NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, by Billy-Ray Belcourt, published by House of Anansi Press

This book is filled with incredible stories that tackle the gigantic (think colonialism and systemic racism), the intimate (think love and sexuality), and everything in between. Belcourt is my favorite poet and reading this collection is like attending a masterclass.

Baddie One Shoe, by Natalie Meisner, published by Frontenac House

This collection makes me want to do something courageous. I want to know the people in these pages, and I want them to teach me how to take big leaps instead of tiny steps.

It’s a Big Deal!, by Dina Del Bucchia, published by Talonbooks

Made me laugh, made me think, and has a whole section dedicated to extinct megafauna—what’s not to like. Moments of laugh-out-loud relief are interspersed with a thorough exposé of society and all of its expectations.

river woman, by Katherena Vermette, published by House of Anansi Press

The human spirit and geography are so intertwined in this collection that it is impossible to separate them. I love these poems for their enchanting imagery and potent metaphors, which evoke connection to the natural world as a means of understanding each other and knowing oneself.

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir, by Chelene Knight, published by Book*hug Press

This memoir of poetry, prose, and photographs is one of the most powerful collections I have ever read. Knight explores themes of identity, addiction, family, and the idea of home through a series of pieces that revisit the buildings and houses she lived in (often briefly) as a child. This book left me in awe of the resilience of youth and the strength of women.

Samantha Jones loves diverse Canadian literature and is a literary magazine enthusiast and contributor. Her poetry appears in Blanket Sea, blue skies poetry, Eunoia Review, Grain Magazine, and Room Magazine, as well as “March 2020: A COVID-19 Anthology” published by the /tεmz/ Review and 845 Press. Her short fiction is included in “”Tap, Press, Read,”” an anthology of Calgary writers curated and published by Loft on EIGHTH. Samantha lives and writes in Calgary, Canada and is currently a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Calgary.”

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