Cover Image: I Place You into the Fire

I Place You into the Fire

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Member Reviews

<i>We remember tomorrow and a thousand years ago.
From eel weirs to the buffalo.
We remember petroglyphs and Instagram photos.
See, we remember our history,
Without statues, money, or pictures of the queen.</i>

I Place You Into the Fire is the first poetry collection by Mi'kmaw spoken word poet, Rebecca Thomas, past poet laureate of Kjipuktuk (Halifax) Nova Scotia and I have struggled to find words to describe the impact of these poems. She talks about her family, her love and her sorrow, colonization, and the history of the M'ikmaw people. She speaks as a second-generation Residential School survivor and her words are powerful, raw, and personal, often heartbreaking but always honest, never avoiding the truth no matter how hard. It provides important lessons for settlers and a call to action for Indigenous peoples and it is one of the rare books I know I will read over and over. 

<Thanks to Netgalley and Nimbus Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>
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These poems!
Thomas speaks truth to power, unflinchingly.
By turns thought provoking and inspiring, this collection should be in the hands of all Canadian high school English teachers so that they can pull the poems their classrooms need to explore indigeneity and reconciliation with their students. Powerful #ownvoices work
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Broken into three thematic sections, 'I place you into the fire' by Rebecca Thomas is a hard-hitting collection of poetry that tackles everything from colonialism, erasure, and cultural appropriation to family, identity, and love.

Thomas is a Mi'kmaw writer, political activist, and was Halifax's first First Nations poet laureate (2016-2018). 

Her writing has a raw, direct spoken word style that draws you into the narrative. and doesn't let go.

Her point of view - her personhood embodied in words - is vibrant and unapologetic. The poems turn the mirror back on white readers in a way that unabashedly forces an assessment of where, precisely, they stand on the spectrum from usurper to ally. There is anger here (well-deserved) as well as grief, and disappointment, and hope, and joy, and everything in between.

Some of the poems correct historically incorrect retellings and myths; others are a snapshot of Thomas's life. The lines blur.

Moving, impactful, and hugely relevant, both for Canadian / North American readers and beyond.

Advance reader copy kindly provided by Nimbus Publishing.
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