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Joseph Dandurand is a storyteller, poet, playwright and member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about twenty minutes east of Vancouver.  He resides there with his three children.  Dandurand is the director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre, artistic director of the Vancouver Poetry House and author of three other books of poetry, I Want (2015), Hear and Foretell (2015), and SH:LAM (The Doctor) (2015).  Dandurand was Vancouver Public Library’s 2019 Indigenous storyteller in residence.

The East Side of It All

Nightwood Editions
2021 Shortlist
Canada

Judges’ Citation

Joseph Dandurand is a poet-storyteller.

Joseph Dandurand is a poet-storyteller. Portraying Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside’s prostitutes, heroin addicts, alcoholics and abused, his autobiographical poems could easily drown in the brutality and tragedy they capture – but instead they heal. These are deeply moving spiritual invocations, extricated from poisoned air by a fallen angel. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation, located on the Fraser river near Vancouver. His origin and roots are the sources of wisdom and myths, which he masterly embeds in a drama of a dysfunctional modern society. His crystalline clear and remarkably multilayered poems are written in an unforgettable voice of someone who is telling a story in order to survive and to go on. A story of a man who has become a sasquatch, through writing.