My Life in Books

Why 2018 Polaris Music Prize winner Jeremy Dutcher loved reading Billy-Ray Belcourt's This Wound Is A World

The Toronto-based musician recommends reading the Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection.

'It is rare I find myself so thoroughly represented in the pages of a book of poetry.'

Jeremy Dutcher's debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, is on the 2018 Polaris Music Prize shortlist. (Matt Barnes)

Jeremy Dutcher's debut 2018 album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa melds modern-day pop and jazz sounds with ancestral Indigenous vocals from hiWolastoq community in New Brunswick.

On Sept. 17, the Toronto-based composer, pianist and classical trained tenor won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC MusicThe $50,000 award is presented to the artist who creates the Canadian album of the year.

 CBC Books asked Dutcher to recommend a book that's had an impact on his life and work. He chose This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt. 

"It is rare I find myself so thoroughly represented in the pages of a book of poetry, as I did when I read Billy-Ray Belcourt's This Wound Is A World.

"Truly one of the most incisive writers I've ever read, he invites you into his world; so beautiful and unabashedly Indigenous.

"This collection of poems is rooted in the distinct perspectives that needs to be centred in this moment, that of queer Indigenous people and of two-spirit ways of knowing.

"Read this book and come closer to an understanding of those in between."

Jeremy Dutcher performs for CBC Music's First Play Live:

Jeremy Dutcher performs 'Pomok Naka Poktoinskwes' for CBC Music's First Play Live. 5:39

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