If you love meeting talented writers and hearing them read from their published work, or just want to soak up a unique cultural experience, don’t miss the final instalment of the 2021-22 Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series on March 22, featuring a reading from Louise B. Halfe/Sky Dancer’s fourth book of poetry, Burning in This Midnight Dream (Brick Books, 2021).
The series gives attendees an opportunity to get up close and personal with authors who present their work and answer questions. Canadian Writers in Person is a for-credit course for students and a free-admission event for members of the public. The book reading will take place at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Halfe was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Her first book, Bear Bones & Feathers (Coteau, 1994), received the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award, the Pat Lowther Award and the Gerald Lampert Award. Blue Marrow (Coteau, 1998) was a finalist for the 1998 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and her fourth book, Burning in This Midnight Dream (originally published by Coteau in 2016), won the 2017 Saskatchewan Book Award and the Raymond Souster Award, among numerous other awards. Brick Books published a new edition of Burning in This Midnight Dream in May 2021. Halfe was awarded the Latner Writers Trust Award for her body of work in 2017, the Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence in 2020 and was granted a lifetime membership in the League of Canadian Poets. She lives near Saskatoon with her husband, Peter.
Many of the poems in Halfe’s Burning in This Midnight Dream were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded. In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family and herself. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks readers to consider the damage done to children taken from their families and to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures.
This year’s Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series lineup included a unique selection of emerging and established Canadian writers whose writing explores a broad range of topics and geographical and cultural landscapes. Featuring seasoned and emerging poets and fiction writers, the series highlighted Canada’s ever-growing pool of literary talent.
Canadian Writers in Person is a course offered in the Culture and Expression program in the Department of Humanities in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. For more information on the series, visit yorku.ca/laps/canwrite, or email Professor Gail Vanstone at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Leslie Sanders at email@example.com.