In heart-wrenching detail, Louise Halfe recalls the damage done by the residential schools to her parents, her family, and herself in her new poetry collection. Burning in this Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures. Halfe’s poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.
Louise Bernice Halfe was born in Two Hills, Alberta, and was raised on the Saddle Lake Reserve. Her Cree name is Sky Dancer. With the publication of Burning in this Midnight Dream in April 2016, Louise has four book publications to her credit. Bear Bones & Feathers was published in 1994. It received the Canadian People’s Poet Award, and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award. Blue Marrow was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Pat Lowther Award, the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, and the Saskatchewan Poetry Award. The Crooked Good was published in 2007. She was awarded third prize in the League of Canadian Poets' national poetry contest and was Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for 2005-2006. Louise has a Bachelor of Social Work, and received an Honorary Degree of Letters (Ph. D) from Wilfred Laurier University. She currently works with Elders in an organization called Opikinawasowin (“raising our children”). She lives outside of Saskatoon with her husband.