Congratulations from Artmob!
The Artmob project would like to congratulate Canadian Writers in Person for bringing their important video archive to the public. This collection is a testament to the creativity and dedication of both the authors and the organizers of the series, and we are proud to have played a part in its online presence.
Artmob is a York University-based research project dedicated to building accessible public archives of Canadian art. For more information visit us at www.artmob.ca.
Since childhood, Marilyn Dumont has been aware of the possibilities, as well as the limitations, of language. Dumont is of Cree and Metis ancestry but in the family home, her parents would use English for everyday matters. However, they would default to Cree in times of crisis – but never taught this language to their children. Today, Dumont writes in English, but finds that this one language alone is inadequate to give voice to her very autobiographical subject matter. “I'm talking about things to do with an Aboriginal worldview,” she has explained. “How do I do that in a single language?” As a solution, Dumont experiments with form: incorporating Cree words into her poetry, for example, and blurring the line between poetry and prose. She claims to have discovered, in this way, a third language – one that allows her poetry to explore all corners of her personal and family history.
At the same time, Dumont is careful to insist that her writing, while it is undeniably autobiographical, is also an act of creation: history is transformed into story, fact into fiction. Still, her poetry goes far beyond the realm of the story to explore such themes as the internalized sense of shame that she experienced growing up Metis, the strength demonstrated by the women of her community (including her mother), and the sharp and vital sense of humour that pervades their lives.
Born in 1955 in the town of Olds, Alberta, Dumont earned a B.A. from the University of Alberta and an MFA from the University of British Columbia. Her poetry has been published in a variety of periodicals such as Legacy and Prairie Fire, and she has published three collections. Dumont has also worked with the National Film Board of Canada, and continues to cultivate several personal film projects. She has held the position of writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, the University of Windsor, the University of Toronto and Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, and has taught creative writing at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen University College.
Submitted by prathna on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 18:03.
Works in the Archive
No images available