Book details

Publication date: March 2022
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Identity Trauma Pain Resilience Family Metis Passing Indigenous Identity Confessional poetry Place
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian / Indigenous, POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Family, POETRY / Women Authors, Poetry by individual poets, Modern and contemporary poetry (c 1900 onwards), Canada, Identity Trauma Pain Resilience Family Metis Passing Indigenous Identity Confessional poetry Place, Poetry / Canadian Literature, Canadian Literature, Poetry, Indigenous Authors
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Michelle Poirier Brown. Michelle Poirier Brown is an internationally published poet, performer, and photographer. She is nêhiýaw-iskwêw and a citizen of the Métis Nation. A feminist activist, now retired from careers as a speech writer, conflict analyst, and federal treaty negotiator, she writes full-time and has taken up birdwatching. She lives on unceded syilx territory in Vernon, BC.

Honouring the complexities of Indigenous identity and the raw experiences of womanhood, mental illness, and queer selfhood, the poems in Michelle Poirier Brown’s You Might Be Sorry You Read This reveal how breaking silences and reconciling identity can refine anger into something both useful and beautiful.

49th Shelf, February 28, 2022

"Michelle Poirier Brown’s first collection of poetry is accomplished and gripping. In her five-decade story, perceptions, denial, emotional embroilments and poignant tenderness are peeled back and examined. As the narrative builds, we encounter the sheer alchemical power of poetry. This is rare. You Might Be Sorry You Read This will change you." Betsy Warland, Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss


“One of the functions of poetry is to make you uncomfortable.” This epigraph, by Pádraig Ó Tuama, begins Michelle Poirier Brown’s debut collection—a collection that intends, unapologetically, to discomfort the reader. With unflinching precision and the exactness of a fine poet’s eye, Poirier Brown challenges her readers to encounter not only her childhood trauma but, ultimately, the power of her self—her late-discovered Métis identity, her navigation of PTSD, her unwillingness to settle for less than the truth. In the final poem, “Self-Portrait of the Poet,” she concludes, “go ahead. look. / Look as long as you like.” Invitation or command, it’s a hard look Poirier Brown offers. It may make readers uncomfortable. But they won’t be sorry.”
—Laura Apol, author of A Fine Yellow Dust


"In her compelling debut collection, You Might Be Sorry You Read This, Michelle Poirier Brown pulls you into an intimate place of unflinching honesty. Brown’s poetic memoir confronts, explores, and digests hard truths. There is no sitting quietly on the sidelines for the reader. Her book claims your engagement. And as the speaker awakens to herself, the poems ring out with new confidence and resonance. I predict emphatically you will be grateful you read this." Susan Alexander, Nothing You Can Carry

1 The Father I Had
3 God Was a Baby
4 A Child’s Book of Holy Services
6 Her Breath on My Face
8 Other Side of the Glass
10 Effect on Her Throat
11 The House on Strathnaver Avenue
15 Mothers Who Know
16 The Thing About Snow
22 Photograph
23 Under the Covers
25 The Girls I Grew Up With Are Everywhere
27 Short Change
28 After the Test
29 Walk on the Left-Hand Side
30 5:53 PM
32 A Perspective on Women
33 Collard Greens
34 Lasts
36 I’m Allowed to Have Whatever Kind of Father I Want
38 Intimacy
39 On the Porch
41 At Times, My Teeth Chatter
about face
46 What It’s Like to Have My Face
47 Understanding My Face
52 Wake
54 A Fragile Defiance
55 Smoke
57 Winnipeg Trip
59 Commitment
61 Two Mornings, 2018
63 Boxed
64 Those I Call Friends
66 Duck Ugly
67 Beneficiaries of a Genocide
69 Slow
70 Sometimes You Learn Things Quite Late in the Game
72 Something Purple
75 what it is like to be this extreme and appear normal
78 The Other Grandmother
80 Self-Portrait of the Poet
83 addendum
87 poetic statement
90 acknowledgements
ISBNs: 9781772126037 978-1-77212-603-7 Title: you might be sorry you read this ISBNs: 9781772126136 978-1-77212-613-6 Title: you might be sorry you read this