The Book Club Hub – Works of Poetry

Book clubs offer a great opportunity for friends and book lovers to gather (whether virtually or in person) to catch up and discuss a good book. There’s only two problems with this activity and they seem to come up at every meeting: what book should the group read next and how do you find enough copies for everyone?

TBPL is here to help with our Book Club in a Bag service. Each bag includes 10 paperback copies of the same book, discussion questions for your group to ponder, author information, and book reviews. With almost 200 different titles available, there is bound to be one that is the perfect next read for your group.

Visit our online catalogue to place holds on book club bags as well as individual copies of any of the books mentioned below. If you’re looking to view all of the book club bags available, simply click the link and search “book club bag”. Any Library patron can place a hold on a bag for pick up at any of our open branches. These bags are loaned out for 8 weeks, which gives you and your book club plenty of time to read and discuss.

Every month, a new set of book club titles will be highlighted in The Book Club Hub post. This month features works of poetry. April is National Poetry Month, so these books are showcased to help you and your book club prepare to celebrate. If you don’t consider yourself a poetry reader, these four books are a great way to dip your toes into the medium. Adding works of poetry into your book club can challenge and engage your group in a whole new way. Here are this month’s feature books:

#Indianlovepoems by Tenille K. Campbell

Covering Indigenous adventures from Wahpole Island to Northern Saskatchewan to the coast of Vancouver, #IndianLovePoems is a poetry collection that delves into the humour and truths of love and lust within Indigenous communities. Sharing stories in search of The One, or even better, that One-Night-Stand, or the opening of boundaries — can we say medicine wheel — this collection fearlessly sheds light on the sharing and honesty that comes with discussions of men, women, sex, and relationships, using humour to chat about the complexities of race, culture and intent within relationships. From discovering your own John Smith to sharing sushi in bed, #IndianLovePoems will make you smile, shake your head, and remember your own stories about that special someone.

Islands of Decolonial Love: Stories and Songs – Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

In her debut collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love, renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson vividly explores the lives of contemporary Indigenous Peoples and communities, especially those of her own Nishnaabeg nation.

Found on reserves, in cities and small towns, in bars and curling rinks, canoes and community centres, doctors offices and pickup trucks, Simpson’s characters confront the often heartbreaking challenge of pairing the desire to live loving and observant lives with a constant struggle to simply survive the historical and ongoing injustices of racism and colonialism. Told with voices that are rarely recorded but need to be heard, and incorporating the language and history of her people, Leanne Simpson’s Islands of Decolonial Love is a profound, important, and beautiful book of fiction.

You Are Enough: Love Poems for the End of the World – Smokii Sumac

In his debut poetry collection you are enough: love poems for the end of the world, Smokii Sumac has curated a selection of works from two years of a near daily poetry practice. What began as a sort of daily online poetry journal using the hashtag #haikuaday, has since transformed into a brilliant collection of storytelling drawing upon Indigenous literary practice, and inspired by works like Billy Ray Belcourt’s This Wound is a World, and Tenille Campbell’s #IndianLovePoems. With sections dealing with recovery from addiction and depression, coming home through ceremony, and of course, as the title suggests, on falling in and out of love, Sumac brings the reader through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person. This collection will move you as Sumac addresses the grief of being an Indigenous person in Canada, shares timely (and sometimes hilarious) musings on consent, sex, and gender, introduces readers to people and places he has loved and learned from, and through it all, helps us all come to know that we are enough, just as we are.

Nîtisânak – Lindsay Nixon

How do you honour blood and chosen kin with equal care? A groundbreaking memoir spanning nations, prairie punk scenes, and queer love stories, Lindsay Nixon’s nîtisânak is woven around grief over the loss of their mother. It also explores despair and healing through community and family, and being torn apart by the same. Using cyclical narrative techniques and drawing on Nixon’s Cree, Saulteaux, and Métis ancestral teachings, this work offers a compelling perspective on the connections that must be broken and the ones that heal.

Reading poetry on your own or with your book club may be a new and unknown idea, but these four books would be a great addition to your “finished reading” list. These works of poetry evoke stories of love, family, culture, humour, health and wellness, and will be sure to reach you and your fellow readers in new and exciting ways.

Not in a book club? No problem! These books are also available as single copies in our online catalogue.

Book descriptions via GoodReads

Lindsay – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.

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