Injun by Jordan AbelInjun by Jordan Abel

Injun

byJordan Abel

Paperback | March 25, 2016

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Award-winning Nisga'a poet Jordan Abel's third collection, Injun, is a long poem about racism and the representation of Indigenous peoples.Award-winning Nisga'a poet Jordan Abel's third collection, Injun, is a long poem about racism and the representation of indigenous peoples. Composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950 - the heyday of pulp publishing and a period of unfettered colonialism in North America - Injun then uses erasure, pastiche, and a focused poetics to create a visually striking response to the western genre.After compiling the online text of 91 of these now public-domain novels into one gargantuan document, Abel used his word processor's Find" function to search for the word "injun." The 509 results were used as a study in context: How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What was left over once that word was removed? Abel then cut up the sentences into clusters of three to five words and rearranged them into the long poem that is Injun. The book contains the poem as well as peripheral material that will help the reader to replicate, intuitively, some of the conceptual processes that went into composing the poem.Though it has been phased out of use in our "post-racial" society, the word "injun" is peppered throughout pulp western novels. Injun retraces, defaces, and effaces the use of this word as a colonial and racial marker. While the subject matter of the source text is clearly problematic, the textual explorations in Injun help to destabilize the colonial image of the "Indian" in the source novels, the western genre as a whole, and the Western canon."
Jordan Abel is a Nisga'a writer currently completing his PhD at Simon Fraser University, where he is focusing on digital humanities and indigenous poetics. Abel's conceptual writing engages with the representation of indigenous peoples in anthropology and popular culture. His chapbooks have been published by JackPine Press and Above...
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Title:InjunFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.35 inPublished:March 25, 2016Publisher:Talon Books LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889229775

ISBN - 13:9780889229778

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inventive, important experimental poetry This may be, for many readers, poetry that challenges expectations. But when one reads through the poem and subsequent material with the process (read that section first) in mind, the power of this act of reclamation rings through. Jordan Abel took 91 western novels in the public domain and searched the texts for the word "injun." Through the material he harvested and reused, the racism and erasure of Indigenous identity reflected by the use of this slur is exposed to the light.
Date published: 2017-10-30

Editorial Reviews

The poet breaks words, even as lands and languages have been broken by colonial power. Fragmented and fugitive pieces lie at the heart of Injun. ... Injun nevertheless has the same astonishing impact as his earlier work in re-establishing the presence of Indigenous culture against silence and absence. Techniques of collage and pastiche restore the margins, invert dichotomies of paleface and redskin, and rearrange legends, myths, and rituals. ... Injun's brackets alert us not only to what is enclosed, but also to what has escaped." - Malahat Review"In Injun, Abel carefully un-writes ninety-one Western novels in the public domain ... While Injun is conceptually difficult and, indeed, demanding in the most productive of ways, the remarkably condensed, although potent, lines that Abel un-creates from within the body of such a disturbing collection of texts are demonstrative of his unique ability to converge conceptual, political, and affective registers seamlessly. ... Injun recasts the book as a textual object ... It is no wonder that Abel has received so much critical attention, as he is one of the most innovative and thrilling poets writing today." - Canadian Literature"