Billy-Ray Belcourt recommends Passage by Gwen Benaway

Every day in June, an Indigenous writer will recommend a book they love by a First Nations, Métis or Inuit author from Canada.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is the author of The Wound is a World, a poetry collection. (Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada/Kegedonce Press)

June is Indigenous Book Club Month. CBC Books will publish a recommendation each day from an Indigenous writer for a book written by another Indigenous author.

Billy-Ray Belcourt recommends Passage by Gwen Benaway.

"Gwen Benaway's Passage is that which is produced by way of a collaboration with the abandoned. This is to say that it traces a body scattered at the bottom of a lake; that each fragment is a book in and of itself. In Passage, Benaway takes to nature imagery because she knows that to think with the trees, the clouds and the lake is to think the thorny cages of the semantic. She knows that we are all at the mercy of the sky, for better or for worse. Passage is thus about "more than movement": it is about the gender of wind, it is about falling in love with the unspoken, it is about the opposite of thick skin. Passage, then, is nothing if not a guide to letting grief flower a new world. I don't know how yet, but the grass might be greener on the other side."

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a poet from the Driftpile Cree Nation. His first poetry collection, The Wound is a World, will be available in fall 2017. He is a Rhodes Scholar and is currently studying at the University of Oxford


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