|Published:||September 15th 2019||Pages:||280|
Resisting Canada gathers together poets for a conversation bigger than poetic trends. The book's organizing principle is Canada--the Canada that established residential schools; the Canada grappling with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; the Canada that has been visible in its welcome of Syrian refugees, yet the not-always-tolerant place where the children of those refugees will grow up; the Canada eager to re-establish its global leadership on the environment while struggling to acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty on resource-rich land and enabling further colonization of that land. In the face of global conflicts due to climate change, scarcity, mass migrations, and the rise of xenophobic populisms, Canada still works with a surface understanding of its democratic values--both at their noblest and most deceptive.
The work included in Resisting Canada--by celebrated poets such as Lee Maracle, Jordan Abel, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Louise Bernice Halfe, Michael Prior, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson--addresses, among other things, Indigenous agency, cultural belonging, environmental anxieties, and racial privilege. These poems ask us to judge and resist a statecraft that refuses to acknowledge past and present wrongs. Think of Resisting Canada as a poetic letter to Canada's politicians and leaders.