A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so. — Margaret Atwood
In Settler Education, Laurie D. Graham explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake—the death of nine settlers, the hanging of six Cree warriors, the imprisonment of Big Bear, and the opening of the Prairies to unfettered settlement. In ways possible only with such an honest act of imagination, and with language at once terse and capacious, Settler Education reckons with how these pasts repeat and reconstitute themselves in the present.
Praise for Settler Education:
In sparse, evocative, often prose-poem stanzas, and utilizing numerous perspectives and voices, Graham’s book shows what a real education in Canada’s history might look like. It points out the myriad gaps in the dominant culture’s knowledge, including familiarity with Indigenous languages, and the land, and an awareness of what happened here before. These poems are the roadside interpretive signs that were never installed on the Prairies. They are absences, negative spaces, impossibilities. These poems are voices long forgotten, and the ghosts of voices. — Kelly Shepherd for The Goose
As the title implies, this is a history book, one that rewrites the facts we’ve been taught in order to include a perspective so often left out, glazed over, or swept under the rug….This is the beating heart of Graham’s work, the pulse we feel throughout the long journey. She wants us to know that these things happened. — Megan Callahan for Vallum
With vivid sensory details, deft movement through time and space, and the precise placement of historical facts, Graham drops the reader into the middle of the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake—without sacrificing a critical, 21st century perspective. — Claire Caldwell for the Writers’ Trust’s Best Books of 2016
Rove is a deeply moving, funny, wild-hearted, argumentative, insistent long poem—without a single false note or soft line. — Michael Ondaatje
This brilliant, large-hearted poem is where the quest of Suknaski, Kroetsch, MacKinnon, and Zwicky has gone, picking up new, idiosyncratic preoccupations along the way. How good it is to have this book. — Tim Lilburn
Rove is a fast-paced book of poetry that looks at the colonial settlement of the prairies through the lens of a single family line, through the vast and monotonous suburban environment, and through an experience with memory loss as a means of understanding the evolving relationship between a mother and a daughter.
Graham gives us a voice that speaks to the reader directly and simply, and she articulates at various points a large swath of historical time in order to create a picture of a place, or simultaneous places and how they exist together in the mind, memory, and make-up of an individual.
Praise for Rove:
Rove reads like a river, sweeping the sediment of cultural and personal history together as it sweeps readers up with it, “Dizzy from the journeys we’ve made.” It’s both forceful and dreamy, critical and congratulatory. It is a book of place: a story of oil and Edmonton; of immigrants managing in the new world; of how disconnected our cities make us, and the reasons why we flock to them. It is a lament for “Home calling like a horn through fog.” It is a life. — Shelley A. Leedahl for SPG
Swiftly moving, self-assured, plainspoken, loose, funny, and pressing in its occupations, this is a book you read cover to cover in one sitting. And then you read it again. It’s hard to believe this is a first book, so whole, so wholly realized, this persistent, generations-long tracking of a single family and their place. — Danielle Janess for Arc Poetry Magazine
[A]n ambitious and accomplished book-length poem….one can find traces of Whitman and Hopkins. Instead of leaves of grass, we have cloverleaf and fescue; instead of Whitman’s “I sing,” Graham opens with “Say cloverleaf, polyethylene. / Say this parking lot slinks into marshland. Say it bristles into scrubland.” — Michael Greenstein for The Malahat Review
Rove is an elegant epic poem so rooted in the soil of the Canadian west it comes from that you might find some earth under your fingernails every time you turn a page….This is marvelous poetry and certainly one of the best books I’ve read this year. — Michael Dennis, on his blog
(If you’re looking for Rove the quarterly of digital broadsides out of Berea, Kentucky, here they are.)