Joanne Arnott, World Poetry Featured Poet!

Joanne Arnott is a Metis/mixed-blood writer, originally from Winnipeg, living on the west coast of Canada since 1982. Her first book, Wiles of Girlhood, won the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry (1992). She has published five further books, with two currently in print, Steepy Mountain love poetry (Kegedonce, 2004) and Mother Time: Poems New & Selected (Ronsdale, 2007).  Mother to six young people, all born at home, Joanne is a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective/west coast, has served on the National Council of The Writers Union of Canada, and continues to sit with the Author’s Committee, The Writers Trust of Canada.  She is also active with the Richmond Writers Group. Joanne hosts two occasional blogs, Vera Manuel Tribute and Joanne Arnott, as well as an online storytellers e-group.


for Vera Manuel

in your poems i find
not just my truth
i find the biggest kind of truth
the kind that sets me at ease
and i can just

relax back into my life
instead of holding myself away
holding my breath
holding my self and world together
holding on to the truth, too, afraid
that if i don’t hold on
i will lose everything

what is this “everything”?
what do i have to lose?

when i set my hands on your poetry, and
when i set my eyes on your poetry, and
when i read your poetry
i relax again
i breathe easy

when your poetry comes importuning me
nibbling at my ears and at
the edges of my mind
slipping along like a barefoot child
on a cold wood floor, telling me
it is time to wake up
it is time to wake up
it is christmas morning

i turn and open my arms
and i welcome the child
who scrambles up into my arms
with a big grin

your poetry
doesn’t care about
my bad teeth
my ragged robe
my long road

your poetry
is so honest
it’ll bust a gut for tragedy
then turn around and smile at me
eyes shining

and so
i know
i am safe here, here at least
and here forever
in a world where your poetry lives
and the truth is known

Joanne Arnott ©

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7 Responses to Joanne Arnott, World Poetry Featured Poet!

  1. Ariadne says:

    A wonderful poem for World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Vera Manuel! We miss her very much.

  2. alan hill says:

    Thanks Joanne…great poem and thanks for sharing on the site. I am always learning from you…best Alan x

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  6. Valentina says:

    First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to
    ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and
    clear your head before writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind
    in getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?

    Many thanks!

    • Ariadne says:

      Thank you for your question. I like to do some deep breathing and make my mind as blank as possible. Then ask my self if I could write something today-what would it be? Then you can jot down the thoughts, words , images that come. It also helps to have a small notebook that you take with you through your day and write down any thing that come to mind and that you may be able to use later. Good Luck!

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