Totem Poles and Railroads

Janet Rogers

  • ISBN-13: 9781894037877
  • PRICE: $18.95
“A straight shot metaphysical call to action in the wake of historical trauma, police violence, shameful treatment of our body Earth.”

Totem Poles and Railroads succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers’ expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful, and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters–real and imagined, historical and present-day–from Sacajawea to Nina Simone. Placing poetry at the centre of our current post-residential school/present-day reconciliation reality, Rogers’ poems are expansive and intimate, challenging, thought-provoking, and always personal.

These new poems by Janet Rogers are a straight shot metaphysical call to action in the wake of historical trauma, police violence, shameful treatment of our body Earth. They stand as urgent witness, clear talk in the face of colonized law built on lies. Rogers reminds us to pay attention, to listen. These words can heal. — Joy Harjo, Mvskoke Nation, poet and musician

To give Rogers’ poems a form, a body, I would have to name them blackbird, formidable winged creatures who’ve chosen the highest branch and whose eyes allow us the vision we so often cannot see ourselves. I’m honoured to be called into this ceremony, sung awake by her prayers. Praise for Totem Poles and Railroads — Gregory Scofield, author of Witness, I am Janet

Rogers doesn’t pull any punches. All of the stinging and difficult realities of colonialism are confronted head-on and with ferocity. Rogers is here to disrupt these white landscapes. Rogers is here to call out all of the bullshit both past and present. Totem Poles and Railroads is burning to be read. — Jordan Abel, Nisga’s Nation, author of Injun

Janet Rogers

Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations territory, living as a guest on Coast Salish territory since 1994. She is a recording artist, former Poet Laureate of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia Writer-in-Residence for 2015 and the Ontario College of Art and Design NIGIG Visual Culture Visiting Artist in 2016.