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This Wound Is a World

2019
Author:

Billy-Ray Belcourt

This Wound Is a World

The new edition of a prize-winning memoir-in-poems, a meditation on life as a queer Indigenous man—available for the first time in the United States

Presented here with several additional poems, this prize-winning collection pursues fresh directions for queer and decolonial theory as it opens uncharted paths for Indigenous poetry in North America. It is theory that sings, poetry that marshals experience in the service of a larger critique of the coloniality of the present and the tyranny of sexual and racial norms.

This Wound Is a World is a decolonial wildfire from which the acclaimed writer Billy-Ray Belcourt builds a new world and it’s the brilliant, radiant, fucked up Indigenous world I want to live in. His book redefines poetics as a refusal of colonial erasure, a radical celebration of Indigenous life and our beautiful, intimate rebellion. This is a breathtaking masterpiece.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost

“i am one of those hopeless romantics who wants every blowjob to be transformative.” Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut poetry collection, This Wound Is a World, is “a prayer against breaking,” writes trans Anishinaabe and Métis poet Gwen Benaway. “By way of an expansive poetic grace, Belcourt merges a soft beauty with the hardness of colonization to shape a love song that dances Indigenous bodies back into being. This book is what we’ve been waiting for.”



Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound Is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky / to world inside.” Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder their sadness and pain without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.” Presented here with several additional poems, this prize-winning collection pursues fresh directions for queer and decolonial theory as it opens uncharted paths for Indigenous poetry in North America. It is theory that sings, poetry that marshals experience in the service of a larger critique of the coloniality of the present and the tyranny of sexual and racial norms.
This Wound Is a World

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is Canada’s first First Nations Rhodes Scholar. This Wound Is a World was awarded the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and a 2018 Indigenous Voices Award. His second book, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, will be published in fall 2019.

This Wound Is a World

This Wound Is a World is a decolonial wildfire from which the acclaimed writer Billy-Ray Belcourt builds a new world and it’s the brilliant, radiant, fucked up Indigenous world I want to live in. His book redefines poetics as a refusal of colonial erasure, a radical celebration of Indigenous life and our beautiful, intimate rebellion. This is a breathtaking masterpiece.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost

This book is a monument for the future of poetic possibility. It is rare to be able to call a book something so grand and full—and have it be utterly true. That's what This Wound Is a World affords us: myth and hyperbole pressed into a lived and realized life. A reckoning for and of the wreck—bravely buoyant, alive, and finally here.

Ocean Vuong, author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds

This Wound Is a World is a wonder. It is filled with humor, sadness, sadness about sadness, sex, profound and profane lyricism, and above all power. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s voice is uniquely plangent and self-aware. The book is a world with worlds inside it. It means to de-colonize any possible reader’s pre- or mis-conceptions about what it means to be alive and Indian today.

Tommy Orange, author of There There

This Wound Is a World

Contents


Preface


Love and Heartbreak Are Fuck Buddies


The Cree Word for a Body Like Mine Is Weesageechak


Gay Incantations


Notes from a Public Washroom


There Is a Dirt Road in Me


Wihtikowak Means “Men Who Can’t Survive Love”


The Rez Sisters II


Six Theses on Why Native People Die


Sacred


A History of the Present


We Were Never Meant to Break Like This


I Am Hoping to Help This City Heal From Its Trauma


Heartbreak Is a White Kid


If I Have a Body, Let It Be a Book of Sad Poems


Grief after Grief after Grief after Grief


The Creator Is Trans


The Back Alley of the World


Native Too


Colonialism: A Love Story


God’s River


Love and Other Experiments


Towards a Theory of Decolonization


OkCupid


An Elegy for Flesh


Everyone Is Lonely


There Is No Beautiful Left


Boyfriend Poems


God Must Be an Indian


Sexual History


Time Contra Time


Something Like Love


Ode to Northern Alberta


The Oxford Journal


If Our Bodies Could Rust, We Would Be Falling Apart


The Rubble of Heartbreak


Wapekeka


Love Is a Moontime Teaching


Ode to Native Men


Hemeneutics of the Sometimes/Somewhere


To Speak of the Dead, I Must Begin with the Photon


Epilogue


References


Acknowledgements


Purchase

About E-books

Available in September 2019