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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Reading Event Featuring the Works of Waubgeshig Rice and Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle and Waubgeshig Rice @ First Nations House, University of Toronto

Toronto- First Nations House at the University of Toronto held a very successful book reading September 6, 2011 that featured the works of Waubgeshig Rice and Lee Maracle.  

Maracle who read first, read from her books "Bent Box", and "Daughters Are Forever".  Bent Box is a collection of 68 poems and is the first collection of poetry by Maracle. The poems, written over the past two decades, speak volumes of emotion ranging from quiet desperation, to anger and to the depths of love. Maracle's book "Daughters Are Forever" is a powerful novel about a woman's rediscovery of self and incorporates a structure that is based on Salish Nation storytelling to depict the transformation of Marilyn, a modern day First Nations woman who is alienated from her culture, family and self.

Waubgeshig Rice, read from his first published book "Midnight Sweatlodge." A book that Rice says "is a collection of short stories that reflect the experiences of an Aboriginal person growing up in Canada, and the scenes depicted are ones  that hopefully help Aboriginal youth from all over ,  to connect in some way or another."

Rice's book "Midnight Sweatlodge" was written while he was growing up on the rez because he said "I was bored, and it gave me a creative outlet" After stepping away from the initial stories, and going into Broadcast Journalism, he went back to them after he received an Aboriginal Emerging Writer Grant for the Canada Council for the Arts, which helped him to "pull the stories together and make them more cohesive."

Readings by both Lee Maracle and Waubgeshig Rice were very powerful and thought provoking. I feel enriched by one of the many talents First Nations have- the art of storytelling.

Maracle and Rice's books were on sale during the event, along with First Nations House's writer in residence's book- "Red Rooms" by Cherie Dimaline. You can contact Theytus Books at for copies of the following books, "Bent Box" by Lee Maracle, "Midnight Sweatlodge" by Waubgeshig Rice and "Red Rooms" written by Cherie Dimaline.  "Daughters Are Forever" by Lee Maracle is published by Polestar an imprint of Raincoast Books.

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