Naqvi makes her debut

“Winner of the 2021 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award, Zehra Naqvi (left), is set to release her debut collection of poems and prose inspired by personal memory, family history and Quaranic traditions.FULL STORY

 

Two-spirit, non-binary sadboy

May 26th, 2022

Having performed at Talking Stick Festival, Verses Festival of Spoken Word, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and over 50 different venues from Victoria to Toronto; having published in more than a dozen literary journals such as Red Rising Magazine, Prairie Fire, CV2, Arc Poetry Magazine and most recently, the anthology, Beyond Earth’s Edge: the poetry of spaceflight!; and having self-published three chapbooks – Tawahum Bige has finally released their debut collection of poetry, Cut to Fortress (Nightwood $19.95). These poems course with anguish and rage as Bige confronts colonialism and family relationships disrupted by trauma. When a writing professor says the use of ‘colonization’ in a poem is too abstract, Bige replies: “Colonization is a two-man saw: / a signed-in-blood, written-in-English / contract atop a forest cut to stumps … Colonization is our burned anthologies, / silenced oral histories over millennia / replaced with intergenerational trauma … he was in foster care from fifteen – / a groan / and from three stories up / Life-Tree creaks andthud. / Colonization is a signed-in-blood, written-in-English / coroner’s report, denoting / Accidental fall/undetermined … It’s this lived experience / constantly called into question // and a writing professor / who calls colonization / too abstract.” Bige is Lutselk’e Dene and Plains Cree, holds a BA in creative writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and self-describes as a “two-spirit, non-binary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island.” 978-0-088971-416-8

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