NDN Coping Mechanisms

Notes From the Field


In his follow-up to This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt’s Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field is a provocative, powerful, and genre-bending new work that uses the modes of accusation and interrogation.

He aims an anthropological eye at the realities of everyday life to show how they house the violence that continues to reverberate from the long twentieth century. In a genre-bending constellation of poetry, photography, redaction, and poetics, Belcourt ultimately argues that if signifiers of Indigenous suffering are everywhere, so too is evidence of Indigenous peoples’ rogue possibility, their utopian drive.

In NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, the poet takes on the political demands of queerness, mainstream portrayals of Indigenous life, love and its discontents, and the limits and uses of poetry as a vehicle for Indigenous liberation. In the process, Belcourt once again demonstrates his extraordinary craft, guile, and audacity, and the sheer dexterity of his imagination.


Billy-Ray Belcourt

BILLY-RAY BELCOURT is from the Driftpile Cree Nation and lives on the Internet. His debut book of poems, This Wound is a World, won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and was named the Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer at the 2018 Indigenous Voices Awards. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, Lampert Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. It was named by CBC Books as the best Canadian poetry collection of the year. Billy-Ray is a Ph.D. candidate and a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. A 2016 Rhodes Scholar, he holds a master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Wadham College at the University of Oxford. In January 2020, he will be an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


A Country Is How Men Hunt – NDN Brothers – The Terrible Beauty of the Reserve – A Lover’s Discourse – What to an NDN Is the Intrinsic Goodness of Mankind? – … 38 $3.80


Treaty 8 – Ars Poetica – Flesh – Melancholy’s Forms – Hypotheses – Desire Made Waste Out of Time – Red Utopia – Notes from the Field – … 49 $4.90