"What Became My Grieving Ceremony draws us into a sprawling family, and we rub shoulders with Fr. Ed; Patrick, the daemonic uncle; Margrette Monkman; Leotha and with the author herself as she conducts her personal and familial archeology, locating the self in its web of relations. Morgan is also on a linguistic search for a lost Michif, that unique Western Canadian tongue, born of the union of two races. Following her, I was led to the wakes, the barns and various kitchens of her people, where I found myself both a stranger yet also home." - Tim Lilburn
"Elegant and empathic, this fine book plumbs not only grief, but takes us through its rites: the anticipation of loss and its initial sting; the shouldering of a despair so vivid it hurts to succumb to memory's unheralded quietude. Drawing from her Métis and Trinidadian heritage, Morgan counterpoints the unassuaged suffering of her people with her family's, experiencing them as only one alert person can. Open yourself to these poems, become their host, and live their affirmative message as your own." -John Barton
Drawing from her Métis and Trinidadian background, Cara-Lyn Morgan offers new and ancient mappings of healing for body and land in the poignant Cartograph.
From accidental injury to the deeply imbued wounds of colonization, these are poems of a woman’s healing journey. Cara-Lyn Morgan metaphorically maps out the process of recovery within her own body and the landscapes around her, reclaiming the art of cartography from its colonial imposition of borders and railway lines on traditional lands. Her words create new maps and revisit the ancient ones: Vancouver Island, Georgian Bay, and the prairies all become “a merle of blackbirds,” “wayward unsettling of red lilies after the thunderstorm,” and “soil and sweat, sunlight and crop.” She finds the medicine in each of her different voices: Métis, Trinidadian, and stretchy-pant-wearing yoga lover. In Cartograph she braids together these voices like sweetgrass. Within their woven map, we meet Cara-Lyn Morgan.