Whitemud Walking

By (author): Matthew James Weigel

WINNER OF THE 2020/2021 ALCUIN SOCIETY BOOK DESIGN AWARD FOR POETRY

WINNER OF THE ROBERT KROETSCH CITY OF EDMONTON BOOK PRIZE

WINNER OF THE 2023 STEPHAN G. STEPHANSSON AWARD FOR POETRY

WINNER OF THE GERALD LAMPERT MEMORIAL AWARD

WINNER OF THE INDIGENOUS VOICES AWARD FOR PUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH

SHORTLISTED FOR THE DAYNE OGILVIE PRIZE FOR LGBTQ2S+ EMERGING WRITERS

LONGLISTED FOR THE RAYMOND SOUSTER AWARD

An Indigenous resistance historiography, poetry that interrogates the colonial violence of the archive

Whitemud Walking is about the land Matthew Weigel was born on and the institutions that occupy that land. It is about the interrelatedness of his own story with that of the colonial history of Canada, which considers the numbered treaties of the North-West to be historical and completed events. But they are eternal agreements that entail complex reciprocity and obligations. The state and archival institutions work together to sequester documents and knowledge in ways that resonate violently in people’s lives, including the dispossession and extinguishment of Indigenous title to land.

Using photos, documents, and recordings that are about or involve his ancestors, but are kept in archives, Weigel examines the consequences of this erasure and sequestration. Memories cling to documents and sometimes this palimpsest can be read, other times the margins must be centered to gain a fuller picture. Whitemud Walking is a genre-bending work of visual and lyric poetry, non-fiction prose, photography, and digital art and design.

AUTHOR

Matthew James Weigel

Matthew James Weigel is a Dene and Métis poet and artist. He is the designer for Moon Jelly House press and his words and art have been published in Arc, The Polyglot, and The Mamawi Project. Matthew is a National Magazine Award finalist, a Cécile E. Mactaggart Award winner, and winner of the 2020 Vallum Chapbook Award. His chapbook It Was Treaty / It Was Me is available now. Whitemud Walking is his debut collection.


Reviews

“Weigel’s formal experimentation expands the role of the ‘writer’ within the bookmaking process as he integrates layout and typesetting into the creative work of the text.” – Ben Robinson, Hamilton Review of Books

“In Whitemud Walking, Weigel attempts to articulate the breaks even as he seeks his own way through them, writing a space deliberately broken through colonialism and ongoing governmental interference.” –Rob Mclennan

“In opposition to the colonial archive, Weigel’s poetics turn to the body and the land, and his techniques extend from the line to erasures, photographic alterations and visual and conceptual pieces.” – Melanie Brannagan Frederiksen, The Winnipeg Free Press

“Matthew James Weigel’s debut book of poetry weaves itself around and through words, interrogating spaces beyond the page, and text.” – Tyler Pennock, Prairie books NOW

“In Whitemud Walking, Matthew James Weigel unsettles the archive, deconstructs the myth of treaty, and restores the history of his family through a series of mournful, visionary, and sometimes darkly funny interventions using text, image, sound, silence, and the kinetic energy that arises from his perfectly calibrated juxtapositions, rearrangements and inventions. A powerful and moving book.” – VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award judge, Susan Olding

“A remarkable work of resistance historiography, Whitemud Walking tracks the poet’s deeply personal investigation of colonial violence and erasure. The book is a masterclass in experimental form that tracks an “all-or-nothing calling” of witness through the literal deconstruction of colonial archival documents, the uncovering and re-visioning of family stories and the poet’s loving and attentive relationship with a particular place. You do not just read this book but experience it with your mind, heart, and spirit.” – Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Jury Statement

Whitemud Walking is exceptional both in its experiments and design but even more so in its power to bring the personal to the textual and the archive to the search for self.” – Shane Rhodes, Arc Poetry

Whitemud Walking is a deeply moving book that takes readers into the heart of the colonial archive and makes possible a personal and creative freedom. Its scope and ambition are hard-won and achieved through its emotionality and care.” – Indigenous Voices Award Jury Citation



Awards

  • Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize 2023, Winner
  • Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry 2023, Winner
  • Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry 2023, Winner
  • Gerald Lampert Memorial Award 2023, Winner
  • Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers 2023, Short-listed
  • Raymond Souster Award 2023, Short-listed
  • Alcuin Society Book Design Award for Poetry 2021, Winner
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    Details

    Dimensions:

    144 Pages
    8.5in * 5.75in * 0.5in
    0.64lb

    Published:

    April 12, 2022

    Publisher:

    Coach House Books

    ISBN:

    9781552454411

    Book Subjects:

    POETRY / LGBTQ+

    Language:

    eng

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