Picking at shiny stuff until it is not shiny anymore is entitlement without power.
— Lee Maracle’s “Introduction”
I’m still here
Tangled up with the colonists
unpacking the settler within
I try not to disappear
— from “I Have Been Called Out”
I did not know the controversies when this book was sent my direction. I did not know this collection was an apology of sorts. I did not realize that there had been such backlash, such anger, and so many emotions directed solely at Shannon Webb-Campbell. That said, what I did realize is the strength it takes for someone to not only say they are sorry, but to actually do something about it. To actually learn from it. To actually want to gain the knowledge and not just hear it.
I Am a Body of Land (Book*Hug Press) by Shannon Webb-Campbell isn’t a simple apology; it’s a cultural experience. It’s becoming immersed in that which you do not know. It’s starting from scratch. It’s acknowledging the past that had been left out of the histories you told. It’s that “I am before a spoken language. I am made of men and words….I am the author reading. I am post thinking about death. I am taking away from humanness. I am power in the hands of readers.” That power is irreplaceable, and I believe Shannon Webb-Campbell can handle that just fine.