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At The Edge Of Canada: Indigenous Research

Today our guest is Cree poet and doc­tor­al stu­dent in the Depart­ment of Eng­lish and Film Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta, Bily-Ray Bel­court. In addi­tion to his cut­ting-edge doc­tor­al research on Indige­nous queer affect the­o­ry that is housed in the lim­i­nal space of the spir­i­tu­al and the real, Bil­ly-Ray recent­ly pub­lished a book of poet­ry via Fron­tenac Press: This Wound Is A World. Bil­ly-Ray’s poet­ry seeks to con­sti­tute an effec­tive com­mons” that offers a fig­u­ra­tive, metaphor­i­cal, and lit­er­al space for the emo­tion­al lone­li­ness that we all indi­vid­u­al­ly feel but often col­lec­tive­ly express. Bil­ly-Ray’s work is erot­ic in an intel­lec­tu­al­ly grat­i­fy­ing way, near­ly as risqué and explic­it as one can be while lux­u­ri­at­ing in the theroret­i­cal gaps and spaces of the post-colo­nial, queer Indige­nous body that looks out on to the world and feels, hurts, loves, aches, and sur­ren­ders to the beau­ty and pain of real­i­ty. We dis­cuss Bil­ly-Ray’s ver­sion of decolo­nial love, strate­gies for invi­it­ing metaphor into poems, the erotics of the armpit, and per­haps most impor­tant­ly who his Indig­neous intel­lec­tu­al crush­es are right now. He opens the show with a read­ing of his poem: If I Have a Body, Let it be a Book of Sad Poems”.