wasaeyaban (Anishinaabe)–the first light, just before dawn. I don’t think writers make up stories, stories run around looking for a writer to tell them (if they are any good) otherwise they tend to be trite in the telling. I am glad these stories found the delicate hand and steel-wired beautiful voice of Leanne Simpson to bring them alive. Leanne is a listener and she was fully awake when she listened at dawn to all these stories and committed them to these trees (right, that would be pages, even though pages are really trees) and birthed a marvelous collection of stories (that are also poems) to illuminate the Anishinaabe experience in a way that turns the light on inside the reader–not just any light, but dawn’s first light, the light that counts, the light that stories our very lives, makes us plan something completely different from the sticky mud of same ol’, same ol’. Islands of Decolonial Love is the sort of book I have been looking for all my life–the kind of book that is going to make me a good writer, a good listener, a good citizen–it is going to wake up everything that is brilliant in everyone that reads it.
December 17, 2020