East Side of It All, The
The East Side of It All, written from the perspective of a drug user and single-room occupant in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, explores the ongoing process of healing through reconnection with family, the natural world and traditional Indigenous (Kwantlen) storytelling. Dandurand’s ... Read more
The East Side of It All, written from the perspective of a drug user and single-room occupant in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, explores the ongoing process of healing through reconnection with family, the natural world and traditional Indigenous (Kwantlen) storytelling. Dandurand’s voice is lyrical yet intimate, obscured yet sitting with you at the kitchen table having a cigarette. The East Side of It All is the journey of a broken man who finally accepts his storytelling gift and shares with the world his misery, joy and laughter. Dandurand’s previous poetry collection was shortlisted for the 2020 Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize for Poetry.
Joseph Dandurand is a member of the Kwantlen First Nation, located on the Fraser River about twenty minutes east of Vancouver, BC. He resides there with his three children. Dandurand is the director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre and the author of several books of poetry including The East Side of It All (2020), which was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2021, Dandurand received the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.
- Griffin Poetry Prize 2021, Short-listed
“How does the Romantic keep on if he’s a contemporary First Nations guy? Like the poet Dandurand. There’s an honest that gets bare bones scary in some of these free verse poems. ..but thanks to the clarity, often irony of his vision, our awkward humanity speaks through. ”
“These are powerful visionary parables of suffering, redemption and retribution. ..”
“Joseph Dandurand’s oeuvre is a marvel of witness, expressing tough, unflinching truths. The poet’s work dissects, reconfigures and takes to task settler-colonialism; his quotidian reflections read like parables, with startling economy. Whether drawing from his own spiritual immortality of cultural initiation, or from his insightful perspective as a survivor of the streets, the author conjures lived-in worlds that resonate through action over sentiment. His voice blends the streetwise with the oracular. Dandurand’s instantly relatable poems are deep, deep dives into rhythms that build a history of survival in place, wise to all that’s frail, strong, funny, and hopeful. ”
“Hands down, Joseph Dandurand is one of my all-time favourite writers. ..Good Lord—what a voice!”