Books·My Life in Books

6 books that changed the life of poet Gregory Scofield

The author on the literary works that opened his eyes to the world around him.
Gregory Scofield is a Métis poet, whose work draws on Cree story-telling traditions. (Janzen Photography)

April is National Poetry Month and CBC Books is highlighting Canadian poets throughout the month!

Gregory Scofield is a Métis poet and author. He was the 2016 recipient of the Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize, a $25,000 award given to an accomplished mid-career poet. Scofield's seventh poetry collection, Witness, I Am, is an emotionally vibrant, determined meditation on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Below, Scofield talks about the books he's loved reading over the years. 

Half-Breed by Maria Campbell

Halfbreed is a memoir by Métis author and playwright Maria Campbell. (Ted Whitecalf/U of Nebraska Press)

"Half-Breed gave me a sense of my self. It gave me a sense of my community."

In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier

Beatrice Mosionier is a Métis author born in St. Boniface, Manitoba. (Madison Thomas/CBC/HighWater Press)

"This book gave me a sense of my own lived experiences."

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran published The Prophet, considered his masterpiece, in 1923. (Alfred A. Knopf)

"This book that was given to me by my late mother. That was one of the first books that was given to me. It really gave me a sense of wonder — and it gave me a belief in a spiritual world."

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose works are influential in post-colonial studies. ( Pacha J. Willka/Wikimedia/Grove Atlantic Press)

"Wretched of the Earth taught me about resistance and the power of words as a form of resistance."

She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo is the poet behind the collection She Had Some Horses. (Joy Harjo/WW Norton)

"This was one of the first poetry books by an Indigenous poet that I actually picked up. Through the book and the beauty of how the horses were described, it was also the power of language through poetry. It was about the power of poetry as a form of storytelling, as a form of healing, as a form of resistance, as a form of beauty."

The Diviners by Margaret Laurence

Margaret Laurence was a Canadian novelist and short story writer. She authored The Diviners, published in 1974. (New Canadian Library)

"The Diviners gave me a sense of wonder. The book gave me a sense of Canadian history and the experiences of Indigenous and Metis people in this country. It gave me a sense of storytelling as well."


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