Poetic tales that unfold through the voice of ê-kwêskît, Turn-Around Woman–tales imbued with vital themes of Indigenous experience: culture, language, colonialism, residential schools and more. The poems of The Crooked Good are threaded throughout with words, phrases and verses in Cree; its personal stories framed within the fireside tales of Rolling Head Woman, who is both nightmare and culture hero. Evocative, moving, and powerful poetry from a master poet.
This brand new third edition (2021) has been beautifully redesigned and includes a new foreword by Kimberley Anderson, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Relationships at the University of Guelph.
Louise Bernice Halfe was named Parliamentary Poet for Canada in February of 2021.
Praise for The Crooked Good:
“For those who might not know, you cannot be a student of Indigenous poetry without reading the words of Louise Halfe, and The Crooked Good is one of those books that needs to be near the top of your reading list. And for those, like myself, who have returned to this book many years after the first reading, what a gift and a blessing. Once again, after all these years. There are stories that are fossilized in their time and place, and then there are those stories that renew themselves and renew us, too, each time we return to them. Louise Halfe has given us one of those renewing stories. It is, too, a story about stories: how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, as individuals and cultures, can enrich our sense of self with the sacred, or how they can threaten to destroy and consume the good in us. Sometimes when the stories we tell ourselves have been colonised by others, we become meat in their gaping jaws. And then there is The Crooked Good, a song-story of violence and resilience, of lust and love, of the persistence of what’s ancient and the necessity of the ancient for our contemporary lives. Though the path we walk be a crooked one, always too, it is a good path to walk. Hay hay, Sky Dancer!”
—Randy Lundy, author of Field Notes for the Self
“Cree mythoi animate Louise Halfe’s lustrous poetry. They are the existential materials of her works and worlds, and in their arrangements of consciousness, they assemble the present. All presents. In Halfe’s texts, one is compelled/pressed by these forms of apprehending. First, they structure the poetry and then they restructure the reader, the listener. Line after relentless line, thought after shattering thought, one encounters all that is lethal and all that is generative. The brilliant power of Halfe’s poetry is that it contains both the wound and its medicine—alive.”
—Dionne Brand, poet, novelist, essayist.
“The best poetry makes the world larger, more vivid. It makes our crooked good hearts expand with understanding, compassion and vital lifeforce even while it tells us how it is, how it can be. This book enlarges. It expands our world. Energizes. More than good, in this brilliant and moving collection, Sky Dancer Louise B. Halfe makes the good larger.”
—Gary Barwin, author of Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted
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