In this collection we discover poems that explore what it means to be a woman who must navigate the world from the duality of a mixed race background.
Cara-Lyn Morgan joins those young Canadian poets who are driven by family experience to communicate with their pasts in order to inform their futures. Morgan's complex cultural history that was generated from her Metis mother and her Afro-Caribbean father necessitates an exploration of their struggles as distinctive cultures. It also insists on understanding the connectivity of her ancestral, cultural roots and the disparate values that shaped her. By revisiting these people and their stories she intends to come to an understanding of how to navigate the world as a "mixed-race" Canadian woman — a process that remains incomplete.
"What Became My Grieving Ceremony draws us into a sprawling family, and we rub shoulders with Fr. Ed; Patrick, the daemonic uncle; Margrette Monkman; Leotha and with the author herself as she conducts her personal and familial archeology, locating the self in its web of relations. Morgan is also on a linguistic search for a lost Michif, that unique Western Canadian tongue, born of the union of two races. Following her, I was led to the wakes, the barns and various kitchens of her people, where I found myself both a stranger yet also home." — Tim Lilburn
"Elegant and empathic, this fine book plumbs not only grief, but takes us through its rites: the anticipation of loss and its initial sting; the shouldering of a despair so vivid it hurts to succumb to memory’s unheralded quietude. Drawing from her Métis and Trinidadian heritage, Morgan counterpoints the unassuaged suffering of her people with her family’s, experiencing them as only one alert person can. Open yourself to these poems, become their host, and live their affirmative message as your own." —John Barton
- Winner of the 2015 Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry (RCLAS)
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