Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, activist, musician, artist, author and member of Alderville First Nation. Her work often centres on the experiences of Indigenous Canadians. Her books include Islands of Decolonial Love, This Accident of Being Lost, Dancing on Our Turtle's Back and As We Have Always Done. Simpson was chosen by Thomas King for the 2014 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. This Accident of Being Lost was shortlisted for the Rogers Writer's Trust Fiction Prize in 2017 and the the 2018 Trillium Book Award.
- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on how poetry exists between time and space
- How Leanne Betasamosake Simpson finds moments of joy in hopelessness
- How turning to her Nishnaabeg roots helped Leanne Betasamosake Simpson overcome a creative challenge
- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on Indigenous freedom and creating change
- 100 writers in Canada you need to know now
"I spend a lot of time on the land with elders and with my kids, doing Nishnaabeg things. That is a really rich artistic and creative space for me. A lot of these stories and the poetry have ties or have roots to those experiences. It's also just a space in my life where I have time to breathe and I feel free and I think that's really important in terms of my own creative process. These stories kind of came on their own at different points in time and they have different origins. My writing process looks a little bit scattered or eclectic. They come from the interstitial moments in my life."
I started thinking about that feeling of escape and fugitivity. Not just escaping from the violence of colonialism, but escaping into the beautiful things that make my nation.- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
"I have been asked over the years from a number of different people to write a creative response to this phenomenon of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. I always struggled with that because I think it's one of those things that I'm just too close to. The emotional and traumatic load on Indigenous women can make it hard sometimes, for me anyway, to write creatively. I had written political interventions and blog posts on that topic, but I hadn't been able to write anything that was poetry or short story. I started to think about traditional stories, storytelling practices and aesthetics that come from within Indigenous nations."