North End Love Songs

North End Love Songs

Book - 2012
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For Katherena Vermette, Winnipeg's North End is a neighbourhood of colourful birds, stately elms, and always wily rivers. It is where a brother's disappearance is trivialized by local media and police because he is young and aboriginal. It is also where young girls share secrets, movies, cigarettes, Big Gulps and stories of love&emdash;where a young mother full of both maternal trepidation and joy watches her small daughters as they play in the park.

"In North End Love Songs, Katherena Vermette uses spare language and brief, telling sketches to illuminate the aviary of a prairie neighbourhood. Vermette's love songs are unconventional and imminent, an examination and a celebration of family and community in all weathers, the beautiful as well as the less clement conditions. This collection is a very moving tribute, to the girls and the women, the boys and the men, and the loving trouble that has forever transpired between us." &endash; Joanne Arnott

"From a mixed-blood M#65533;tis woman with Mennonite roots, Kate weaves a story that winds its way through the north end (Nor-tend) of Winnipeg. It's a story of death, birth, survival, beauty and ugliness; through it all there are glimmers of hope, strength, and a will to survive whatever this city throws at you." &endash; Duncan Mercredi

Publisher: Winnipeg :, Muses' Company,, 2012
ISBN: 9781897289761
Branch Call Number: ANF 819.16 VER
Characteristics: 108 pages ; 22 cm


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susankent Feb 21, 2017

These poems contrast the enduring urban landscape and the fragility of the young women in Winnipeg's North End.

Feb 16, 2017

This is an excellent companion to Vermette's novel, The Break. In fact, the first poem is very reminiscent of a scene in the novel. But, even without the novel, it's a wonderful collection. I particularly loved the section titled "November," which is a sad and beautiful tribute to a lost brother. Her poems dive into the hard truths of the neighborhood and the reality of being native in Canada.

Oct 30, 2016

I loved this collection, because the poems together tell a singular story. These poems paint a bigger picture, the story Vermette tells of an alcoholic north-end Native boy, Wayne, who goes missing one Winter. Some poems describe the days of his disappearance, the finding of his body, and his wake. The collection is sprinkled with bittersweet snapshots of their shared childhood and neighbourhood, all told from the perspective of the missing boy's sister.

If you like First Nations authors and fiction, also check out Vermette's first novel, The Break.

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