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"A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so." – Margaret Atwood, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for Poetry In the stunning poems of Settler Education, Laurie D. Graham vividly explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake -- the death of nine settlers, the hanging of six Cree warriors, the imprisonmen "A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so." – Margaret Atwood, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for Poetry In the stunning poems of Settler Education, Laurie D. Graham vividly explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake -- the death of nine settlers, the hanging of six Cree warriors, the imprisonment of Big Bear, and the opening of the Prairies to unfettered settlement. In ways possible only with such an honest act of imagination, and with language at once terse and capacious, Settler Education reckons with how these pasts repeat and reconstitute themselves in the present. From the Trade Paperback edition.


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"A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so." – Margaret Atwood, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for Poetry In the stunning poems of Settler Education, Laurie D. Graham vividly explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake -- the death of nine settlers, the hanging of six Cree warriors, the imprisonmen "A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so." – Margaret Atwood, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for Poetry In the stunning poems of Settler Education, Laurie D. Graham vividly explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake -- the death of nine settlers, the hanging of six Cree warriors, the imprisonment of Big Bear, and the opening of the Prairies to unfettered settlement. In ways possible only with such an honest act of imagination, and with language at once terse and capacious, Settler Education reckons with how these pasts repeat and reconstitute themselves in the present. From the Trade Paperback edition.

30 review for Settler Education: Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    Given that it was Canada150 this week, I thought I'd spend some time reflecting on Indigenous issues. One of the ways that I did this was by reading Settler Education, a book of poetry about the Riel Rebellion and the history of the Metis people. Laurie Graham wrote the book as a way of engaging with painful difficult history that must be seen, understood, and healed. She did extensive research on the time period, all deftly intertwined with beautiful, but difficult poetry. It's an uncomfortable Given that it was Canada150 this week, I thought I'd spend some time reflecting on Indigenous issues. One of the ways that I did this was by reading Settler Education, a book of poetry about the Riel Rebellion and the history of the Metis people. Laurie Graham wrote the book as a way of engaging with painful difficult history that must be seen, understood, and healed. She did extensive research on the time period, all deftly intertwined with beautiful, but difficult poetry. It's an uncomfortable book about ugly events, but so important. Edit: December 5th Read this one again for book club! My second foray into its pages allowed me to sink a bit deeper into the words as the history was less new to me. It's still a beautiful, but painful book by a non-Indigenous person trying to come to grips with the violence this nation is founded on.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I don’t read much poetry, because it’s hard to find what I like. I really liked this. It’s right in my sweet spot between what’s historical, meaningful, local, and universal or philosophical. Ugh, I don’t know how to talk about poetry. This reminded me a bit of Ondaatje‘s book about Billy the Kid, which told a historical story through imaginative verse. And which I also liked. I was also interested to see how a white poet would write about colonialism and racism, and in that regard I learned a l I don’t read much poetry, because it’s hard to find what I like. I really liked this. It’s right in my sweet spot between what’s historical, meaningful, local, and universal or philosophical. Ugh, I don’t know how to talk about poetry. This reminded me a bit of Ondaatje‘s book about Billy the Kid, which told a historical story through imaginative verse. And which I also liked. I was also interested to see how a white poet would write about colonialism and racism, and in that regard I learned a lot.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    This is one for reading, and for re-reading, and then for reading small bits of and returning and returning. The poems are set beside and within historical material including photos, first-person narratives from the time, and the work of other writers and poets, in a kind of time-travelogue where when you visit places like Fort Edmonton and Batoche and Elk Island and Battleford and Frenchman Butte you are made aware that though artifacts of today they are scabs on old wounds, with blood still mo This is one for reading, and for re-reading, and then for reading small bits of and returning and returning. The poems are set beside and within historical material including photos, first-person narratives from the time, and the work of other writers and poets, in a kind of time-travelogue where when you visit places like Fort Edmonton and Batoche and Elk Island and Battleford and Frenchman Butte you are made aware that though artifacts of today they are scabs on old wounds, with blood still moving beneath them. The Riel Resistance and the rage that erupted into violence by Big Bear´s angry young men is a story of conquest through catastrophic ecological change. - by 1870 the bison hunting Métis of Manitoba were trying to negotiate with a new Canadian government to maintain their rights over land they had settled - this was the conflict where Riel stepped up as a leader - in 1883 the last bison were seen in Canada, near Calgary; - In November 1885 the last spike was driven at Craigellachie, BC, completing the Canadian Pacific Railway and allowing access to the newly unbisoned prairies for wave after wave of settlers; - by 1885 starving bison hunters like Big Bear´s band had taken reserves in order to forge some sort of new life for themselves, turning self-governing free peoples into wards of a supercilious colonial government; - on November 27th 1885 eight young men from Big Bear´s band who did not want to become farmers on reservations were hanged at Battleford: Wandering Spirit, Round the Sky, Bad Arrow, Miserable Man, Iron Body, Little Bear, Crooked Leg, and Man without Blood. - And in 1914, the last passenger pigeon died in a zoo in Cincinnati. We will never again see the flights of birds that once darkened the prairie skies. The prairies are now one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Idle No More and Omar Khadr also feature in the book. Because. It is the same story. I want to take this book and visit all the places in it and read it in each place. Settler Education. All we settlers, we need this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    If I knew more about the specific historical events that this book centres on, it would have made a whole lot more sense. I originally thought I could just plow through and things would work themselves out, but at about 2/3 through I gave up and started googling names and places-- but that just slowed my reading progress down to a standstill. To really get something out of this book I think I'd have to read it again. I wish there was maybe an intro chapter or something giving a brief overview of If I knew more about the specific historical events that this book centres on, it would have made a whole lot more sense. I originally thought I could just plow through and things would work themselves out, but at about 2/3 through I gave up and started googling names and places-- but that just slowed my reading progress down to a standstill. To really get something out of this book I think I'd have to read it again. I wish there was maybe an intro chapter or something giving a brief overview of the history or background, because with no context, this was a real chore to get through. Disclaimer that this normally isn't my type of book though, so that could explain why I wasn't in love with it. Read for class.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Artemis

    It's good. There's a lot of information, research, and thought that went into this book. I'm not one for poetry, but I found most of the book to carry meaning so that is impressive. Unfortunately I have just read some beyond amazing books lately and so I can't give this more than an "I like it", rather than an "I'm stunned" or "This book needs to be read by EVERYBODY".

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cathleen

    A powerful accounting of a Canadian-First Nation conflict and its continuing repercussions. The use of primary sources packs a punch.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maria Maier

    Interesting! I learned a lot about Canadian indigenous history from looking up the names and places in the poems.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven Buechler

    Graham has woven a complex tapestry here where many historians and other academics have failed for us. The book tells the story of the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake and the settlement of the Prairies. Graham’s poetry here weaves through time, places, impressions, journal entries, letters and so forth to brilliantly give the mind’s eye of any reader a clear impression of the places and the events. http://tinyurl.com/zdrovxs Graham has woven a complex tapestry here where many historians and other academics have failed for us. The book tells the story of the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake and the settlement of the Prairies. Graham’s poetry here weaves through time, places, impressions, journal entries, letters and so forth to brilliantly give the mind’s eye of any reader a clear impression of the places and the events. http://tinyurl.com/zdrovxs

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tara Borin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Khadijah Plummer

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    "Settler Education" tackles the issue of historical erasure, focusing on the way Canada has erased the stories of violence against our Indigenous people. She begins the collection on a train, and readers are transported through each historical (and present) spot she chooses to stop at. She courageously re-examines and undoes what we have been taught about Canada's history, painting a stark and haunting reality. This book is even more important in light of Canada 150 this year, as it rips open ou "Settler Education" tackles the issue of historical erasure, focusing on the way Canada has erased the stories of violence against our Indigenous people. She begins the collection on a train, and readers are transported through each historical (and present) spot she chooses to stop at. She courageously re-examines and undoes what we have been taught about Canada's history, painting a stark and haunting reality. This book is even more important in light of Canada 150 this year, as it rips open our notions of what it means to be a nation (which was build through violence and erasure). My favourites from this collection include: "______, ______, ______, ______", "Battleford Gravesite" "Bloor & Dalton, Bloor & Young, Bloor & Spadina" and "In Praise of Darcy Allan Sheppard"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tangerine

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nick Seeger

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nazlee Oishee

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  16. 4 out of 5

    jo ianni

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lindy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena Milosz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rose

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laurence Kirmayer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Asmar

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura From

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kate Mildew

  29. 5 out of 5

    Colin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Al

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