"Thoughts and Other Human Tendencies" is a poetry collection where stories of Aboriginal experiences are distilled into feelings and thoughts that are universal. Reneltta Arluk weaves the traditional and the contemporary together through the eyes of a young Aboriginal woman. She draws from the Aboriginal tradition of praising the land and the spirit, the realities of Aboriginal culture, and the concept of feminine individuality. Her poems, both sacred and secular, are written with the passions of anger, grief, and love, at once tender and furious. She celebrates the everyday acts, rituals, and stories that draw people together across the years and across the distances of cultural dispersion. Here are tales of love, betrayal, courage, defeat, acceptance, loss, grief, passion, delight, courting, coming of age, birth and death, youth and old age, hunting and surviving. The poems are united by the history of her ancestors and the ongoing struggle to define what it means to be a tribal member, an Aboriginal, and a woman in the twenty first century.
Reneltta Arluk is a writer and actor of Inuvialuit and Chipewyan-Cree descent originally from the Northwest Territories. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, Reneltta travelled with them across the north. Being raised in a nomadic environment gave her the skills and imagination to become the writer and storyteller she is. Her first written work TUMIT was a one-woman show premiering under Akpik Theatre. A personal exploration of relationships and breaking cycles, TUMIT, meaning tracks in Inuktitut, took her storytelling one step further. Reneltta has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting degree from the University of Alberta. She is fortunate to continually work as an Actor and Playwright throughout Canada and internationally keeping her culture alive.
Unlike many works of poetry, “Thoughts and Other Human Tendencies” has a clear progression through the growing pains of youth to more adult, even risqué subject matter. Poems comprise the intensely personal and in many ways autobiographical work about growing up and dealing with the joy and pain the process entails. -- NORTHERN JOURNAL