North End Love Songs by Katherena Vermette

Poetry selection by Tara

north end(Muses’ Company, 2012)

For Katherena Vermette, Winnipeg’s North End is a neighbourhood of colourful birds, stately elms, and always wily rivers. It is where a brother’s disappearance is trivialized by local media and police because he is young and aboriginal. It is also where young girls share secrets, movies, cigarettes, Big Gulps and stories of love.

I requested this book because it was on the short list for the Manitoba Book Club “On the Same Page”. When I received the book and realized it was a book of poetry I let out an audible groan. I am not a poetry fan. However the patron that was in the library at the time reminded me that I could use it on my Reading Bingo Sheet as the “genre I don’t normally read”. They were right, so I took a leap and dove in. Turns out that I really enjoyed this book and it received my vote for “On the Same Page”. Perhaps I enjoyed it because the of the Winnipeg scenes she described. I think though, I fell for the people she wrote about. I could see them, felt for them. This book has me reconsidering how I feel about poetry. North End Love Songs turned out to be this years’ winner. I recommend giving this one a try.

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