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page as bone ~ ink as blood

A poetry reading, Q & A and book launch with Jónína Kirton
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
6:30pm to 8:00pm

Banyen Books & Sound
3608 West 4th Ave.


Death, desire, and divination are the threads running through Jónína Kirton’s debut collection of poems and lyric prose. Delicate and dark, the pieces are like whispers in the night – a haunted, quiet telling of truths the mind has locked away but the body remembers. Loosely autobiographical, these are the weavings of a wagon-goddess who ventures into the double-world existence as a mixed-race woman. In her struggle for footing in this in-between space, she moves from the disco days of trance dance to contemplations in her dream kitchen as a mother and wife.

With this collection, Kirton adds her voice to the call for the kind of fierce honesty referred to by Muriel Rukeyser when she asked, What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. Kirton tells her truth with gentleness and patience, splitting the world open one line at a time. Join us for a poetry reading and book signing with the author Jónína Kirton.

Jónína Kirton A prairie born Métis/Icelandic poet and facilitator currently lives in the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people. She brings her experience as a graduate of the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio, as a sacred circle facilitator, and a student of Continuum, to her writing and teaching. She remains curious about memory and the many ways one can access it. She regularly seeks to open herself to her body and to what the ancestors have to offer. Her work has been featured in a number of anthologies and literary journals including, Ricepaper’s Asian/Aboriginal Issue, V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, Pagan Edge, First Nations Drum, Toronto Quarterly and Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine.

Jónína Kirton sifts through her life – our lives – picking up piercing images and sorting stories of the senses, exploring the push-pull of being human, the delight and ambivalence of being in our own skin. Slowly, by being faithful to the moments, her poems find fragments of freedom by telling the truth. 
Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Jónína Kirton’s memoir in verse could be an epic novel, a haunting ballad, a film noir. What it is: a visitation by ghosts and spirits, familial secrets, and retrieved historical mis-memories. As intermediaries between European and Indian cultures, she retraces her Métis inheritance and her own arduous journey to becoming a twenty-first-century guide we are much in need of. 
Betsy Warland

page as bone – ink as blood. is restorative, intimate poetry, drawing down ancestral ideas into the current moment’s breath. Writing from a place of ‘curious contradiction,’ ‘of skin a little wild,’ Kirton begins by re-spinning the threads ofindigenous immigrant, and poem by poem shoves the shuttle forward and back, remaking human integrity from ghosts and bloody matter. In these words, skin is not a barrier but a doorway through which the worlds stride. Kirton’s poems are peacemaking, both generous gesture and much-needed literary poultice.
Joanne Arnott