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Burning in This Midnight Dream

by (author) Louise B. Halfe

Brick Books
Initial publish date
May 2021
English Language Arts, History, Law, Social Justice, Social Studies
Grade Levels
11 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

Louise B. Halfe – Sky Dancer is an esteemed, award-winning Poet Laureate and Survivor of the Blue Quills Residential School. Halfe not only has had the courage to expose the hard truths of the intergenerational nature of the residential school legacy, but also reiterates that “any tragedy experienced or achievement made by relatives affects all of us.” She uses brutal yet heartbreaking language and imagery to bring forth the effects of unearthing these experiences in “Cave Diving,” where she states, “How much can I take lying open in this cave while the vultures pick clean what I hauled in?” Her work also emphasizes the devastating impacts of residential schools on communities in “The Reserve Went Silent.” This body of work is an extremely impactful example of the necessity of truth before reconciliation.

Caution: Sexual and physical abuse and trauma, addictions, and alcohol abuse.

83 pp., 5.75 × 8.5", b&w photographs

Louise B. Halfe – Sky Dancer (Cree)

Source: Association of Book Publishers of BC - Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools (2021-2022)

About the author

Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Her first book, Bear Bones & Feathers (Coteau, 1994), received the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Gerald Lampert Award. Blue Marrow (Coteau, 1998) was a finalist for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Poetry, and her fourth book, Burning in This Midnight Dream (Coteau, 2016), won the 2017 Saskatchewan Book Award and the Raymond Souster Award, among numerous other awards. Her newest book is awâsis – kinky and dishevelled (Brick Books, 2021). Halfe was Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate for 2005-2006, was awarded the Latner Writers Trust Award for her body of work in 2017, and was awarded the 2020 Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. She trained at Nechi Institute as a facilitator, has a Bachelor of Social Work, was granted a lifetime membership in the League of Canadian Poets, and has received three honorary doctorates. She currently works with Elders in the organization Opikinawasowin ("raising our children") and lives near Saskatoon with her husband, Peter.

Louise B. Halfe's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Burning in this Midnight Dream honours the witness of a singular experience, Halfe's experience, that many others of kin and clan experienced. Halfe descends into personal and cultural darkness with the care of a master story-teller and gives story voice to mourning. By giving voice to shame, confusion, injustice Halfe begins to reclaim a history. It is the start of a larger dialogue than what is contained in the pages." — Jury Citation, 2017 Raymond Souster Award