In the follow-up to his Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection, This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt aims more of an anthropological eye at the contours of NDN and queer social worlds to spot much that is left unsaid when we look only to the mainstream media. In this genre-bending work, Belcourt employs poetry, poetics, prose, and textual art to illuminate the rogue possibilities bubbling up everywhere NDNs are.
Part One examines the rhythms of everyday life, which include the terrible beauty of the reserve, the afterlives of history, and the grammar of anal sex. Part Two experiments with form and practice, putting to use, for example, a mode of documentary poetics that unearths the logics that make and unmake texts like Treaty 8.
NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field emerges out of a form of auto/ethnographic sensibility that is at turns campy and playful, jarring and candid, displaying, once again, the writer’s extraordinary craft, guile, audacity, and the sheer dexterity of his imagination.