Jónína Kirton

Jónína Kirton

Jónína Kirton, a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet, facilitator and manuscript consultant, was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (Treaty One).  She currently lives in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples.  Her interest in the stories of her Métis and Icelandic ancestors is the common thread throughout much of her writing.  Jónína graduated from Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007 where she now teaches and is their Indigenous Advisor.

Her first collection of poetry, page as bone ~ ink as blood, was released with Talonbooks in 2015.  Joanne Arnott described this collection as “restorative, intimate poetry, drawing down ancestral ideas into the current moments breath.”  Her second collection, An Honest Woman, was released in 2018, again with Talonbooks.  It was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.  Betsy Warland had this to say about An Honest Woman:  “Kirton picks over how she was raised familially and culturally like a crime scene.” A late-blooming poet, she was sixty-one when she received the 2016 City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Art Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category.

An active member of the Vancouver literary scene she was one of the founders of Indigenous Brilliance, a reading series that is a partnership between Room Magazine, where she was once an editorial board member, Massy Books and the Indigenous Brilliance team.  While with Room Magazine she developed and curated Turtle Island Responds, an online news related poetry series.

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Author Jónína Kirton