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Jonina Kirton
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Jónína Kirton, a Métis/Icelandic poet, is an Adjunct Professor in the UBC Creative Writing Program. Her third book, Standing in a River of Time, merges poetry and lyrical memoir.
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This is a gallery of work specially created for #ThinAir2022. Spend time with writers you love, and discover some new favourites! Ceci est une galerie de travaux spécialement créée pour #ThinAir2022. Passez du temps avec des écrivains que vous aimez et découvrez de nouveaux favoris!

Jónína Kirton, a Métis/Icelandic poet graduated from the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007 and is currently an Adjunct Professor the UBC Creative Writing Program. Her first collection of poetry, page as bone ~ ink as blood, was released in April 2015 with Talonbooks. It has been described as “restorative, intimate poetry, drawing down ancestral ideas into the current moment’s breath.” A late-blooming poet, she was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her latest book, Standing in a River of Time, merges poetry and lyrical memoir to take us on a journey exposing the intergenerational effects of colonization on a Métis. Her work weaves body and land as she firmly believes until we care for women’s bodies we will not care for the earth.

Interview / Entrevue

I grew up in a very patriarchal hockey family. I would pour over the Scholastic Book Club flyers the school would send home. I longed for books but with three younger brothers in sports, books were not on my family’s radar. Given this I had very few books and don’t recall hiding any books but do know that I hid the fact that I would stay up all night reading, Anne Frank’s, The Diary of a Young Girl. Living in a home where I did not feel safe, I was always on high alert and found it hard to sleep. Most nights I would snuggle under the covers and read with a flashlight. Anne Frank’s words kept me company. I gained much needed strength through her story. If she could survive that; I could survive life in my home.

"All inanimate objects have spirit and personality so that mountains, rivers, waterfalls, even continents and earth itself have intelligence, knowledge, and the ability to communicate ideas." - Vine Deloria Jr., God is Red: A Native View of Religion

A bit of both. When I start a project I like a clean desk, but as I work more and more books, paper printouts of research, post-it-note reminders, coffee cups etc. start piling up around me, like a moat, protecting me from the busyness of the world.

My to-do list hounds me at night. As a self-employed writer and mentor much of my work is gig work. There are always a lot of emails, important details and deadlines to keep track of. I am still a paper person, so use a day timer and printout all emails that contain information I will later need. I write the due date at the top and put them in order in hopes that I won’t miss anything. It is becoming clearer and clearer that as my workload increases that this system is not sufficient, so I worry that I may miss a deadline. And yet I have not been able find a free online system that works for me. I worry that I am too old for this work and that I won’t be able to keep up with technology. I also worry about the world in general, but that worry I work out through writing.

To be a TV talk show host.

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