National Indigenous People’s Day: Featuring Joseph A. Dandurand June 20, 2019 – Posted in: Book Recs, Highlights, Holidays & Observances – Tags: , ,

In celebration of National Indigenous People’s Day, we are celebrating with Joseph A. Dandurand, and his newest book of poetry, SH:LAM (The Doctor), where he lives the experiences of an Aboriginal people brought to the edge of extinction. In the Author’s Note, Joseph says: “The poems in this collection tell the truth of what has happened to my people. The Kwantlen people used to number in the thousands, but 80% of our people were wiped out by smallpox and now there are only 200 of us…I believe the gift of words was given to me so I can tell our stories…The poems gathered here tell the tale of a Kwantlen man who has been given the gift of healing but also is a heroin addict living on the east side.”

More about Joseph:

Joseph A. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about 20 minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his 3 children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace. Joseph is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center. Joseph received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He has just completed his residency as the Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. He sits on a committee for the Canadian Museum of History and is tasked with consulting on the redesign of the new Children’s Museum. He has published 13 books of poetry and the latest are: THE RUMOUR(2018) by BookLand Press in (2018) SH:LAM (The Doctor) Mawenzi House (2019), and THE CORRUPTED by Guernica Press (forthcoming, 2020) and his children’s play: Th’owixiya: the hungry Feast dish by Playwrights Press Canada (2019).

Fun facts:

-I am a great cook!
-I only read while on the toilet.
-I love to fish.
-I love fish!
-I have been a Chicago Blackhawks fan since I was a little boy.
-I love my dog Nala.
-Nala my dog loves me.
-When I retire in 6 years I am buying a place in Mexico where I will live half the year on the beach writing poetry and surfing the waves.

Book recommendation: 

Anything by Charles Bukowski. Am presently reading a good book of poems by Eve Joseph: Quarrels (Anvil Press, 2018). Traded a copy of my book, SH:LAM with 2 authors and enjoyed both of their works: Rope by Khairani Barokka (Nine Arches Press, 2017) and Trauma Head by Elee Kraljii Gardiner (Anvil Press, 2018).

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