Burning in this Midnight Dream

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Coteau Books, 2016 - Poetry - 98 pages

Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures.

Halfe’s poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.
 

Contents

Dedication to the Seventh Generation
1
āniskōstēw connecting
2
masaskon stripped
5
nimihtātēn I grieve
6
āhkamēyihtamowin perseverance
7
kipihtowēwin the mouth is silenced
8
nanahihtamowin to be obedient
9
Family Photo 4
10
pimātisiwin life
42
kahkwēyihtamowin jealousy
43
nipēwin the bed
44
mōyēyihtamowin awareness
46
Twofaced
47
misasiniy large rock
48
nīpin nikamowin summer song
49
pawākan dream spirit
50

Residential School Alumni
11
wāhkōhtowin kinship
12
wīcihitowin helping one another
13
nēpēwisiwin shame
14
akāwāta to long for
16
āhkamēyimowin determination
17
Board
18
Winter Visitations
19
tipiskāwipīsim 1 the dark moon
20
pakosēyimo hope
21
māmitonēyimisow she thinks about herself
22
His Name was Boy
23
Con Game
24
wīsakan a bitter taste
25
sīpihkēyihta endure
26
kakēskimāwaso counsel the children
27
maskwa bear
28
Family Photo 5
29
kwēskī turn around
30
tipiskāwipīsim 2 night sun
32
tipiyawēwisīw ownership of ones self
33
nīcimos boyfriend
35
Kootney Plains
36
omācīw hunter
37
nipiwin from the dead
38
nīmihis the dancer
39
pāstāhowin crossing the line
40
miyoohpikināwasowin good child rearing
41
Hauntings
52
pōniāhkosi quit the sickness
53
Unpacking the Knapsack
54
sakwahmo hangs on
55
A Hummingbird
56
Family Photo 6
57
Carry On
58
ēkosi enough
60
The Reserve Went Silent
61
When you fall you dont wallow in selfpity You get up
62
Lateral Practises
63
The Quandry
64
ospwākan the pipe
66
Family Photo 7
67
April 30 2014
68
Cave Diving
70
kisēwātisiwin compassion
71
Burning in this Midnight Dream
72
Sentinels
73
Solstice the flame
75
Owners of Themselves
76
Family Photo 7
78
Acknowledgements
79
Family Photo 8
80
About the Author
81
Other titles by Louise Bernice Halfe
82
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Louise Bernice Halfe was born in Two Hills, Alberta, and was raised on the Saddle Lake Reserve. Her Cree name is Sky Dancer. Her fourth poetry collection, Burning in this Midnight Dream was the winner of three Saskatchewan Book Awards, the League of Canadian Poets Raymond Souster Award, and the Indigenous Writer award at the High Plains Book Awards. It was also a 2017 WILLA Literary Award Finalist in Poetry. Her first collection, Bear Bones & Feathers was published in 1994. It received the Canadian People’s Poet Award, and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award. Blue Marrow was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Pat Lowther Award, the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, and the Saskatchewan Poetry Award. The Crooked Good was published in 2007. She was awarded third prize in the League of Canadian Poets' national poetry contest and was Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for 2005-2006. Louise has a Bachelor of Social Work, and received an Honorary Degree of Letters (Ph. D) from Wilfred Laurier University. She currently works with Elders in an organization called Opikinawasowin (“raising our children”). She lives outside of Saskatoon with her husband.

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