Books·Poetry Month

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on how poetry exists between time and space

To celebrate National Poetry Month, CBC Books asked Canadian poets what the literary form means to them.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's book This Accident of Being Lost was on the 2017 shortlist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. (Nadya Kwandibens/Red Works Photography)

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, CBC Books asked poets the question: "What is the power of poetry?"

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg musician, artist, author and member of Alderville First Nation. 

Her work often centres on the struggles of Indigenous Canadians. Her latest book, a collection of stories and poems called This Accident of Being Lost, was on the shortlist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.​

"Poetry, and I mean all kinds of poetry — rap, lyrics, ancient stories echoing into the future from the present, the sounds and vibrations of Indigenous languages, the interstitial spaces between notes, and poetics of ice melting — is important because poetry holds space for other worlds.

"Worlds that exist despite and in spite of the tremendous violence of colonialism or anti-Blackness. Imagined, realized, birthed even temporarily, poetry allows us to feel and taste and breath freedom." ​


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