Book - 2016
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Award-winning Nisga'a poet Jordan Abel's third collection, Injun , is a long poem about racism and the representation of indigenous peoples. Composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950 - the heyday of pulp publishing and a period of unfettered colonialism in North America - Injun then uses erasure, pastiche, and a focused poetics to create a visually striking response to the western genre.

After compiling the online text of 91 of these now public-domain novels into one gargantuan document, Abel used his word processor's "Find" function to search for the word "injun." The 509 results were used as a study in context: How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What was left over once that word was removed? Abel then cut up the sentences into clusters of three to five words and rearranged them into the long poem that is Injun . The book contains the poem as well as peripheral material that will help the reader to replicate, intuitively, some of the conceptual processes that went into composing the poem.

Though it has been phased out of use in our "post-racial" society, the word "injun" is peppered throughout pulp western novels. Injun retraces, defaces, and effaces the use of this word as a colonial and racial marker. While the subject matter of the source text is clearly problematic, the textual explorations in Injun help to destabilize the colonial image of the "Indian" in the source novels, the western genre as a whole, and the Western canon.
Publisher: Vancouver, British Columbia :, Talonbooks,, 2016, ©2016.
ISBN: 9780889229778
Branch Call Number: 819. 1 ABE
Characteristics: 82 pages ; 6 cm


From Library Staff

List - Indigenous Poetry
danniblack Apr 25, 2019

Abel is a master at exploring what both identity and colonialism mean for an oppressed individual in a colonized territory.

List - Turtle Island
Phil_R Jun 05, 2017

A smashing breakdown of old westerns to create entirely new perspectives.

Friday the 13th: 'Poetry Cabaret' at Big Secret Theatre. Saturday the 14th: 'Workshop: Poetry' at Memorial Park Library.

List - Poetry 150
Phil_R Apr 03, 2017

Found text from old westerns all cut up makes for some seriously interesting work.

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