Poetry Pause x Biblioasis: Dallas Hunt — Cree dictionary

Poem Author: Dallas Hunt Poem title: Cree Dictionary Poem: the translation for joy in Cree is a fried bologna sandwich the translation for bittersweet in Cree looks like a cows and ploughs payment eight decades too late the translation for patience in Cree is an auntie looking after four of her own children and two of her sister’s the translation for evil in Cree is the act of not calling your mother on a Sunday the translation for expedition in Cree is travelling 20 minutes to the only gas station in Faust, Alberta to buy a hygaard pizza sub the translation for success in Cree is executing the perfect frog splash on your younger brother the Cree word for white man is unpaid child support the translation for conflicted in Cree is your deep, steadfast love for country superstar Dwight Yoakam (or depending on the regional dialect, George Jones, Patsy Cline or Blue Rodeo) the Cree word for constellation is a saskatoon berry bush in summertime the translation for policeman in Cree is mîci nisôkan, kohkôs the translation for genius in Cree is my kohkum muttering in her sleep the Cree word for poetry is your four-year-old niece’s cracked lips spilling out broken syllables of nêhiyawêwin in-between the gaps in her teeth End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Dallas Hunt Originally published in Contemporary Verse2/Prairie Fire (2018). Also appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2019 (Biblioasis, 2019). Reprinted with permission of the author. Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty Eight territory in Northern Alberta. He has had work published in The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Canadian Literature, and Settler Colonial Studies. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018, and was nominated for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. He is an assistant professor of Indigenous literature at UBC. Biblioasis is a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario committed to publishing the best poetry, fiction and nonfiction in beautifully crafted editions. Best Canadian Poetry 2019 edited by guest editor Rob Taylor, series editor Anita Lahey, and advisory editor Amanda Jernigan (Biblioasis, 2019)

About Best Canadian Poetry:

Launched in 2008 by Tightrope Books with former series editor Molly Peacock, the Best Canadian Poetry Series features fifty Canadian poets annually, drawn from Canadian literary journals magazines, both print and on-line. Each year, a distinguished guest editor (2008, Stephanie Bolster; 2009, A.F. Moritz; 2010, Lorna Crozier; 2011, Priscila Uppal; 2012, Carmine Starnino; 2013, Sue Goyette; 2014, Sonnet L’Abbé; Jacob McArthur Mooney, 2015, Helen Humphreys, 2016, Hoa Nguyen, 2018) selects the poems based on their intellectual, artistic, or inventive merit. The editorial taste changes with each new volume. The special Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition celebrates ten stellar years of the series.

As of 2019, the series is being published by Biblioasis and currently thrives under the stewardship of series editor Anita Lahey and advisory editor Amanda Jernigan. Best Canadian Poetry ushers readers into the heart of the diverse Canadian poetry scene. The anthology is a must-read for anyone with a stake or interest in contemporary Canadian literature.