Assi Manifesto

Translated from French by Howard Scott

Assi Manifesto is a celebration of the Innu land in the tradition of Joséphine Bacon. This telluric power is reminiscent of Paul Chamberland’s Terre Québec. Natasha Kanapé’s challenge is to name her land, but also to reconcile opposites.

In this collection of poetry, the author engages with the environment, colonialism, anxiety, anger, healing, solitude, and love. “Assi” in Innu means Land. Assi Manifesto is primarily a land of women. If the manifesto is a public space, Assi is a forum of life, a song for those who open their spirit to its mystery.

Praise for Assi Manifesto

“Fontaine’s profound, complex poetics combined with her cultural perspective make Assi Manifesto a timely and timeless collection.”
–World Literature Today

“The poems are a call to the historical pre-invasion calm of North America, for respect as equals against the default culture that partitions her people into the past. The battles in the poems are mythical, symbolic, and large in this manifesto for national and personal pride.”
–The Montreal Review of Books

“[The author] already has an important place amongst those who designate this world the borders of the intimate and the giant.”
La Presse

Praise for Do Not Enter My Soul in Your Shoes

“A beautiful collection of poems that has the reader enter the Borean “countryside” and walk through it, almost spiritually, and brings us to very roots of a tradition that reunites the dead and living, and with it, the burning ancestral memories that provide a possibility of endless secrets of stones and matter.”
–Hugues Corriveau, Le Devoir

“Natasha Kanapé Fontaine speaks of blades, vertebrae, back, nerves; she uses a whole lexicon of the skeleton that evokes the structure of the body, its frame, which supports it, which gives it its strength. A call to movement, her poetry is one of action rather than contemplation: we dance, we are walking, we are standing. “
Cousins de personnes

“Natasha Kanapé Fontaine has written a book as pure as a diamond taken from coal, like the first sentence uttered after awakening from being drunk the night before. She has succeeded, in these deeply moving pages, to begin to ask the fundamental questions of origins, beauty, death and the passage of time.”
–Maxime Catellier, Le Libraire (Quebec)

“A short dream on paper, [Do Not Enter My Soul in Your Shoes is] the liberty that follows the deep feelings of the tundra, the gratitude towards this great land, and it is a confession of humility in front of its reality. […] This language of the earth and the sky, this vocabulary of wildlife and “flora”, these thrills of ice and fire show that the poem is born in a fusion of this elementary being and with a prelude of offering and pardon.”
–Rachel Leclerc, Lettres québécoises


Publication Date: May 2016

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-927494-75-2
Page size: 5″ x 7.5″
88 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-77-6

B&W photo of Natasha Kanapé Fontaine

Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, born in 1991, is a slam poet, visual artist and Indigenous rights activist. Innu of Pessamit community of the North Shore, she spent most of her life in urban areas, as did many other Aboriginal youth of her generation. Noticed first in Rimouski where she was studying, and at events in Montreal in spring 2012, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine is prominent on the provincial slam scene–she’s been dubbed the territorial slammer. She figures on Radio-Canada’s Plus on est de fou, plus on lit! list of ten young writers to watch. With an enduring commitment to the Idle No More movement, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine is part of the new generation of a people rising from the ashes, and who intends to take the place she deserves. She lives in Montreal.

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