Creeland by Dallas Hunt
Nightwood Editions

Creeland by Dallas Hunt

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Creeland is a poetry collection concerned with notions of home and the quotidian attachments we feel to those notions, even across great distances. Even in an area such as Treaty Eight (northern Alberta), a geography decimated by resource extraction and development, people are creating, living, laughing, surviving and flourishing―or at least attempting to.

The poems in this collection are preoccupied with the role of Indigenous aesthetics in the creation and nurturing of complex Indigenous lifeworlds. They aim to honour the encounters that everyday Cree economies enable, and the words that try―and ultimately fail―to articulate them. Hunt gestures to the movements, speech acts and relations that exceed available vocabularies, that may be housed within words like joy, but which the words themselves cannot fully convey. This debut collection is vital in the context of a colonial aesthetic designed to perpetually foreclose on Indigenous futures and erase Indigenous existence.

the Cree word for constellation

is a saskatoon berry bush in summertime

the translation for policeman

in Cree is mîci nisôkan, kohkôs

the translation for genius

in Cree is my kôhkom muttering in her sleep

the Cree word for poetry is your four-year-old

niece’s cracked lips spilling out

broken syllables of nêhiyawêwin in between

the gaps in her teeth