Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed-blood author, poet and arts activist who has published over ten books of poetry and prose. Her first book of poetry, Wiles of Girlhood (Press Gang) won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award in 1992. Her latest title is Halfling Spring: an internet romance with illustrations by Leo Yerxa (Kegedonce Press 2014). Her essays and poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies. She is the Poetry Editor for EVENT Magazine, and a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast.
Joanne’s titles include a collection of short nonfiction Breasting the Waves: On Writing & Healing (Press Gang 1995), a children’s illustrated book Ma MacDonald with illustrations by Mary Anne Barkhouse (Women’s Press 1993), My Grass Cradle (Press Gang 1993), Steepy Mountain love poetry (Kegedonce Press 2004), Mother Time: Poems New & Selected (Ronsdale Press 2007). And two chapbooks, Longing: four poems on diverse matters (2008), the Family of Crow (Leaf Press 2012), and A Night for the Lady (Ronsdale Press, 2013).
Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies including Uncommon Wealth, Native Poetry in Canada, Native Literature in English, How the Light Gets In (Ireland), Without Reservation, Double Lives, and Manitowapow. Her work is featured in two forthcoming collections, ‘Indigenous Poetics’ edited by Neal MacLeod, and an anthology of women poets of BC, edited by Susan Musgrave.
As editor, Joanne guest-edited Emerge 2010 (SFU/The Writers Studio), and text-edited Salish Seas: an anthology of text + image (AWCWC 2011).
A founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, past volunteer on The Writers Union of Canada’s National Council, and current volunteer on The Writers Trust Author’s Committee, Joanne hosts two blogs, Vera Manuel Tribute and Joanne Arnott, and is an occasional contributor to Kegedonce Author’s blog. In recent years she has organized and co-organized a number of literary, storytelling, and poetry-specific events in BC, bringing together the two streams of her passionate interest, literature and activism. Her travels have taken her to most regions of Canada— not yet to Newfoundland/Labrador nor yet to the Yukon Territories— and to Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.
Joanne has performed readings of her work, participated in panels, given talks and writing workshops across much of Canada, primarily BC to Ontario, and in Australia. She facilitated Unlearning Racism workshops for a number of years, and peer counselling approaches/social justice perspectives continue to inform her work.
At the July 22 meeting of Surrey Muse, Joanne will present a selection of her poems. More about the event is here: