Louis: The Heretic Poems by Gregory ScofieldLouis: The Heretic Poems by Gregory Scofield

Louis: The Heretic Poems

byGregory Scofield

Paperback | October 31, 2011

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Few figures in Canadian history have attained such an iconic status as Louis Riel. Celebrated Metis poet Gregory Scofield takes a fresh look at Riel in his new collection, Louis: The Heretic Poems, challenging traditional conceptions of Riel as simply a folk hero and martyr. By juxtaposing historical events and quotes with the poetic narrative, Scofield draws attention to the side of the Metis leader that most Canadians have never contemplated: that of husband, father, friend and lover, poet and visionary.

Scofield also uses the collection to raise attention about the more crucial historical events of Riel's lifetime--such as the Manitoba Resistance and the Northwest Resistance at Batoche--in order to illuminate the history of western Canadian Metis people and their struggles toward recognition. Scofield also examines Riel's own poetry, most of which was devoted to exploring religious themes. Accordingly, religious imagery features strongly in the collection, complemented by a poetic voice that is rhythmic, repetitious, and lush with potent symbolism and simple, powerful images.
Gregory Scofield is Red River Metis of Cree, Scottish and European descent whose ancestry can be traced to the fur trade and to the Metis community of Kinesota, Manitoba. He has taught First Nations and Metis Literature and Creative Writing at Brandon University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the Alberta College of Art + D...
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Title:Louis: The Heretic PoemsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.25 inPublished:October 31, 2011Publisher:Nightwood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:088971262X

ISBN - 13:9780889712621

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Scofield marries political wordplay ("give to the poor, namely to those / who are prone to drafting up / a weakened constitution") with elegant imagery ("the rifles will be raised and / he will disappear like oranges / on Christmas morning"). Scofield's Riel views "the prairie as a sonnet" and seems aware of how despite attempts to write his own destiny, his fate will be written by others: "I am a poet / With auburn-brown hair, // An ember of curls / The newspapers will one day // Catch..." A stellar collection, hypnotic and incantatory.--Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press