Poems about a young two-spirit Indigenous person moving through shadow and trauma toward strength and awareness.

“The poems in Tyler Pennock’s Blood generate a gentle music that is in turns both painful and reverent (sometimes at the same time). I value the way Pennock sits with contradiction and in doing so makes a whole spectrum of feeling possible. An important addition to a blossoming queer Indigenous literary tradition.”

Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World, and NDN coping Mechanisms

“Pennock’s Blood shines on the parts of the self that defy the ruthlessness of empire. By turns inward to the still and sobering power of language, and again outward to the echoes of ‘leaves and wind,’ a music as sensitive as it is revelatory ushers us into their unique measure of aliveness. The poet here is engaged and unafraid to look long.”

Canisia Lubrin, author of The Dyzgraphxst

Conceived in the same world as their acclaimed debut, Bones, Tyler Pennock’s Blood centres around a protagonist who at first has difficulty knowing the difference between connection and pain, and we move with them as they explore what it means to want. Pennock weaves longing, intimacy, and Anishinaabe relationalities to recentre and rethink their speaker’s relationship to the living — never forgetting non-human kin.

Cover Image by Ovila Mailhot

This book is a look at how deep history is represented in the everyday; it also tries to answer how one person can challenge the impacts of that history. It is a reminder that Indigenous people carry the impacts of colonial history and wrestle with them constantly. Blood explores the relationships between spring and winter, ice and water, static things and things beginning to move, and what emerges in the thaw.

No one wants to learn who was taken

while we slept

and yet –

there is always birdsong

breaking the quiet

letting us know

it’s safe to rise again

Tyler Pennock

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