Burning in this Midnight Dream

Many of the poems in this collection by Louise Bernice Halfe were inspired by the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Louise Bernice Halfe

Burning in this Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures. (From Coteau Books)

From the book

āniskōstēw - connecting

I cannot say for sure what happened
to my mother and father.
The story said,
she went to St. Anthony's Residential School
and he went to Blue Quills.
They slept on straw mattresses and
attended classes for half a day.
Mother worked as a seamstress,
a kitchen helper, a dining room servant,
or labored in the laundry room.
Father carried feed for the pigs,
cut hay for the cattle and
toiled in the massive garden.

That little story is bigger than I can tell.

From Burning in this Midnight Dream by Louise Bernice Halfe ©2016. Published by Coteau Books.

Interviews with Louise Bernice Halfe

The Saskatchewan poet talks about her new poetry collection, the damaging legacy of residential school, and her reconnection with her Cree roots.


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