Joséphine Bacon’s poetry is a tribute to her land, her ancestors and the Innu-aimun language. She carries within her Nutshimit, Land of Ancestors. A nomad of the tundra, she takes us on a journey through unknown territories with her poetry. A cosmogonic vision that plunges us into the intensity of the words of the elders: the itinerary of the bearers of dreams and visions, the horizons of women guides, the courage of men hunters, the children, guarantors of the continuity of the journey, and the trees, tireless witnesses of the road. The horizon opens with such grace and naturalness that we are forever indebted to it to remind us of the essential: beauty, simplicity and voluptuousness.
I got all dressed up
so that the marrow of my bones
would be noticed,
survivor of a story
(Extract from Message Sticks /Tshissinuashitakana, 2009, Ed. Mémoire d’encrier)
This virtual encounter is moderated by Sophie Barthélémy of Mémoire d’encrier.
Joséphine Bacon reads extracts of poems in French and Innu-aimun from the collections Message Sticks/Tshissinuashitakana (2009), A tea in the tundra/Nipishapui nete mushuat (2013) and Uiesh/Quelque part (2018) published by Mémoire d’encrier.
Born in 1947, Joséphine Bacon is an Innu poet from Pessamit in the North Shore region of Quebec. As a director and lyricist, she has worked as a translator and interpreter with Elders, those who hold traditional knowledge, and has wisely learned to listen to their words. With Mémoire d’encrier, she published Message Sticks/Tshissinuashitakana (2009), then, in collaboration with José Acquelin, Nous sommes tous des sauvages (2011) and, in 2013, A tea in the tundra/Nipishapui nete mushuat (Finalist for the Governor General’s Award and the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal). Joséphine Bacon received the 2018 Fetkann Maryse Condé Award and the 2019 Quebec Bookstore Award in the poetry categories for her collection Uiesh/Quelque part published in 2018. She is constantly working for the transmission of her language and culture throughout the world.
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