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Indigena Awarded :: Annharte wins Blue Metropolis First Peoples Literary Prize

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Marie "Annharte Baker"Con­grat­u­la­tions to Marie “Annharte” Bak­er, win­ner of the inau­gur­al Blue Metrop­o­lis First Peo­ples Lit­er­ary Prize!

The Blue Metrop­o­lis Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val (April 20 — 26 in Mon­tre­al) is hon­our­ing Annharte for Indi­ge­na Awry, her 2012 poet­ry col­lec­tion. Con­grat­u­la­tions also to the oth­er lit­er­ary win­ners at this year’s fes­ti­val:  Nan­cy Hus­ton (Grand Prize), Junot Díaz (Azul Prize), and Gene Luen Yang (Words to Change Prize).

Annharte will be appear­ing at a half-dozen read­ings and events, includ­ing Poet­ry at the Zen Cen­tre on April 24th, with Marie Howe, Don McK­ay, Jer­amy Dodds, Paul Weigel, and Carmine Starni­no; an awards cer­e­mo­ny on April 25th, when she’ll receive her $5,000 prize and be inter­viewed on stage by Taia­iake Alfred; and, on April 26, a dis­cus­sion with Lee Mar­a­cle (Celia’s Song) about indige­nous women and ter­ri­to­ry in their books.

You can find details about all her events here.

Blue Met sent Annharte to the Hay Fes­ti­val Carta­ge­na de Indias this past Jan­u­ary as part of the Open Win­dow on Cana­da pro­gram, which also fea­tured Steven Pinker, Réal God­bout, and Kim Thúy (win­ner of Cana­da Reads 2015). She par­tic­i­pat­ed in a poet­ry read­ing and a pan­el dis­cus­sion on indige­nous cul­tures and cre­ative lan­guage with authors from Colom­bia and Spain.

Indi­ge­na Awry was recent­ly reviewed in Cana­di­an Lit­er­a­ture, where Lor­raine Weir said it is “dark­er and tougher than [Annharte’s pre­vi­ous books], sat­u­rat­ed with rejec­tion of ‘hon­est Injun’ clichés and of ageist and sex­ist stereo­types from set­tler cul­ture.”

If the poems of Indi­ge­na Awry con­sti­tute the writer’s act of both wit­ness­ing the sus­tained impact of col­o­niza­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly on urban Indige­nous women, and repu­di­at­ing its effects, they are also char­ac­ter­ized by a fero­cious hope in the future…  In this tough-mind­ed, some­times fun­ny, and fre­quent­ly elo­quent book, five cen­turies have dis­tilled rage into incan­des­cence. … Annharte’s work ranges from dub to lyric, from spo­ken word to ele­gy, from col­lo­qui­al humour to jagged irony in which the ’exper­i­men­tal’ is nev­er sep­a­rate from a pas­sion­ate rejec­tion of white bour­geois aes­thet­ics. In this, Annharte is clos­er to Skeena Reece and Rebec­ca Bel­more in her craft­ing of an “ene­my lan­guage” to do the work of resur­gence.

Read the rest of the review here; you can pre­view all of Indi­ge­na Awry here and buy it here.