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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: HeartBeat of A Warrior

Review: Heartbeat of A Warrior: Aboriginal Men’s Writing, Art & Culture
BY: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

“Heartbeat of A Warrior: Aboriginal Men’s Writing, Art & Culture” is a small collection of poetry, photography and art that was borne out of a few years work at “Sagatay” a Native men’s program through a Native Men’s Residence- Na-Me-Res based in Toronto.

Emily Pohl Weary, a local Toronto writer and the men in the Sagatay Progam developed two volumes of writings called Broken Arrow. Lee Maracle, a renowned author, and grandmother of Aboriginal Literature then became a guest teacher for Pohl-Weary during the course of her creative writing courses with the men. Maracle says, “Some of the men who participated in this project had been writing for some time. Others were new to the experience, but all were eager to put their hearts and minds to the task.”

The poetry within this book is heartfelt, moving, and courageous. The theme, according to guest teacher, Lee Maracle of this book “was for the men to come to understand themselves as modern Warriors and to respect the journey’s their lives have been on.”

Many of the poems that resonated with me speak of roads to recovery whether its from drugs, alcohol or violence. In one poem “Untitled”, the writer Windwolf writes

“Today you’re making a change in your life
Even when its too little to notice the change
You’ve changed more than anyone could have dreamed
Be happy and never let another person’s opinion about you
Bring you down
You are worth more than you think”

The poems within Heartbeat of A Warrior are tinged with a wide range of emotions, and a great read if you need a quick pick me up to remind yourself of where you are in your journey in life. The poems remind you most of all that you are not alone, and that there are others out there too who may be fighting the same battle as you.

 Na-Me-Res is selling the book to fund the Na-Me-Res/ Sagatay Apaenmowineen Life Skills Program. The book sells at $15 a book, $12 for multiple copies and $10 for 100 plus copies. The contact person for this book is Marshall Schuhert, and he can be reached at

Heartbeat of A Warrior: Aboriginal Men’s Writing, Art & Culture is 102 pages long. ISBN: 978-0-9918291-0-1

Please note this is a cross post with this review soon being published in Anishinabek News

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