Sunday, 30 October 2011

Métis Poets: Louis & Greg

Looking forward to this new collection of poetry from Greg Scofield, and enjoying the beautiful invitation in & of itself, featuring the distinctive art of Christi Belcourt.

The subtitle of Gregory's new book is communicative. As any familliar with Louis' life and poetry know he was a ferverent Catholic, and his poetry is drenched with passion, often (though not always) flowing into the world in the form of a prayer.

(This image of a poem by Louis in his own hand can be found on the CBC website.)

To read an impassioned political poem by Louis, check out the St Vincent Memories website, Minnesota, Which I Now Entered (1878)

To read selections of Louis' poems & prayers in english, check out these translations, published by Thistledown Press & Exile Editions respectively:



To experience Gregory Scofield's equally impassioned, highly contemporary, and exquisitely beautiful poetry, it is best to come out and to hear him perform, then take the text home with you, imbued with the music of his voice, to enjoy and re-enjoy at your leisure.

More about this poet, this book, and this launch, from the publisher's website:

The Heretic Poems

I am a poet
With auburn-brown hair,

An ember of curls
The newspapers will one day


Few figures in Canadian history have attained such an iconic status as Louis Riel. Celebrated Metis poet Gregory Scofield takes a fresh look at Riel in his new collection, Louis: The Heretic Poems, challenging traditional conceptions of Riel as simply a folk hero and martyr. By juxtaposing historical events and quotes with the poetic narrative, Scofield draws attention to the side of the Metis leader that most Canadians have never contemplated: that of husband, father, friend and lover, poet and visionary.

Scofield also uses the collection to raise attention about the more crucial historical events of Riel's lifetime--such as the Manitoba Resistance and the Northwest Resistance at Batoche--in order to illuminate the history of western Canadian Metis people and their struggles toward recognition. Scofield also examines Riel's own poetry, most of which was devoted to exploring religious themes. Accordingly, religious imagery features strongly in the collection, complemented by a poetic voice that is rhythmic, repetitious, and lush with potent symbolism and simple, powerful images.(Source)

Join Nightwood poet Gregory Scofield as he celebrates the launch of his poetry collection, Louis: The Heretic Poems, about the Canadian folk hero, Louis Riel. He will be at Café Montmartre (4362 Main Street, Vancouver) on Saturday, November 5 at 6:30pm to read selections and sign copies of the book. (More details from Nightwood's blog: Source)

And here's a love poem from one of Greg's earlier collections.

Visit Gabriel Dumont Institute's online store, Our Proud Heritage

Greg's memoir