Louise Bernice Halfe, whose Cree name is Sky Dancer, is Canada's ninth Parliamentarian Poet Laureate and served as the first Indigenous Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan. She was born in Two Hills, Alta. and was raised on the Saddle Lake First Nation and attended Blue Quills Residential School. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina and certificates in Addiction Counselling from the Nechi Institute. She earned her Doctorate of Letters from Wilfred Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan and Mount Royal University. Halfe's poetry collections include Bear Bones & Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good and Burning in this Midnight Dream. Her latest poetry collection is awâsis – kinky and disheveled.
Halfe, along with Canadian poets Canisia Lubrin and Steven Heighton, is on the jury for the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize.
Books by Louise Bernice Halfe
Interviews with Louise Bernice Halfe
The Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe Skydancer, who was recently appointed Canada's ninth parliamentary poet laureate, talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest collection, awâsis — kinky and dishevelled. 16:32 For the first time in Canadian history, an Indigenous poet holds the position of parliamentary poet laureate. Louise Bernice Halfe, who’s also known by the Cree name Sky Dancer, grew up in Alberta and made a name for herself in Saskatchewan as the former poet laureate of the province. Halfe has published numerous works of poetry, including Blue Marrow for which she was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry in 1998. She joined Tom Power to talk about the significance of her new position as parliamentary poet laureate, and how her life experiences as a residential school survivor and social worker have impacted her poetry. 17:00 A Saskatoon poet and writer is making history. Louise Bernice Halfe — also known by the Cree name Sky Dancer — is Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate. She's the first person from an Indigenous community to hold that title. Halfe was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School in central Alberta. She's worn many different hats, which includes serving as Saskatchewan's second poet laureate. For more on this historic journey, Louise Bernice Halfe — Sky Dancer — joins us guest host Peter Mills. 8:10 She grew up in Alberta watching her grandparents hide their sweatlodge, then attended Blue Quills residential school. Hear how and why Saskatoon's Louise Bernice Halfe is making history as Canada's first parliamentary poet laureate from an Indigenous community. 9:52 Newly-appointed Parliamentary Poet Laureate Louise Bernice Halfe — who also goes by the Cree name Sky Dancer — shares how poetry can play a role in a time of crisis and reconciliation. 8:10 The Saskatchewan poet talks about her new poetry collection, the damaging legacy of residential school, and her reconnection with her Cree roots. 12:49