Join us to watch Louise Halfe share poetry and Tammy de Laforest walk us through some chair yoga!
Louise Halfe, Sky Dancer, was born in Two Hills, Alberta. She was raised on the Saddle Lake First Nation and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Louise earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina and certificates in Addiction Counselling from the Nechi Institute. Halfe made her debut as a poet in Writing the Circle: Native Women of Western Canada, the acclaimed 1990 anthology of life-writings by Native women.
Halfe’s first book of poetry, Bear Bones and Feathers, won the Milton Acorn “People’s Poetry” Award in 1996 and was short-listed for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award. Blue Marrow, published by McClelland and Steward in 1998, is a mixture of prose and poetry resurrecting indigenous voices from the past. Blue Marrow was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award, the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, Saskatchewan Poetry Award and the Saskatoon Book Award. It was later re-published by Coteau. Louise’s third book of poetry, The Crooked Good, was published in 2007 by Coteau. It won the Saskatoon Book Award, the Saskatchewan Publishers Award and was short listed for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. The Crooked Good is an epic poem based on the Cree Legend the Rolling Head, interwoven with the lives of four generations of women. Her fourth book, Burning in This Midnight Dream, won the 2017 Saskatchewan Book award, Indigenous Peoples’ publishing award, Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing award, Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award, the League of Canadian Poets Raymond Souster Award, the American High Plains Book Award for Indigenous Writers, and was a finalist for the 2017 American WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Halfe was also awarded the Latner Writers Trust Award for her body of work in 2017. Louise received the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award in 2017. In 2019 The League of Canadian Poets honored Louise with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She received the SWG Kloppenberg Award for Poetry Excellence in Sept. 2019.
Sohkeyihta, is a compilation of her poetry published in 2018 by the Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Brick Books will be releasing awasis-kinky and dishevelled in April 2021. The latter is also republishing Bear Bones & Feathers, as well as Burning in This Midnight Dream. Kegedonce Press has released the printing of Blue Marrow and soon to be released The Crooked Good.
Halfe has traveled extensively across the country and internationally, reading, discussing her work and conducting writing workshops. Louise served as the first aboriginal Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan from 2005-2006. She completed writer-in-residence stints at the Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writer program in Calgary and the Native Earth Performing Arts Weesageechak Festival in Toronto, as well as Emma Lake, Saskatchewan.
Louise Halfe is married, the mother of two accomplished adult children and the proud grandmother of three grandsons. She has served on the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Sagehill Writing Experience board, the Public Lending Rights Commission and the Woodcock Writers Fund. She has also served on juries for the Canada Council of the Arts and Saskatchewan Arts Board. Her work is widely published in anthologies and magazines.
Box 22, Site 905 RR9
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1P3