Totem Poles and Railroads
By Janet Rogers
Totem Poles and Railroads succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers' expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental ... Read more
Totem Poles and Railroads succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers' expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters--real and imagined, historical and present day--from Sacajawea to Nina Simone. Placing poetry at the centre of our current post-residential school/present-day reconciliation reality, Rogers' poems are expansive and intimate, challenging, thought-provoking and always personal.
Janet Rogers is an award-winning Mohawk and Tuscarora poet from Six Nations of the Grand River. She is also a radio broadcaster, documentary producer and media artist. Her works have been nominated for Best Spoken Word Recording at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and the Native American Music Awards. Her extensive experience in radio includes hosting the programs Native Waves Radio on CFUV and Tribal Clefs on CBC Radio One. She has also produced the radio documentaries Bring Your Drum: 50 Years of Indigenous Protest Music and Resonating Reconciliation which received awards for Best Radio at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. In addition to this work, she was the City of Victoria Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014.
These new poems by Janet Rogers are a straight shot metaphysical call to action in the wake of historical trauma, police violence, shameful treatment of our body Earth. They stand as urgent witness, clear talk in the face of colonized law built on lies. Rogers reminds us to pay attention, to listen. These words can heal. - Joy Harjo, Mvskoke Nation, poet and musician To give Rogers' poems a form, a body, I would have to name them blackbird, formidable winged creatures who've chosen the highest branch and whose eyes allow us the vision we so often cannot see ourselves. I'm honoured to be called into this ceremony, sung awake by her prayers. Praise for Totem Poles and Railroads - Gregory Scotfield, author of Witness, I amJanet Rogers doesn't pull any punches. All of the stinging and difficult realities of colonialism are confronted head-on and with ferocity. Rogers is here to disrupt these white landscapes. Rogers is here to call out all of the bullshit both past and present. Totem Poles and Railroads is burning to be read. - Jordan Abel, Nisga's Nation, author of Injun
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