Finalist for the 2019 A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry
Edited, with an introduction by multiple award-winning writer, elder, and activist Lee Maracle.
If poetry is a place to question, I Am a Body of Land by Shannon Webb-Campbell is an attempt to explore a relationship to poetic responsibility and accountability, and frame poetry as a form of re-visioning.
Here Webb-Campbell revisits the text of her earlier work Who Took My Sister? to examine her self, her place and her own poetic strategies. These poems are efforts to decolonize, unlearn, and undo harm.
Reconsidering individual poems and letters, Webb-Campbell's confessional writing circles back, and challenges what it means to ask questions of her own settler-Indigenous identity, belonging, and attempts to cry out for community, and call in with love.
Praise for I Am a Body of Land:
"Poetry awake with the winds from the Four Directions, poetry that crosses borders, margins, treaties, yellow tape warning Police Line: Do Not Cross. Poetry whose traditional territory, through colonization, has become trauma and shame. Unceded poetry. Read. Respect. Weep. " —Susan Musgrave, author of Origami Dove
"Shannon Webb-Campbell's work forces readers out of polite conversation and into a realm where despair and hard truths are being told, being heard and finding the emotion strength to learn from it, find out way out and embrace our beauty as Indigenous women. " —Carol Rose Daniels, author of Hiraeth and Bearskin Diary, winner of the First Nations Communities READ Award and the Aboriginal Literature Award.
Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi'kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic. She is the author of Still No Word (2015), recipient of Eagle Canada's Out in Print Award, and I Am a Body of Land (2019; finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry). Shannon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick in the Department of English. She is the editor of Visual Arts News Magazine. Shannon is a member of Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation and lives in Kijpuktuk/Halifax in Mi'kma'ki.
Lee Maracle was a member of the Sto:Lo nation and the author of the critically acclaimed novels Celia’s Song, Ravensong, and Daughters Are Forever. She was one of only five Canadian authors ever shortlisted for the Neustadt Award, commonly referred to as “the American Nobel.” Maracle was one of the founders of the En'owkin International School of Writing and the cultural director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth and was a Member of the Order of Canada. She had served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. Maracle lived in Vancouver, BC where she passed away in 2021.