grandfather lobbied for inclusion of those left out of treaty in 1905 when the Government of Canada's economic policies were causing starvation amongst his people. Ruffo's publications include Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism in Canada (Broadview, 2015), The Thunderbird Poems (Harbour, 2015) and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction. He is currently the Queen's National Scholar in Indigenous Literature at Queen's University in Kingston.
"Armand Ruffo spins silky songs out of everyday language. They thread the separations between the dead and the living, between the heirs of Columbus and his 'Indians,' between families and their children, joining the awkward edges always with hope, often with beauty. "
— Daniel David Moses