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 undoo 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.
Edited, with an introduction by multiple award-winning writer and activist Lee Maracle.
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 an award-winning poet, writer, and journalist of mixed Aboriginal ancestry. She is the inaugural winner of Egale Canada’s Out in Print Award and was the Canadian Women in Literary Arts 2014 critic-in-residence. Still No Word is her first collection of poems. She lives in Halifax.
Lee Maracle is a member of the Stó:lo nation. Born in Vancouver, she grew up on the North Shore. The author of many critically acclaimed novels, including Sundogs, Daughters Are Forever, Ravensong and Celia's Song, she has also published short fiction, Sojourner's Truth and Other Stories and First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style. The granddaughter of the renowned Chief Dan George, she is considered to be a "knowledge keeper" of her people's history, and was one of the founders of the En'owkin Centre, the international school of Indigenous writing in Penticton, B.C. Widely published in anthologies and scholarly journals, she is also the author of Bent Box, a poetry book, the young adult novel, Will's Garden, and the autobiographical narratives of Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel and I Am Woman. Currently an instructor and student mentor in the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto, as well as the Traditional Teacher for First Nations' House at Toronto's Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Maracle's writing and contributions to First Nations communities have been recognized by many awards, including the JT Stewart Award, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts for Ontario.