25th Trillium Award

GG Awards Series: The Dirty Dozen, with Katherena Vermette

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Katherena Vermette

Open Book continues the celebration of outstanding Canadian writing by featuring the winners of the 2013 Governor General's Literary Awards in the coming weeks. In today's edition of the Open Book Dirty Dozen we're excited to share 12 previously unknown facts about Winnipeg's Katherena Vermette, who wowed the jury with her incantatory collection of poetry, North End Love Songs (The Muses' Company). Joanne Arnott describes these poems as "unconventional and imminent, an examination and a celebration of family and community in all weathers, the beautiful as well as the less clement conditions. This collection is a very moving tribute, to the girls and the women, the boys and the men, and the loving trouble that has forever transpired between us.? Congratulations, Katherena!

Katherena Vermette's Dirty Dozen

1. Childhood nickname: My brothers called me Puddles for reasons related to bed wetting.

2. To this day, I can?t catch a ball because my brothers used to forcefully throw them at my head.

3. In retrospect, my brothers were really mean and I am amazed I don?t have more brother issues.

4. I am really good at making French toast.

5. I used to be really good at making bannock, but I lost that particular skill when I had my first daughter. (Apparently this is a thing, and women often lose their bannock skills when they have kids. If only I would?ve known!)

6. I was a part-time student for seven years (while working and raising kids) before I finally completed my English degree.

7. I am obsessed with fantasy fiction. Just finished Book 5 in Song of Ice and Fire. (Third time reading the series — pretty sure I?ve figured out all the secrets).

8. Stopped reading Robert Jordan?s The Wheel of Time after Book 1 because I heard he didn?t finish the series and I didn?t want to get attached only to be disappointed.

9. As a teenager, I would get up early, or stay up all night, to watch Dungeons and Dragons at 6 a.m. Saturday morning (The 12 or so episodes in rotation. Never got bored).

10. I can talk about geeky things like this for hours.

11. My fiancé and I went to elementary school together. I was his first crush. Then we didn?t see each other for about 20 years.

12. He was not my first crush, but I think he?s pretty cool now!

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer of poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines and compilations, including Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water. Vermette was the 2010-2011 writerscollective.org Blogger in Residence and recently began graduate work in the prestigious Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. A member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba since 2004, Vermette lives, works and plays in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

For more information about North End Love Songs please visit the Muses' Company website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore, online from the publisher or at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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