Why Jennifer Podemski feels a powerful connection to Rosanna Deerchild's collection Calling Down the Sky

"I warn you, it might open up something inside of you and will have to face it," says the actor and producer.
Calling Down the Sky by Rosanna Deerchild is a poetry collection Jennifer Podemski recommends reading. (Jennifer Podemski)

July 1, 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation in Canada. CBC Books is creating the Great Canadian Reading List - a list of 150 books curated by you. 

Actor and producer Jennifer Podemski adds Calling Down the Sky by Rosanna Deerchild to the reading list.

"Sometime in 2016, I was listening to CBC Radio and heard an interview with Rosanna Deerchild about her most recent book of poetry Calling Down the Sky. I am a huge fan of her radio show Unreserved (also obviously CBC), I'm always eager to hear her perspectives. She read a poem called 'On The First Day.' I had to pull over because I was crying so hard. It opened something inside me.

"I read the book shortly thereafter and it is absolutely gut-wrenching. Maybe it's because I knew that she had taken many years to write this book (with the help of her mother who is the residential school survivor that the book is based on) or maybe it's because of my own inter-generational trauma of residential school. Whatever the reason, this book of poetry resonated very deeply with me. I highly recommend it. But I warn you, it might open up something inside of you and will have to face it."

Jennifer Podemski's extensive acting credits includes a starring role in Empire of Dirt, which garnered her two Canadian Screen Award nominations. She has also appeared in the television shows Degrassi: The Next Generation, Republic of Doyle and Blackstone. She is the owner and founder of the production company Redcloud Studios Inc., which is dedicated to promoting "Aboriginal visibility in the film and television industry."


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