Six excellent reads for times of concern, comfort and love

moorehype is thrilled to be working with Radiant Press this year.

Kitotam, poetry by John McDonald. The Neyhiyawak (Plains Cree) word “Kitotam” translates into English as "he speaks to it.” John McDonald writes raw poetry that captures the essence of his life and experiences as an urban Indigenous youth during the 1980s in Northern Saskatchewan. This is a glimpse of the people, events, and trauma that influenced the person he has become: storyteller, spoken-word artist, and a meticulous caretaker of the history of his ancestors.

John McDonald is a Nehiyawak-Metis multidiscipinary writer and artist from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Mistawasis Nehiyawak. The great-great-great grandson of Chief Mistawasis of the Plains Cree, as well as the grandson of famed Metis leader Jim Brady, John’s writings and artwork have been displayed in various publications, private and permanent collections, and galleries around the world. John is the author of several books, and has had his work published and presented around the globe. He studied at England’s prestigious University of Cambridge, where, in July 2000 he made international headlines by symbolically ‘discovering’ and ‘claiming’ England for the First Peoples of the Americas. John lives near Christopher Lake, in Saskatchewan.

WRECK: a memoir by Kelley Jo Burke

A Deep Dive Into The Familial Kitchen Sink

Kelley Jo Burke embarks on a wild journey to understand many things, including the part where her grandfather sort of murdered her grandmother. Returning to a house filled with her first memories of childhood, she begins to explore the complex origins of her own anxiety. Along the way, she reflects on alienation and immigration, mental health and generational trauma, and the nature of memory itself. A memoir filled with raw honesty, comedy, tragedy, and grace.

Graham Greene writes that, “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” For Kelley Jo Burke that moment comes when, sitting on a rock near her grandparents’ cottage, she sees the Nubble, the lighthouse that she ‘believes will look after me, and that was as it should be.’ The author is less than two years old then, but she will spend the next decades of her life, a life strafed by the pain of loss and fear, searching for a beacon that will, like the Nubble, mark the dangers hiding along the coastline and lead her to a safe harbour. ‘Hope’, the last spirit in Pandora’s Box , is lost. The shining beacon that will lead her past danger to the place she can call ‘home’ does not exist on this rocky shore. But just as the author reaches her nadir, she learns the lesson she was meant to learn all along. Read this book. You’ll be very grateful you did.

​- Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn Shreve Mystery Series

Kelley Jo Burke is an award-winning Regina playwright, creative nonfiction writer and documentarian, and was for many years host of CBC Radio's SoundXchange. She was the 2017 winner (with composer Jeffery Straker) of Playwright Guild of Canada's national Best New Musical Award for Us, which premiered at the Globe Theatre 2018. Her new musical The Curst will premiere at Dancing Sky Theatre in Saskatchewan when the pandemic says it can. Her work includes four books, a dozen or so plays, and eight creative nonfiction documentaries for CBC Radio's IDEAS. She was the 2009 winner of the Sask. Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Leadership in the Arts, the 2008 Saskatoon and Area Theatre Award for Playwriting, and has received the City of Regina Writing Award three times.


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Earth-cool, and Dirty, poetry by Jacob Lee Bachinger. A meditation on the ways human life and the natural world grow into one another and yet still remain estranged. The poet dissects family life, mortality, and writes love letters to other poets. He imagines the lives of fairy tale heroes in middle age and questions the legacy he will leave for his own children.

Jacob Lee Bachinger teaches at the University of Lethbridge and has had his poems published in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Riddle Fence, and The Malahat Review, among others.

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Micro Fiction For The Win, Sarah

"I know a girl with a large head who tells only sad stories. She tells me that her stories are not sad because there are other people with worse stories and though this is true, it strikes me as the saddest thing she could say." A motley collection of characters populate these short, short stories, shaped by the daily barrage of media aimed at the general populace. Dramatic, and darkly funny, they revolve around Jewish identity. The schlemiel -- a figure in Jewish folklore who is unlucky and inept at the same time -- is not always apparent in the pages, but is evoked as a guiding concept. People cling to would-be wisdoms, memes, and TV tag-lines, while failing to locate their misplaced communities. A particularly apt book for our current world, where chaos and anxiety reign.

Sarah Mintz grew up in Greenwood, Goose Bay, Victoria, Courtenay, Vancouver, Montreal, and maybe even Moose Jaw -- depending on how one defines "grew up." She's worked at video stores, thrift stores, pet stores, managed buildings, shoveled snow, and answered the phone.As a recent graduate of the English M.A program at the University of Regina, her work has thus far appeared in Agnes and True, the University of Regina's [space] journal, the Book*hugAnthology, Write Across Canada , and a chapbook forthcoming from JackPine Press.Sarah lives in Victoria, BC.