Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

Bearing witness

Poet and author Jordan Abel deconstructs the very notion of genre in his multivalent new work


Jordan Abel

McClelland & Stewart

GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE WINNER Jordan Abel (Nisga’a) presents readers with his fourth book, a multi-modal memoir and cultural document that uses the techniques of collage, overlaying, and juxtaposition – among others – to tell a story about intergenerational trauma and its wide-ranging effects.

While this is a memoir, it covers many generations, which sets it apart from other books in the category and complicates the very notion of what memoir can do. Simultaneously, Nishga is an extended lyric essay, in the vein of Claudia Rankine’s work. It’s part of a genre that expects meaning to accrue through what Amy Bonnaffons cites (in “Bodies of Text: On the Lyric Essay”) as featured elements: gaps in the text, use of white space, “nodes,” and “networks.” In some ways, Nishga is also a long poem.

What this ought to illustrate is that Abel’s book isn’t easily slotted into one genre; this choice to use many approaches – to be hybrid, complicated, and difficult to label – is fundamental to understanding the text. The slipperiness in Nishga allows the form to more fully represent traumatic content with a power that words or images alone might struggle to harness.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Quill & Quire - March 2020
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - March 2020
Or 599 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 5.00 per issue
Or 4999 points

View Issues

About Quill & Quire

Spring Kidlit Special New books by Jeremy and Hermione Tankard, Tom Ryan and Robin Stevenson, and Lindsay Wong