Imprint:House of Anansi Press - Toronto
Dimensions:8in x 6 x 0.3 in | 0.4 lb
Page Count:112 pages
Illustrations:full colour throughout
In his follow-up to This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt’s Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field is a provocative, powerful, and genre-bending new work that uses the modes of accusation and interrogation.
He aims an anthropological eye at the realities of everyday life to show how they house the violence that continues to reverberate from the long twentieth century. In a genre-bending constellation of poetry, photography, redaction, and poetics, Belcourt ultimately argues that if signifiers of Indigenous suffering are everywhere, so too is evidence of Indigenous peoples’ rogue possibility, their utopian drive.
In NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, the poet takes on the political demands of queerness, mainstream portrayals of Indigenous life, love and its discontents, and the limits and uses of poetry as a vehicle for Indigenous liberation. In the process, Belcourt once again demonstrates his extraordinary craft, guile, and audacity, and the sheer dexterity of his imagination.
BILLY-RAY BELCOURT (he/him) is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. His debut book of poems, This Wound is a World, won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and was named the Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer at the 2018 Indigenous Voices Award. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. It was named by CBC Books as one of the best Canadian poetry collections of the year. Billy-Ray is a Ph.D. student and a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. He is also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Wadham College at the University of Oxford.
This brilliant book is endlessly giving, lingering in tight spaces within the forms of loneliness, showing us their contours. These poems do the necessary work of negotiating with the heart-killing present from which we imagine and make Indigenous futures. Every line feels like a possible way out of despair. - Elissa Washuta, author of My Body Is a Book of Rules
I believe I exist. / To live, one can be neither / more nor less hungry than that.’ How grateful I am that Billy-Ray Belcourt and these poems believe in themselves enough to exist. With prodigious clarity, this work moves swiftly amongst theory and prose, longing and lyric, questioning and coping, ‘not dying’ and ‘obsessively apologizing to the moon for all that she has to witness.’ It is not hyperbole to say these poems are brilliant. And so brilliantly, searingly, they live. - TC Tolbert, author of Gephyromania
NDN Coping Mechanisms is a haunting book that dreams a new world — a ‘holy place filled with NDN girls, hair wet with utopia’ — as it simultaneously excoriates the world that ‘is a wound’ and the historic and present modalities of violence against Indigenous peoples under Canadian settler colonialism. Belcourt considers the genocidal nation-state, queerness, and the limits and potential of representation, often through a poetic/scholarly lineage that includes Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Saidiya Hartman, Anne Boyer, José Esteban Muñoz, Christina Sharpe, and Gwen Benaway, among others. This is the beautiful achievement of NDN Coping Mechanisms: Belcourt conjures a sovereign literary space that refuses white sovereignty and is always already in relation to the ideas of the foremost decolonial poets and thinkers of Turtle Island. - Mercedes Eng, author of Prison Industrial Complex Explodes
For all the ferocious energy and one-two punch of language here, this is also a concentrated, beautifully managed work. - Library Journal
Both intellectual and visceral, these poems dazzle with metaphoric richness and striking lyricism. - Toronto Star
A masterful blend of the personal and the political, the ephemeral and the corporeal, the theoretical and the emotional. - Quill and Quire
An impressive follow-up to his first book. - Winnipeg Free Press
Playful, candid, and campy. - Prairie Books NOW