Toronto Star Review - Burning in this Midnight Dream
As a residential school survivor, Saskatchewan poet Louise Bernice Halfe testified at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings. Burning in this Midnight Dream is also a form of testimony - a piercingly affecting one - about the violence, despair and disorienting loss of cultural identity that are the legacy of the residential school policy. The book begins with poems that chart the poet's "backyards walk" along the "hot-coal trail" of the past. They then move forward over time to chronicle her reconnection with Cree traditions. Along the way, Halfe writes vividly about struggling with her inner demons. But she also writes of resilience. As she puts it lyrically in one poem, "Like a sapling clinging to a mote of dirt/on the Rocky Mountains/I've clung through swirling winds."