Gregory Scofield

gregory

Gregory Scofield is one of Canada’s leading Indigenous writers whose seven collections of poetry have earned him a national and international audience. He is known for his unique and dynamic reading style that blends oral storytelling, song, spoken word and the Cree language. He is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Laurentian University, teaching creative writing.

Louis: The Heretic Poems, published by Nightwood editions in 2011, challenges traditional conceptions of Riel as 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.

His poetry and memoir, Thunder Through My Veins (HarperCollins, 1999) is taught at numerous universities and colleges throughout Canada and the U.S., and his work has appeared in many anthologies. His third collection of poetry, Love Medicine and One Song was re-released by Kegedonce Press in 2009. His Kipocihkan: Poems New & Selected (Nightwood Editions) and the republication of I Knew Two Metis Women, along with the Companion CD (Gabriel Dumont Institute) was released in Spring 2010.


THE SENTENCE

(July 31, 1885)

Louis Riel’s death-row poems to be auctioned at Toronto sale.

A Toronto antiquarian is set to auction a “never before seen” set of poems
handwritten by the famed Metis rebel leader Louis Riel and given to one of the Mounties who guarded him in at a Regina jail ahead of his 1885 hanging for treason.

  • Headline and excerpt from the Vancouver Sun
    November 14, 2008

Then my head was worth more than poetry.
A mere telegram, truth or lies,
was gold outright.
They could even have sold dog shit
on the heel of my shoe, more so
to the Easterners
who wanted their smell of victory.

But I stood with my eyes ahead,
thinking of the white primrose,
the orange lilies
when their faces come to life
and the prairie as a sonnet
in all its gesticulations.

 

From Louis: The Heretic Poems (Nightwood editions in collaboration with the Gabriel Dumont Institute
of Native Studies and Applied Research, 2011)