Braided Skin
by Chelene Knight
Debut book of poetry

Due: March 2015

“The city, the body, the past – and the way all the disparate elements of a life need to be taken apart and recombined in order for us to wear them – these are the strands that Chelene Knight triumphantly weaves together in Braided Skin. These poems do not let tribulation define the journey, though it's there; but something dances and laughs its way through this book at every turn.”
Wayde Compton- author of The Outer Harbour and Director, Creative Writing, SFU

Braided Skin is the vibrant telling of experiences of mixed ethnicity, urban childhood, poverty and youthful dreams through various voices. Knight writes a confident rhythm of poetry, prose and erasure by using the recurring image of braiding–a different metaphor than “mixing,” our default when speaking the language of race. In the title poem “Braided Skin,” this terminology shifts, to entwining and crossing, holding together but always displaying the promise or threat of unravelling. This is just as all tellings of family, history and relationships must be–“Skin that carries stories of missing middles.” When speaking about race, Knight raises the question, then drops it, and the image becomes other objects, then abstraction, and memory–finally becoming something “she breathes in” actively.

Chelene Knight was born in Vancouver and is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU. She has been published in Sassafras Literary Magazine, Room, emerge 2013, Raven Chronicles, and is a member of the editorial board of Room. Her work is deeply rooted in her experiences of mixed ethnicity. Braided Skin is her remarkable first book.

ISBN 978-1-896949-50-5
8" x 6" 96 pages
a short history of crazy bone
by Patrick Friesen
long poem

Due: April 2015

“Crazy Bone’s solitary life on the margins is at once a performance of the archetypal feminine forever at odds with patriarchal order and a libretto for the wayward, solitary, and vulnerable spirit of art, passion, and expression.”Sharon Thesen, author of Oyama Pink Shale

In her archetypal journey, Crazy Bone lives on the edge of the world, at the edge of time, wandering the mid-path of her life, on the outskirts of a small town. She is caught in her own monologue, soul-talking, listening to herself, to the river. Crazy Bone is an eccentric, a trickster, a fool, a wild woman laughing, a campesino, who through loss is slowly finding her way back to herself by remembering, wandering the night, hearing her own wild thinking. She says ‘who if I look can see me’ and ‘there’s always a door in the rubble’. In the forest she has her own rituals to place her feet on the earth again, though sometimes she floats or spins on her toes, blurts a curse or licks blood. Society has not valued her and has dismissed her presence as irrelevant but Crazy is cleverly sure of herself, and she tests the reader as her path flows through a world of the sleeping. In her rambling she references writers, singers, artists, theologians, tight-rope walkers, philosophers, not as experts but as guides along the way. You won’t forget her voice once she has passed you on her way to the river.

Patrick Friesen is an award-winning author, formerly from Winnipeg, now living in Victoria. He adapted his book The Shunning for stage; it premiered at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in 1985 and was performed in 2011 at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. He has also collaborated with various musicians, choreographers and dancers and recorded two CD’s of text and improv music. Friesen was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for poetry and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1998 and 2003 and won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award in Manitoba in 1996 and the ReLit Award for Poetry in 2012.

ISBN 978-1-896949-49-9
5.25" x 9" 120 pages