Kiskajeyi- I AM READY

By Michelle Sylliboy
By (photographer) Michelle Sylliboy

Kiskajeyi- I AM READY
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Kiskajeyi- I AM READY is a ground breaking Indigenous poetry book that also includes ancient Mi'kmaq (L'nuk) hieroglyphics. In 2020, Kiskajeyi- I AM READY won the Canadian Indigenous Voices Award (IVAs) for Published Poetry (English category). Indigenous artist and writer, Michelle ... Read more


Overview

Kiskajeyi- I AM READY is a ground breaking Indigenous poetry book that also includes ancient Mi'kmaq (L'nuk) hieroglyphics. In 2020, Kiskajeyi- I AM READY won the Canadian Indigenous Voices Award (IVAs) for Published Poetry (English category). Indigenous artist and writer, Michelle Sylliboy blends her poetry, photography, and Mi'kmaq (L'nuk) hieroglyphic poetry in this unprecedented book.

Excerpt

RESURGENT HOPE

Hope is a vision
of unknown circumstances
disguising itself
on moments of
reconstructed monologues
seldom heard in public

do not restrain
be heard

feel the strength
of Mother Earth's
magnetic anomalies
renewing visions
carefully placed alongside
our common goals of survival

listen to her drumbeats
of collective sorrows
drumbeats of healing
soft-petal collisions
we manage to uphold
as a way of recognizing
how we need
to behave in this world

Awards

  • Indigenous Voices Awards : category of Published Poetry (English) 2020, Winner

Reviews

"Crystalline and fluid, the word art and visuals of Michelle emerges sharp, poignant and catalytic moving us between our world and the one surrounding us, challenging us to continuously create visions of unspoken love that resides in the imagination of all of us. " -Lee Maracle (Sto:lo) author of Memory Serves, Celia's Song

"Michelle's poetry, the weaving of images and the hieroglyphs bring us tidal waves of energies from centuries past, like a wave crashing they are a much-needed call to each of us to remember our ancestors. A prayer in motion, this collection acknowledges the brokenness and beauty that exists within each of us. It will save lives. " -Jónína Kirton (Métis/Icelandic) author of An Honest Woman

"Michelle Sylliboy's I am Ready poetry collection is a cultural basket filled with the poet's harvest in words, in ancient Komqwej'wikasikl hieroglyphics and perfectly accented photographs. Michelle shows us there is poetry in frozen water drops attached precariously to vegetation. The graphic language symbols are offered as evidence of her survival and that of her people. We are treated to wise life lessons collected together in verse. I am Ready reflects a sentiment to be ready to return to self. Quite inspiring. " Janet Rogers (Mohawk/Tuscarora) author of As Long as the Sun Shines

"On a first approach to Mi'kmaq poet Michelle Sylliboy's work, one might quickly notice her interdisciplinary approach to interacting with the world around her. On a closer look, one might also recognize how much of that world reverberates through her. Sylliboy absorbs and projects her surroundings: her home-territory of We'koqma'q, Cape Breton on one coast and Coast Salish country on the other. In both cases, she finds herself on unceded lands. Her art is a personal refraction of these places and their people, which she endeavours to represent in a multifaceted expression in her provocative new collection, Kiskajeyi -- I Am Ready. The subtitle of Sylliboy's work is "a Hermeneutic exploration of Mi'kmaq komqwejwi'kasikl poetry. " Hermeneutics is a way of understanding an historical (and often biblical) text that aims to reconnect with the mind of its authors. To that end, Sylliboy populates her work with modern poetry, photography, and verse written in the komqwejwi'kasikl hieroglyphic writing system. "-Paul Falardeau, , Ormsby Review

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