Resisting Canada

Edited by Nyla Matuk
With an introduction by Nyla Matuk

The poems included in Resisting Canada address, among other things, Indigenous agency, cultural belonging, environmental anxieties, and racial privilege. These poems ask us to judge and resist a statecraft that refuses to acknowledge past and present wrongs. Think of Resisting Canada as a poetic letter to Canada’s politicians and leaders.

Resisting Canada gathers together 28 poets for a conversation bigger than poetic trends. Its organizing principle is Canada—the Canada that established residential schools; the Canada grappling with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; the Canada that has been visible in its welcome of Syrian refugees, yet the not-always-tolerant place where the children of those refugees will grow up; the Canada eager to re-establish its global leadership on the environment while struggling to acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty on resource-rich land and enabling further colonization of that land. In the face of global conflicts due to climate change, scarcity, mass migrations, and the rise of xenophobic populisms, Canada still works with a surface understanding of its democratic values—both at their noblest and most deceptive.

The poets:
Jordan Abel
James Arthur
Marie Annharte Baker
Billy-Ray Belcourt
Wayde Compton
Beth Cuthand
Rosanna Deerchild
Marilyn Dumont
Marvin FrancisLouise
Bernice Halfe-Sky Dancer
Jim Johnstone
El Jones
Christine Leclerc
Canisia Lubrin
Lee Maracle
Sachiko Murakami
Arleen Paré
Michael Prior
Shane Rhodes
Janet Rogers
Armand Garnet Ruffo
Ingrid Ruthig
Gregory A. Scofield
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Karen Solie
Moez Surani
Derek Webster
Rita Wong

Signal Poetry


"Resisting Canada... slices through the narrative of Canadian exceptionalism.... It is a searing critique of a settler state that continues to silence, abuse, and oppress Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, and features the work of new and established figures in contemporary poetry: Lee Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Canisia Lubrin, and Billy-Ray Belcourt, among many others." - Marcela Huerta, Montreal Review of Books

"This is not an anthology of cheeky bon mots about the scoundrels in Parliament, nor is it too interested in relitigating the nationalist project of Canadian literature; rather, Resisting Canada questions the integrity of Canadian statehood.... What makes Resisting Canada stand out among other recent Canadian poetry anthologies is not simply its editor’s unapologetic polemicism or the defiant spirit of its poems but the way these strands are inextricably integrated." - Bardia Sinaee, Quill & Quire

Nyla Matuk is the author of Sumptuary Laws (Véhicule Press, 2012) and Stranger (Véhicule Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, PN Review, The Walrus, and Poetry. In 2018, she was the McGill University Mordecai Richler Writer-in-Residence.

Other books by Nyla Matuk:
Sumptuary Laws
Trade paperback
280 pp 8.5" x 5.5"
ISBN13: 9781550655339

CDN $22.95
US & International
US $17.95