ARP Books is pleased to co-present Janet Rogers & Lillian Allen on Saturday OCT 29th at Type Books 883 Queen St. W Toronto, 7:30pm
Please join us for this special event—the launch of Janet Rogers’ powerful new poetry collection, Totem Poles and Railroads, followed by a conversation between Janet Rogers and Lillian Allen.
Totem Poles and Railroads succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters—real and imagined, historical and present day—from Sacajawea to Nina Simone. Placing poetry at the centre of our current post-residential school/present-day reconciliation reality, Rogers’ poems are expansive and intimate, challenging, thought-provoking and always personal.
JANET ROGERS “Janet Rogers is as fearless as an eagle feather and as forensic as a tomahawk. This Indigenous Canadian poet says what E.Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) wanted to say, but couldn’t, because the time wasn’t ripe, a century back, for a voice that is unhindered by politesse and undiplomatic in outrage. But now’s the time for Janet Rogers, who knows that our lopped-down forests are ‘not / romantic trees / with sentiment / running beneath,’ but represent a wilderness colonized by a society where ‘injustice rains / upon us constant.’ Love the directness of this poet, who is about peace-seeking: ‘we have adopted / each other / and adapted / to living / like this.’ Rogers moves easily among all the registers of Canuck poetics, from giving us symbolic imagery (‘… words left flapping / like tattered flags / over parliament’s decaying / brick home’) to giving us raw truth (‘the tears of a prime minister / won’t wipe away racism’). Pick up Janet Rogers, this powerful, Red-letter woman, and find yourself feeling uncomfortable, but no longer uninformed.” —George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17)
LILLIAN ALLEN Lillian Allen is a grassroots artist, cultural activist and university professor is considered a godmother of rap, hip-hop, dub and spoken word. Her work is used across the educational spectrum, encompassing alternate learning contexts from kindergarten to postgraduate studies.