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.
“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.
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.
Book*hug Press wishes to acknowledge the land on which it operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.