Saturday, 19 November 2011

Shirley Bear, Witness & Protagonist: Canadian poetries

Shirley Bear, Member in the Order of Canada/Chris Wattie/Reuters
Congratulations to Shirley Bear, on receiving recognition for her lifelong contributions to the arts and culture communities of Canada. A powerful force for creative responses to life in a hostile milieu, her leadership and influence has had an empowering and liberating effect on artists at work in diverse realms, and, alongside the late Rita Joe, she has been an excellent role model for woman artists seeking to bust out of the box of family, community, societal oppression, against the never ending waves of lowered expectations, absence of resource, and official disregard.

 “In Virgin Bones, Shirley Bear becomes a weaver—of tales, of friendships, of family, and of all the relations that mark our interdependencies on this fragile earth. Her richly crafted poems dazzle with visual images and critical reflections. The spine tingles and the imagination churns. Resonant, meditative, tough, playful, passionate, entrancing, and wise, Bear’s voice gives generously without giving it all away. We have needed such a voice for a long time.”
Roy Miki

“These poems span a life, a generation, a nation, a sisterhood, following a consciousness unfolding through hard times and heart times, through the sit-ins of the sixties to the stand-off at Oka. Shirley Bear paints with language and speaks in the hot colours of conviction. Romantic and plain-spoken, argumentative and compassionate, a witness and protagonist, Shirley Bear delivers unflinching candour with disarming generosity and an invitation to join the dance and the revolution. One woman’s refusal, one artist’s triumph.”
Susan Crean

For more information see "Shirley Bear, Order of Canada," Ashok Mathur's article (which includes a biography), on his Centre for Innovation in Culture and The Arts in Canada blog, posted on Canada Day:
As an artist, poet, and activist, she has played a crucial role in First Nation women’s creative and cultural communities.
 Virgin Bones image & quotes from McGilligan Books website

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Electronic Press Kit

Listen to LoneCloud here, on myspace (music source) or on the new LoneCloud website, which features the vibrant poem, "Is That So Much?" in a powerful bilingual performance, "from our recent album 'Live at North Street Church'./Live at North Street Church was recorded by the CBC as part of the 'Truth and Reconciliation' project.//We have set the site up to make it easy to get to know our music, our message and our members. We sell our CD at stores near Halifax, but the website gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to a wider audience." (Source)
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Book Reviews with insight!
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