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by (author) Michelle Porter

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Jun 2019
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price

Where to buy it

About the author

Michelle Porter's first novel will be published by Penguin Canada in 2023. Her first book of poetry, Inquiries, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award in 2019 and was a finalist for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award in 2021. Her previous non-fiction book, Approaching Fire (2020), in which she embarks on a quest to find her great-grandfather, the Métis fiddler and performer Léon Robert Goulet, was shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Awards 2021. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation.


Michelle Porter's profile page


  • Short-listed, The Pat Lowther Memorial Award
  • Long-listed, The Miramichi Reader's 'The Very Best!' Book Award, Poetry Category

Editorial Reviews

"All in all, Inquiries is an example of the power of a poet’s pen. How they can distill and summarize emotions, places and events into a few sentences amazes me and always will."

The Miramichi Reader

"This is an exciting ‘old book’. I say old because it feels as if Porter has gone and peeled off all the old conversations of our half-breed, Métis, and Indigenous families from inside our kitchens and crafted them into this amazing piece of work. I so recall growing up and giving every stick of furniture, doors, walls, even the radio and that new TV a personality. Every word inside my house was a poem. Every poem birthed story, and we rattled all of them together, like Porter has done in her kitchen poems, clutch after clutch. There is no book like this ‘old book’. Sharp-edged, beautiful, poignant, funny, and rich with love—and of course, the poetry is spectacular."

Lee Maracle

"Inquires is thought-provoking in its ability to question, yet reads deeply personal. Lee Maracle describes the work as 'a new old book,' which speaks to Porter’s powerful capabilities as a writer, thinker, and poet... Porter’s poetics carry old world wisdom, in moments the teachings of Elders, and fuses contemporary poetic strategies."

Muskrat Magazine

“In Inquiries, Michelle Porter traces a Métis family’s history, their mother’s resilience, and their complex sense of home despite stark poverty and transience across houses, towns and cities, and rivers. Porter brings a magic realism to her poetry, where the kitchen, the refrigerator, the faucet and sink, the door, all become witnesses, alongside the poet, to the lives lived. Her lyric sings with quiet grace and undeniable integrity. If the people whose portraits are drawn here sought a way out, these poems nonetheless seek a way further in, to the wisdom the experience carries.”

2020 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Jury

"Porter has proven herself to be a deft writer... This book is a breath of fresh, warm baked bread air."

St. Albert Gazette