Canadian

Totem Poles & Railroads

Janet Rogers' fifth collection of poetry addresses the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and Canada.

Janet Rogers

Totem Poles & Railroads succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters — real and imagined, historical and present day — from Sacajawea to Nina Simone. Placing poetry at the centre of our current post-residential school/present-day reconciliation reality, Rogers' poems are expansive and intimate, challenging, thought-provoking and always personal. (From ARP Books)

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From the book

were there only us

we'd drown in the illusion

of our own importance

spill blood over the ridiculous

and pray to vaporous sources

praying in faith with little return

we are saved by sources

beyond ourselves

strange yet real

rejecting simple notions

animal/mammal-like man

forest beings exacting

necessary survival practices

our reflection relations

maybe once and twice

removed


From "Shahsi ' To: Wane The Big Footed One" by Janet Rogers. Totem Poles & Railroads ©2016. Published by ARP Books.

Author interviews

The Mohawk poet Janet Rogers on her latest collection, where she confronts 500 years of colonialism. 13:01
Mohawk Poet Janet Rogers takes host Rosanna Deerchild on a tour of Mohawk poet E. Pauline Johnson's home on Six Nations. The house is now designated a national historic site. 13:38

More about this book