A collection of words and imagery from diverse voices grounded in the land that explore community in relation to time. Filmmaker/writer, Darlene Naponse, curates a gathering of expression about time that has passed, time that is now and time that comes.
Darlene Naponse is an Anishinaabe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Northern Ontario, where she was born and raised. She is a writer, independent film director, video artist, and community activist. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe. Several of her short stories have been published in the Yellow Medicine Review, Along the 46th Anthology, and The Malahat Review. She is currently working on a book of short stories. She works from her studio on the Rez (Atikameksheng Anishnawbek).
Cyclic existence, connected. I've been told I express time differently. If it is thinking years ago was the other day or needing the immediacy to know now. Time can be the reliant, the dependent, the lost lover or the dream. Does time exists mostly within need? The need to get somewhere; for a day to come, for yesterday to be gone? 'll exclude a vocabulary that is not necessarily mine. I will experience as I hope you will, in all the moments, movements and a vision of the time we spend/spent. Without community we don't exist. I truly believe that. it has been what I was raised to understand. Thou it was never said that way. A knowledge, a way of life I receive from my Grandparents, my mother, father, aunties, uncles, the community, as they work together. All in moments of happiness and complete sadness, together. If time truly exists in a linear way, then the true understanding is in the black waters. Yet from what stories are presented in this anthology, time/community is one. Yesterday is formed around the stories as much as tomorrow is. We travel through visions of what can be reimagined, re-experienced out of the days before us and into the days ahead. From around Mother Earth, the indigenous voices of emerging and practiced writers are in the following pages. We go deep into their communities, their visions, their creations, their experiences. Poetry, prose, stories that allow the reader to know, the fire never went out, the community is alive, connected to the land and the people. Darlene Naponse
Before the Usual Time is a vibrantly eclectic anthology of strong Indigenous voices from right across Turtle Island. From poetry to creative non-fiction to speculative fiction and more, the writing from each spirited storyteller is rich with heartfelt narration that transcends nations. This collection effectively demonstrates the beautiful diversity of Indigenous voices and experiences throughout this land, and the common threads of strength and resilience that bind them through time. It is both a poignant look back and a promising look ahead. - Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon of the Crusted Snow