The Punishment

The Punishment is a collection of poetry by Kwantlen writer Joseph Dandurand.

Joseph Dandurand

The cover of Joseph Dandurand's poetry book The Punishment, featuring white text and a white drawing of a hand holding a sword in a bouquet of flowers, set against a black background.

The Punishment is the latest addition to the oeuvre of prolific Kwantlen writer Joseph Dandurand, whose stunning previous collection, The East Side of It All, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

In The Punishment, Joseph Dandurand's now-familiar storyteller's voice wrangles trauma, grief, forgiveness and love. His poems illustrate the poet's solitary existence. With scenes of residential school, the psych ward, the streets and the river, Dandurand reveals an arduous journey: one poet's need to both understand his life and find ways to escape it. Through poetry, he shares with us all his lovers. He shares the streets. He shares what he sees: the great eagles and small birds; his culture and teachings; the East Side; self-pity; the deception of love; the deception of hate; sasquatches; spirits; and his people, the Kwantlen.

At root, The Punishment is about survival. Dandurand's poems will show you disease. They'll show you cedar. They'll show you music. They'll show you shadows. They'll show you forgiveness, and they'll show you punishment. (From Nightwood Editions)

The Punishment is available on Sept. 16, 2022.

Joseph Dandurand is a member of the Kwantlen First Nation, located on the Fraser River about 20 minutes east of Vancouver, B.C. He resides there with his three children.

Dandurand is the director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre and the author of several books of poetry, including The East Side of It All (Nightwood Editions, 2020), which was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2021, Dandurand received the BC Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.

Interviews with Joseph Dandurand

'As the city sleeps': Joseph A. Dandurand poignantly captures life on the streets in his poetry

3 years ago
Duration 0:50
Dandurand's most recent book of poetry, The East Side of it All, is on the Canadian shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize.


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