Louise Bernice Halfe

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Louise Bernice Halfe
Born (1953-04-08) April 8, 1953 (age 65)
Two Hills, Alberta
Occupation Author & Poet
Nationality Canadian
Notable works Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow & The Crooked Good
Notable awards PEI Milton Acorn Award for Bear Bones and Feathers, 1996, Saskatoon Book Award and the First Peoples Publishing Award, Saskatchewan’s poet Laureate
Spouse Married
Children 2 Children & 2 Grandchildren

Louise Bernice Halfe, is a Canadian First Nations poetry author. Her books are mainly based on her childhood experiences while being forced to attend a residential school and being ripped away from her family at a young age.[1] Throughout her Career as a poetry author she signed with Coteau Books and has published four books of poetry: Bear Bones & Feathers (1994), Blue Marrow (1998/2005), The Crooked Good (2007) and Burning in this Midnight Dream (2016).[2] She has received a lot of recognition and won many awards for her works she has published.

Early life[edit]

Louise Halfe, was born into an Aboriginal family on April 8, 1953.[3] Her given name is Louise but she is also known as Sky Dancer as this is her name in Cree.[4] She was born in Two Hills, Alberta, and raised on the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve.[5] When she was just seven years old, as an Aboriginal girl, Louise was forced to attend Blue Quills Residential School in St. Paul, Alberta. Later on at the young age of sixteen, she decided it was time to leave home. Leaving home unfortunately meant that she would have to break ties with her family, but doing so would give her the opportunity to complete all of her studies at St. Paul’s Regional High School. While Louise was attending high school, it sparked her interest in writing and she began to write in a journal. She wrote about her memories and experiences of her life. She has also gone on to earn her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina which would make her certified in addictions counseling from the Nechi Institute.[1] Louise currently lives in Saskatoon with her husband.[4] She has two children, now grown, and three grandchildren.

Career[edit]

During a six-year enrolment at The University of Saskatchewan, Louise Halfe was living off campus in Northern Saskatchewan. She attended classes on campus, but most of her schooling was done through satellite/online classes. Taking classes off campus gave her the luxury of not having to commute 3 hours to class all the time, but when she did have mandatory classes on campus the long commute had her needing to think of ways to occupy her time. Louise took this time to start writing in a journal, doing so ended up starting her writing career and was the result of her first book of poetry Bear Bones & Feathers.[5] In 1990, Halfe had successfully made her debut as a Canadian poet. The acclaimed Anthology of Life- Writings by Native Women helped her debut as she had made it into the writing circle- The Native Women of Western Canada.[2]

Awards[edit]

Louise Halfe has won many prestigious awards and has had a lot of positive recognition as an independent Canadian author and poet. After making her debut Louise scored herself a third place title in The League of Canadian Poets' Historical Poetry Contest.[1] She started off strong with her first book of poetry, Bear Bones & Feathers winning the Milton Acorn Award in 1996, and then being a finalist for the Governor Generals Award for Poetry in 1998. Bear Bones & Feathers also won her The Pat Lowther First Book Award and The Gerald Lampert Award.[2] After her second book of poetry Blue Marrow was published in 2005, Halfe went on to be named Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate from January 2005 – 2006. The Crooked Good, her third book of poetry, won herself The First Peoples Publishing Award.[6] This is an award that really hit home for her, and validated that all she has accomplished has been worth it. Louise was also shortlisted for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award.[2]

Works[edit]

  • Bear Bones & Feathers, 1994
  • Blue Marrow, 2004
  • The Crooked Good, 2007
  • Burning in this Midnight Dream, 2016

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "{Turtle Island Native Network} • View topic - Louise Halfe - Sky Dancer named Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate". www.turtleisland.org. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d ""Riding English": Tradition and Innovation in Louise Bernice Halfe's Blue Marrow". Novel Alliances. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  3. ^ Saskatchewan, Cory Toth - Encyclopedia Of. "The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan | Details". esask.uregina.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Louise Halfe :: Canadian Literature". www.123helpme.com. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  5. ^ a b "Member Profile | The Writers' Union of Canada". www.writersunion.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  6. ^ "Louise Bernice Halfe | Exploring Contemporary Canadian Voices". wordsaloud.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-31.