MN Reads: “The Sky Watched” by Linda LeGarde Grover
Over the course of more than twenty years, poet Linda LeGarde Grover has published individual poems through various channels. Many of those poems are now coalesced into the single collection The Sky Watched published in 2022 by the University of Minnesota Press.
The collection is organized into four parts. "I had them divided in kind of a seasonal theme," says the author. "Not by nature, but by a person's life." The first section focuses on creation. The following three sections concentrate on far more modern topics: boarding schools and the years and generations that followed. Despite the tragic nature of this history, Legarde does find relief and moments of happiness. "The nature of the Anishinaabe people is that in the middle of something that is really, really difficult we can find something funny."
For LeGarde, poetry is the correct vehicle for the telling of this history. "The stories that I've heard about life or boarding school... are really pretty short. I think Ojibwe people have a poetic pattern to speech," says LeGarde. "There's kind of a formality and an awareness... of the beauty of sounds. I think that may be why I chose poetry as a way to express it."
The Sky Watched is available at local booksellers and on-line at the University of Minnesota Press.
Minnesota Reads is produced at The North 103.3 with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.