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Poetry Indigenous

The All + Flesh


by (author) Brandi Bird

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Aug 2023
Indigenous, Family, Canadian
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price

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Finalist, 2024 League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
Finalist, 2024 League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Memorial Award
Finalist, 2024 League of Canadian Poets' Raymond Souster Award

I am made of centuries & carbohydrates
the development of my molars
the hunger the teeth grew
has been with me since childhood
I can’t escape the mouths of others

Brandi Bird’s long-anticipated debut poetry collection, The All + Flesh, explores the concepts of health, language, place, and memory that connect its author to their chosen kin, blood relatives, and ancestral lands. By examining kinship in broader contexts, these frank, transcendent poems expose binaries that exist inside those relationships, then inspect and tease them apart in the hope of moving toward decolonial future(s). Bird’s work is highly concerned with how outer and inner landscapes move and change within the confines of the English language, particularly the “I” of the self, a tradition of movement that has been lost for many who don’t speak their Indigenous languages or live on their homelands. By exploring the landscapes the poet does inhabit, both internally and externally, Bird’s poems seek to delve into and reflect their cultural lineages—specifically Saulteaux, Cree, and Métis—and how these transformative identities shape the person they are today.

About the author

BRANDI BIRD is an Indigiqueer Saulteaux, Cree, and Métis writer and editor from Treaty 1 territory. They currently live and learn on the land of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples. Bird’s poems have been published in Catapult, The Puritan, Room Magazine, and others. They are a fourth year BFA student at the University of British Columbia, but their heart is always yearning for the prairies.

Brandi Bird's profile page


  • Long-listed, League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Memorial Award
  • Short-listed, League of Canadian Poets' Raymond Souster Award
  • Short-listed, League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

Editorial Reviews

Honest and transformative, these poems portray and reach beyond Prairie landscapes and wounded lives.

Prairie Books NOW

Bird’s clear, forceful voice stacks imagistic snippets in formally inventive poems and leaves the reader to intuit and feel through how they all fit together in an act of engaged, attentive witnessing.

The Tyee

This is Bird’s gospel … They transform prayer into poetry.

British Columbia Review

The All + Flesh is a sophisticated debut work … Over and over again, time is suspended in the poems, and in this state of timelessness, we are able to transcend the limitations of western linearity and thought and to reconnect with relationships that have been stunted or lost. This is an invigorating, liberating read.

Miramichi Reader

An expansive, experimental consideration of how intergenerational trauma, knowledge, and violence grow like limbs … Drawing on their experience as a queer and Indigenous author, [Brandi Bird reveals], sharply and beautifully, the whiplash of coming of age in a time of contradiction—when reparations and profound systematic failures arrive on the same day.

Literary Review of Canada