"This Wound is a World peels back the layers of feeling and experience to offer, finally, the glimmerings of hope – which only sometimes looks like escape: 'follow me out of the backdoor of the world.' This electrifying book reminds us that a poem may live twin lives as incantation and inscription, singing from the untamed margins: 'grieve is the name i give to myself / i carve it into the bed frame. / i am make-believe. / this is an archive. / it hurts to be a story.'


Judges' Citation, Griffin Poetry Prize 2018



Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky to world inside.” Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

  • The best book of "Canadian poetry" of 2017 - CBC Books
  • "Best Books of 2017" - PRISM International (x2)
  • "Ten Must-Read Books of 2017" - Canadian League of Poets
  • "2017 Best Books of the Year" - Writers' Trust of Canada


Winner, the Griffin Poetry Prize (2018)

Winner, the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize (2018)

Winner, Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer, Indigenous Voices Awards (2018)

Finalist, the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry (2018)

Finalist, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award (2018)

Finalist, the Raymond Souster Award (2018)


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