Canada Reads·My Life in Books

Katherena Vermette thinks you should read these four poets

If you loved The Break, here are four poets the Canada Reads author thinks you'll love.
Katherena Vermette is the author of The Break. (CBC)

Katherena  Vermette's debut novel The Break was a contender for the Canada Reads 2017 title, but the writer's roots are in poetry. Vermette won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry for her first book North End Love Songs. Below, are four poets she recommends reading.

Gwen Benaway

Gwen Benaway is the poet behind Ceremonies for the Dead and Passage. (Ashley Emma/Kegedonce Press)

In her sophomore poetry collection Passage, Métis poet Gwen Benaway journeys to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, seeking connections to her ancestral lands and waterways. Passage is Benaway's first collection published as a transgender woman and explores the intersections between gender, race and history. The collection was edited by Vermette, who told Benaway, "this is all about a return to the water, a return to the land, which for you is a return to that feminine force in yourself. It's you coming over to your feminine side."

Gregory Scofield

Gregory Scofield won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1994 for his debut collection, The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel. (Harbour Publishing)

Gregory Scofield is the author of seven acclaimed poetry collections. For his body of work, Scofield won the $25,000 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize, which is given to an accomplished mid-career poet. His latest book is Witness, I Am, an emotionally vibrant, determined meditation on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Rosanna Deerchild

Rosanna Deerchild is the host of CBC Radio's Unreserved. (CBC/McNally Robinson)

Rosanna Deerchild is the host of CBC Radio's Unreserved. Her most recent poetry collection Calling Down the Sky describes her mother's survival in the residential school system and the inter-generational impact of those dark experiences. The book was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, administered by the League of Canadian Poets. Deerchild's first book, this is a small northern town, won the 2009 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry.

Marilyn Dumont

Marilyn Du Mont won the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, That Tongued Belonging.

Marilyn Dumont has authored several award-winning poetry collections, including A Really Good Brown Girl, winner of the 1997 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Green Girl Dreams Mountains, winner of the 2001 Stephan G. Stephansson Award. Her latest The Pemmican Eaters was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award.


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