Aboriginal artist and writer, Michelle Sylliboy blends together her modern poetry, photography, and Mi’kmaq (L’nuk) hieroglyphic poetry in this unprecedented book. Publication is timed to coincide with the 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages, and the launch of Michelle Sylliboy's Mi'kmaq hieroglyphic art exhibit in Nova Scotia. The International Year of Indigenous Languages is a United Nations observance in 2019 that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation. "My ancestors used the hieroglyphics as maps and to record tribal records. The photographs in this book are a recognition of land and how the Komqwejwi’kasikl language comes from the land. The importance of saving our water and our lands in the time of resource extraction is critical." ~Michelle Sylliboy
REVIEWS Crystalline and fluid, the word art and visuals of Michelle emerges sharp, poignant and catalytic moving us between our world and the one surrounding us, challenging us to continuously create visions of unspoken love that resides in the imagination of all of us. ~ Lee Maracle (Sto:lo) author of Memory Serves (NeWest Press), Celia’s Song (Cormorant Books)
Michelle’s poetry, the weaving of images and the hieroglyphs bring us tidal waves of energies from centuries past, like a wave crashing they are a much-needed call to each of us to remember our ancestors. A prayer in motion, this collection acknowledges the brokenness and beauty that exists within each of us. It will save lives. ~ Jónína Kirton (Métis/Icelandic) author of An Honest Woman (Talonbooks)
Michelle Sylliboy’s I am Ready poetry collection is a cultural basket filled with the poet’s harvest in words, in ancient Komqwej’wikasikl hieroglyphics and perfectly accented photographs. Michelle shows us there is poetry in frozen water drops attached precariously to vegetation. The graphic language symbols are offered as evidence of her survival and that of her people. We are treated to wise life lessons collected together in verse. I am Ready reflects a sentiment to be ready to return to self. Quite inspiring. ~ Janet Rogers (Mohawk/Tuscarora) author of As Long as the Sun Shines (BookLand Press)
AUTHOR/ ARTIST BIO Michelle Sylliboy, a L’nuk (Mi’kmaq) artist/author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised on unceded territory in We’koqmaq Cape Breton. Arriving on the art scene in 1995, her Interdisciplinary art practice embodies some of her own life experiences, which has led her to work with emerging and professional artists from all over Turtle Island. Michelle recently moved back to her territory after living and working on unceded Coast Salish territory for the past twenty-seven years. While in Vancouver, she learned to capture and intrigue the art community with her Interdisciplinary style of work. She gathers much of her inspiration from personal tales, the environment, and her L’nuk culture. PhD Candidate, Michelle is working on her Philosophy of Education Doctorate Degree fieldwork where she will combine her artistic background and education by creating a L’nuk Komqwejwi’kasikl (Hieroglyphic) curriculum with L’nuk teachers and Elders in Cape Breton.