Advanced Search

Add Best Comp

Add comparable title

Remove comparable title

Anansi & Groundwood Gift Catalogue

river woman
By (author): Katherena Vermette
Katherena Vermette


House of Anansi Press - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 25, 2018
$19.95 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 0.4 in | 0.31 lb

Page Count:

112 pages
House of Anansi Press Inc
House of Anansi Press
POETRY / Canadian / General
  • Short Description
Award–winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette’s second collection, river woman, explores her relationship to nature.

Governor General’s Award–winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette’s second collection, river woman, explores her relationship to nature — its destructive power and beauty, its timelessness, and its place in human history.

Award-winning Métis poet and novelist Katherena Vermette’s second book of poetry, river woman, examines and celebrates love as decolonial action. Here love is defined as a force of reclamation and repair in times of trauma, and trauma is understood to exist within all times. The poems are grounded in what feels like an eternal present, documenting moments of clarity that lift the speaker (and reader) out of the illusion of linear experience. This is what we mean when we describe a work of art as being timeless.

Like the river they speak to, these poems return again and again to the same source in search of new ways to reconstruct what has been lost. Vermette suggests that it’s through language and the body ? particularly through language as it lives inside the body ? that a fragmented self might resurface as once again whole. This idea of breaking apart and coming back together is woven throughout the collection as the speaker contemplates the ongoing negotiation between the city, the land, and the water, and as she finds herself falling into trust with the ones she loves.

Vermette honours the river as a woman ? her destructive power and beauty, her endurance, and her stories. These poems sing from a place where “words / transcend ceremony / into everyday” and “nothing / is inanimate.”

In river woman, Vermette take us inside river, as a concept, a reality, and another world, and gently reveals the power, the resistance, and the sheer love of water, of life, and of all things Indigenous. Vermette’s poetics are sparse, haunting, and steeped in river story, and her poems come to me as river songs. There is a presencing rhythm to this work, revealing that which is and always has been, flowing right in front of us. - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost

In river woman, Katherena Vermette marshals the maternal energy of the river to spin the lyric poem into something that is awash with vitality. This ethic of care, which each section bears and ricochets about, has at its core a project of repair or nourishment, not just of the natural, but of those of us entangled with it. This us, Vermette deftly shows, is not an empty thing, but is instead teeming with Indigenous life — ‘we are the earth you are hurting.’ We are the river and, in this, we are without end, regardless of what history swells in us. Pick up this book and listen for the musicality of our beautiful rebellion! - Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World, winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize

These spare, imagistic poems live up to the words of the Vietnamese spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh, quoted in an epigraph: ‘If our hearts are big, we can be like the river. - Toronto Star

A book that is at once deeply personal and politically charged. - Quill and Quire

Vermette’s new collection is a strong follow-up to her Governor General’s Award-winning debut, 2012’s North End Love Songs. - Winnipeg Free Press

of 47

Forgotten Password

Please enter your email address and click submit. An email with instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Forgotten Password

An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.