Words like thunder New and used Anishinaabe prayers

Lois Beardslee

Book - 2020

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Detroit : Wayne State University Press [2020]
Main Author
Lois Beardslee (author)
Physical Description
127 pages : illustrations, portrait ; 23 cm
  • Words Like Thunder
  • Beskikwe
  • Folded-Over Woman
  • Odeminigiizis
  • A Poem About Picking Wild Strawberries with an English Translation
  • The Anishinaabe Children's Strawberry-Picking Rule
  • Odeminigiizis II
  • Miskiwiiminigiizis
  • (English Translation: Raspberry-Picking Moon) (Ojibwe Translation: Hurt-Picking Moon)
  • Wild Raspberries in the Rain
  • Indian Corn
  • Odatagaagomiinike
  • Blackberry Picking
  • Kicking and Screaming
  • Babiigomakakiianskwe Dibaajim
  • Conversation with Toad Woman
  • Sing this Snowfall like a Memory
  • A Song for Anny
  • Desperation Cookies
  • Cranberry-Picking Season
  • I Left a Map Through the Diaspora
  • Biboon Was a Friend of Mine
  • The Last Caribou
  • Geographic Analysis of Hearts - and Lungs of Holocaust Survivors
  • Geography
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Harvest Me
  • Fiction versus Nonfiction
  • On Oral Histories about president Number Sixteen
  • Shhh
  • Nimiigwechwiaag Nigitiziimag
  • Listen to Your Mother
  • Above Me, Below Me
  • On Mountains
  • Bawaating
  • Dark Days, Long Nights
  • A Conversation Between Women Writers of Color
  • (Just a Cautious Conversation)
  • Anishinaabe Women
  • Ogitchidaakwewag
  • Manhukaa
  • (How the Clan System Works)
  • Manidoogiizjs
  • (Call It January If You Like)
  • Painted Dancers
  • Wanted to Be Born
  • Cold Woman
  • Listen to Your Grandmother
  • How Alice B. Marten Spends Her Days
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Presented as an interconnected sequence of "new and used Anishinaabe prayers," Beardslee's timely debut places age-old poetic traditions in dialogue with contemporary ones. These carefully linked texts take the form of flash essays, micro fictions, and other kinds of hybrids that resist genre categorization. Throughout, the speaker expresses her fear that tradition will be forgotten: "Back home, the piebalds lived business as usual... Praying out loud in desperation, with no new generations/ To come home and renew their songs and stories with changing histories and lessons." Beardslee inhabits and revises the received tropes of storytelling, from oral tradition to the strictures of traditional poetic forms like couplets, tercets, and quatrains. Indeed, the speaker of these hybrid pieces describes her search "for coping mechanisms and transformations among changing environments and unpredictability." These "changing" conditions give rise to literary collage, hybridity, and experimentation within received structures. True to Beardslee's artistic intention, this book explores tradition through innovative techniques that will appeal to 21st-century readers. (Apr.)

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