Books·Canadian

river woman

Katherena Vermette’s second work of poetry, river woman, examines and celebrates love as postcolonial action.

Katherena Vermette

Governor General's Award–winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette's second work of poetry, river woman, examines and celebrates love as postcolonial action. Here love is defined as a force of reclamation and repair in times of trauma, and trauma is understood to exist within all times. The poems are grounded in what feels like an eternal present, documenting moments of clarity that lift the speaker (and reader) out of our preconceptions of historical time, while never losing a connection to history. This is what we mean when we describe a work of art as being "timeless."

Divided into four sections, and written in her distinctively lean and elegantly spare style, where short lines belie the depth within them, river woman explores Vermette's relationship to nature — its destructive power and beauty, its timelessness, and its place in human history. Here is a poet who is a keen observer of an environment that is both familiar and otherworldly, where her home is alive with the sounds and smells of the land it grows out of, where "Words / transcend ceremony / into everyday" and "Nothing / is inanimate." (From House of Anansi Press)

Katherena Vermette is also the author of the novel The Break and the Governor General's Literary Award-winning poetry collection North End Love SongsShe lives in Winnipeg.

Interviews with Katherena Vermette

Tracey Lindberg was joined on stage by Métis writer Katherena Vermette and Métis writer Cherie Dimaline to talk about race and representation on Canada Reads, CBC's annual battle of the books. 18:21

Other books by Katherena Vermette

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