Edited, and with an Introduction, by Lee Maracle.
If poetry is a place to question, I Am a Body of Land by Shannon Webb-Campbell is an attempt to explore a relationship to poetic responsibility and accountability, and frame poetry as a form of re-visioning.
Here Webb-Campbell revisits the text of her earlier work Who Took My Sister? to examine her self, her place and her own poetic strategies. These poems are efforts to decolonize, unlearn, and undo harm.
Reconsidering individual poems and letters, Webb-Campbell’s confessional writing circles back, and challenges what it means to ask questions of her own settler-Indigenous identity, belonging, and attempts to cry out for community, and call in with love.
Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
Praise for I Am a Body of Land:
“Shannon Webb-Campbell’s work forces readers out of polite conversation and into a realm where despair and hard truths are being told, being heard and finding the emotional strength to learn from it, find our way out and embrace our beauty as Indigenous women.”
—Carol Rose Daniels, author of Hiraeth and Bearskin Diary, winner of the First Nations Communities READ Award and the Aboriginal Literature Award.
“Poetry awake with the winds from the Four Directions, poetry that crosses borders, margins, treaties, yellow tape warning: Police Line. Do Not Cross. Poetry whose traditional territory, through colonization, has become trauma and shame. Unceded poetry. Read. Respect. Weep.”
—Susan Musgrave, author of Origami Dove
A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry Jury Citation:
Shannon Webb-Campbell searches, and talks to us about her search through her poems. Full of feelings, hardship and some joy. This engaging collection of poems is sometimes dark and sometimes gives us hope but not without reminders that we need to work for it.
Press Coverage for I Am a Body of Land:
How Lee Maracle helped Shannon Webb-Campbell understand the true meaning of poetry —CBC Radio One The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers
Globe Books winter preview: 46 books to keep you warm on cold nights —The Globe and Mail
Most Anticipated: Our 2019 Spring Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
The Chat with Shannon Webb-Campbell —Trevor Corkum, 49th Shelf
Shannon Webb-Campbell : My Small Press Writing Day —My Small Press Writing Day blog
A Reading List for National Indigenous Peoples Day —All Lit Up
Contested Territory: Review of I am a Body of Land —Tess Liem, Montreal Review of Books
Review: I am a Body of Land —The Poetry Question
Poetry Review: I am a Body of Land —Cara-Lyn Morgan, The Malahat Review
Aftershock: Books on Trauma and Resilience —Alison Taylor for 49th Shelf
“According to Webb-Campbell, I Am a Body of Land “isn’t a typical book,” and I agree because it blends poetics, politics, criticism, and ethics without diminishing the affective beauty of poetry and its ability to speak to the reader’s soul. Webb-Campbell’s poetic response to previous criticism is a seminal contribution to the field of Indigenous literary studies and represents an unconventional way of dealing with complex questions of authorship, the function of art, poetics, and ethics, as well as the internalized culture of colonialism” —Jessica Janssen, Canadian Literature
Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed-Indigenous (Mi’kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic currently based in Montreal. Her first book, Still No Word (2015) was the inaugural recipient of Egale Canada’s Out In Print Award. She was Canadian Women in the Literary Arts Critic-in-Residence in 2014 and sits on Canadian Women in the Literary Arts board of directors. Her work has appeared in many anthologies, journals, and publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, Geist Magazine, The Malahat Review, Canadian Literature, Room, and Quill and Quire. In 2017 she facilitated a book club-style reading of The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada at Atwater Library in Montreal; she also championed Carol Daniel’s novel Bearskin Diary for CBC Montreal’s Turtle Island Reads. I Am a Body of Land is her latest book.