These Lands: a collection of voices by Black poets in Canada

These Lands

A Collection of Voices by Black Poets in Canada

Edited by Chelene Knight


Fiona Raye Clarke, Catherine Esther Cowie, Irene Moore Davis, Trynne Delaney, Marita Forget, Shery Alexander Heinis, Charlotte Henay, Alannah Johnson, Victoria Mbabazi, Emmanuel Uweru Okoh, stephanie roberts and Blossom Thom

About the Editor

Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her work has appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making RoomLove Me TrueSustenanceThe Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter.

The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” In addition to her work as a writer, Knight is managing editor at Room, programming director for the Growing Room Festival, and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling.  

Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020. 

From the introduction

The poems in this collection are filled with incredible Black voices belting necessary narratives. Through a calling in of community, the commonality of shared experiences, and the laying down of roots, these poems echo strength and power. These poems—are family. 

In putting together this chapbook, I looked for pieces that not only held their own on the page, but transformed into movement, dance, joy, pain, diaspora, and even sadness—off the page. This is not an easy or ordinary act. Each piece asks a questions of its reader but offers no answer, no solution. The job of poets here is to open the door or curtain for a moment to let in a sliver of light. Just enough for you to make your way over these mountains, these neighbourhoods, this hunger, this thirst, these hills, these dreams, these fields—these lands.