Elders_Mock_1

$14.95

The Elder’s Palace

The Elders’ Palace brings together two cultures that meet on the common ground of parenthood and of children lost, dying or dead. In these bilingual poems, Button documents her meetings in Kitikmeot in the Canadian Arctic with families and Inuit elders, who asked that her poems be translated into Inuinnaqtun. The stories they tell are heartbreaking, the fruit of a harsh land:
“. . .the children he counts on his fingers./One died of alcohol. One froze. One burned. . .//The first child was killed by a husky. The second fell from a Honda./The next died/and the next one—though he doesn’t say how./I’ve had enough of this telling./No tears, no drama, only lines/traverse his face . . . ”

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SKU: 9780889822146. Category: .

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The Elders’ Palace brings together two cultures that meet on the common ground of parenthood and of children lost, dying or dead. In these bilingual poems, Button documents her meetings in Kitikmeot in the Canadian Arctic with families and Inuit elders, who asked that her poems be translated into Inuinnaqtun. The stories they tell are heartbreaking, the fruit of a harsh land:

“. . .the children he counts on his fingers./One died of alcohol. One froze. One burned. . .//The first child was killed by a husky. The second fell from a Honda./The next died/and the next one—though he doesn’t say how./I’ve had enough of this telling./No tears, no drama, only lines/traverse his face . . . ”

The poems weave together the stories of the Inuit with that of the poet’s own schizophrenic son, who stabbed himself to death when he was 26 years old.

Mary Kasoni translated the poems, illustrated with ink drawings by Inuit artists Bella Kapolak and Mary Kilaodluk

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about the author

Margo Button

Margo Button’s first book, The Unhinging of Wings (Oolichan, 1996) won the prestigious Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (B.C. Book Prizes) and was short listed for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize (League of Canadian Poets) and is now in its fourth printing. The book became a highly acclaimed play written by Michael Bianchin and produced by Welcome Wood Productions in Kingston, Ontario. Her second book of poems The Shadows Fall Behind was published in 2000. Her bilingual poem “Interviews at the Elders’ Palace” won Arc’s Confederation Poets award for the best poem published in 2002. She lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island.

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