Sunday, March 30, 2008

Review -- In Mi'kmaq Country

In Mi'kmaq Country: Selected Poems & Stories is a new book by Alice M. Azure. I was delighted to be gifted a review copy from Alice, who is a solid and enlightening presence in two of the local writing groups I participate in.

Alice Azure's poems have previously appeared in publications such as Shenandoah, The Cream City Review, and Eating Fire, Tasting Blood: An Anthology of the American Indian Holocaust. I'm excited to see her work now collected in her own book.

I'll excerpt two poems that I think convey the flavor and some of the range in her book.

Northwoods Haiku

Spring was cold that year,
the trillium wouldn't open.
Then you came to me.

Gisoolg a verb, an action. When we say "Gisoolg," it means that you have been created, and you are being created. Stephen Augustine, Mi'kmaq Elder

a voice
pulses above
above in the stars
they pulse
like the voice
early early
this winter day
listen listen
Paradise pulses
Paradise participates
at times
times like this
with thee
thee listen
Paradise participates
for thee
listen listen listen
thee listen
with thee

The book is beautifully produced by Albatross Press, with a striking woodcut by the author as the cover image. It is available locally from Left Bank Books, which is always glad to handle mail orders, and is also available from the author (

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