Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Plus Radio Show on August 18th, CFRO 100.5 FM was so honoured to welcome the great poet, Lisa Bird-Wilson with her new book The Red Files published by Nightwood Editions “Inspired by family and archival sources, Lisa Bird – Wilson assembles scraps of a history torn about by colonial violence.” Quote: Nightwood Editions.
Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Cree-Métis writer whose stories have been nominated for the Journey Prize, among others. Her work has appeared in periodicals such as Geist, Grain, Prairie Fire and in anthologies such as Best Canadian Essays and cîhcêwêsin. Lisa’s award-winning fiction Just Pretending (Coteau Books 2013) won numerous prizes including Saskatchewan Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award. He poetry book, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions), was released spring 2016.
Miss Atwater’s Class
hats askew and mitts bejeweled
with snow, coats open
to the weather, the girls play
in the shadow of the school, just inside
the invisible fence line
they make snowmen and snowwomen
while a huddle of trees holds watch
the girls’ class grows up in nine years
of sharp-edged photos, each time exposed
after play, exhausted—
in the front row an unwavering eye
catches the camera, an Indian
girl, number One-
Seven-Four on the school roll call
the girl with a narrow look, small
for her age, straight-faced,
never smiling, never
as if she willed her young self long
ago to stop scenting the trap line, smoked
hide a vivid memory, pushed
aside: dense sage,
wild root, the open plain.
Lisa Bird-Wilson (C)
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