This Wound is a World

This Wound is a World is an invitation to "cut a hole in the sky to world inside."

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to "cut a hole in the sky to world inside." Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where "everyone is at least a little gay." (From Frontenac House)

This Wound is a World won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry.

Excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

the cree word for a body like mine is weesageechak. the old ones know of this kind of shape-shifting: sometimes i sweat and sweat until my bones puddle on the carpet in my living room and i am like the water that comes before new life.

i was born during a falling leaves moon; which is to say that i have always been good at sacrifice. it is believed that women are most powerful during their moontime and because of this do not take part in ceremonies in order to let the body cleanse itself. there are weesageechak days when gender is a magic trick i forgot how to perform and my groin floods and floods trying to cleanse itself like the women and i too become toxic for men who have built cages of out of broken boys.

From The Cree Word for a Body Like Mine is Weesageechak in This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt ©2017. Published by Frontenac House.


Billy-Ray Belcourt, Carly-Jane Stanton and Zia Saleh have all been awarded the most prestigious scholarship in the world.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is one of three University of Alberta students to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, and he's the first First Nations student to be awarded the prize.