Video

Why telling her mother's story was one of Rosanna Deerchild's greatest challenges

Rosanna Deerchild said the biggest challenge in writing her new book was getting her mom to open up about her past. In this poignant video, Deerchild shares her award-nominated work with the woman who inspired it.

In this poignant video, the CBC host opens up about her latest book's inspiration

Rosanna Deerchild said the biggest challenge in writing her new book was getting her mom to open up about her past. In this poignant video, Deerchild shares her work with the woman who inspired it. 4:04

Writing her second poetry collection, Calling Down The Sky, was a journey of healing for award-winning author Rosanna Deerchild. But it was also one of her life's greatest challenges.

In this short documentary produced by CBC's Stephanie Matteis and filmmaker Andrew Wiens, the host of Unreserved on CBC Radio One reveals with poignant transparency how her mother inspired her work. Deerchild's family is from the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, but she grew up in Thompson, Man. and felt her mother was a mystery to her. 

"I want to hear your whole story and I will tell it," Deerchild told her mother. "I will tell it and I will make sure nobody forgets it. And I will make sure that you are never told to be quiet again." And that's how the journey of the book started.

Calling Down The Sky has been nominated for two Manitoba Book Awards, the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry and the McNally Book of the Year Award, which will be announced April 30. The book has also been short-listed for a Pat Lowther Award from the League of Canadian Poets. The winner will be announced June 18.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.