An Evening with Jordan AbelMonday May 04 2020 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
In conversation with Warren Cariou and signing NISHGA (McClelland & Stewart). Co-presented by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival as part of their Voices in the Circle intiative celebrating Indigenous writing in Canada.
From Griffin Poetry Prize winner Jordan Abel comes a groundbreaking and emotionally devastating autobiographical meditation on the complicated legacies that Canada’s reservation school system has cast on his grandparents’, his parents’ and his own generation.
Drawing on autobiography, a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), NISHGA is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible.
Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver and a Ph.D. candidate at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of The Place of Scraps, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; Un/inhabited; and Injun, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. Abel’s creative work has recently been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry, The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation, and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century. Currently, Abel lives in Edmonton, where he teaches Creative Writing and Indigenous Literatures at the University of Alberta.
Host Warren Cariou is a writer, filmmaker and photographer with roots in Saskatchewan's Métis and Euro-Canadian communities. He teaches in the Department of English, Theatre, Film and Media at the University of Manitoba, where he also directs the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.
- by Jordan Abel
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From Griffin Poetry Prize winner Jordan Abel comes a groundbreaking, deeply personal, and devastating autobiographical meditation that attempts to address the complicated legacies of Canada's residential school system and contemporary Indigenous existence.
As a Nisga'a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga'a language, Nisga'a community, and Nisga'a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school--both of his grandparents attended the same residential school--his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least.
NISHGA explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents' generation, then his father's generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous.
Drawing on autobiography and a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), NISHGA is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible.