Native Journal Review - The Crooked Good
Reviewed by: Native Journal
Through the voice of ê-kwêskit - Turn-around Woman - Louise Halfe guides the reader on a threefold journey down a path where the personal, the historical and the mythic walk hand-in-hand.
Louise Halfe revisits familiar Aboriginal themes, but pushes them farther than she has before in this third collection of her moving, powerful poetry. The ancestors speak through a Mother's fireside stories, and the figure of Rolling Head recurs everywhere on the path - as nightmare, as conscience, as maternal lover.
The heartbreaking dysfunction of a Native family, and the haunted memories and temptations of one woman's quest, are tempered by the tenderness, the loyalty, and the outbursts of earthy laughter that distinguish Louise Halfe's unique gifts as a poet and as a mediator between two cultures.
Louise Halfe has two previous book publications to her credit, both of them published by Coteau Books. Bear Bones & Feathers received the Canadian Peoples Poet Award, and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award at the Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Blue Marrow, originally published by McLelland & Stewart, was released in a revised, re-edited edition by Coteau. It was a finalist for both the Governor General's Award for Poetry and the Pat Lowther Award, and for Saskatchewan Book of the Year and Saskatchewan Poetry awards.
Louise Bernice Halfe's Cree name is Sky Dancer. She was born on the Saddle Lake Reserve in Two Hills, AB in 1953. At the age of sixteen, she left residential school, and completed studies at St. Paul's regional high school. It was at this time that she began writing a journal about her life experiences.
Halfe made her debut as a poet in Writing the Circle: Native Women of Western Canada, the acclaimed anthology of life-writings by Native women. Louise served as Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate in 2005 and 2006. She lives and works in Saskatoon.