L-R: Frontenac House (2017), University of Minnesota Press (2019), Groupe Nota Bene (2019).

L-R: Frontenac House (2017), University of Minnesota Press (2019), Groupe Nota Bene (2019).


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, Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry (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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Amazon (CAN / USA)



"The Creator is Trans" - The Canadian League of Poets

"God Must Be an Indian" - Edmonton Journal

"Everyone is Lonely" - The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry

"Ode to Northern Alberta" - THIS Magazine; hear it read by me here, at

Two poems in Lemon Hound 3.0



"Billy-Ray Belcourt on Poetry as Protest" - The Banff Centre

"Everything is Something Else: In Conversation with Billy-Ray Belcourt" - PRISM International

"Billy-Ray Belcourt on the Meditative Power of Prose" - CBC The Next Chapter



"Hannah Karpinski on Billy-Ray Belcourt: This Wound is a World" - Lemon Hound 3.0

"'Heartbreak is sonic': How Billy-Ray Belcourt's Poetry Encouraged Decolonial Love in 2017" - CBC Arts (Casey Mecija)


“Notes from a Public Washroom”: draws inspiration from language in Joshua Jennifer Espinoza’s There Should be Flowers (CCM, 2016).

“Withikowak means ‘Men Who Can’t Survive Love’”: “i will learn to love a monster" is from “Immigrant Haibun” in Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016).

“The Back Alley of the World”: the last two lines use as an ideational template two lines from Bhanu Kapil’s Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat, 2015). Hers: “Are you from a suburb? I am from a ditch.”

“An Elegy for Flesh”: uses phraseology from Alok Vaid-Menon’s poem “When Brown Looks in the Mirror and Comes out White”: “we do not yet have a word in the English language to capture that initial sense of recognition.”

“God Must Be an Indian”: draws on phraseology from Vuong’s “Notebook Fragments.”