Staff Picks: Chantelle Rideout Picks Approaching Fire

Staff Picks: Chantelle Rideout Picks Approaching Fire

If there’s anything I love more than a poetry book, it’s a book that resists categorization, a book that injects poetry into other forms - which is of course why Approaching Fire is my December staff pick.

This word Métis is a story between you and I, Pépe [...]. This word is a story we are telling each other, each from our own places on the land and in time

Michelle Porter’s Approaching Fire is an incredible book - searching, finding and sharing the story of her great-grandfather, Métis fiddler Bob Goulet. Fittingly, there is such a music to this book: it moves in movements. There are individual poems, prose letters addressed to "My dear Pépe," newspaper clippings, musical scores. It is a biography that crosses genres and forms, tracing his history back and weaving it into her present, and on into her daughters’ futures:

Now it is a conversation for my daughters. You left Manitoba for your daughters. I stay in Newfoundland for mine

Check out a sample poem, "Double Stringing: Métis," here.

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