The Glass Lodge

By John Brady McDonald

Coming in 2024: A new edition, revised and updated by the author, of John Brady McDonald’s acclaimed debut poetry collection

JOHN BRADY MCDONALD, a Nehiyawak-Metis multidisciplinary artist and writer from Treaty Six Territory, the author of five books, was shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award in 2022, a finalist for the High Plains Book Award that same year, and finalist for the 2023 Lambda Literary Award in New York City. He has presented around the world, including at the Edmonton and Fort McMurray Literary Festival, the Eden Mills Writers Festival, Bookfest Windsor, the Toronto Word On The Street Festival, and the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Before all this, however, he was a young, urban Indigenous youth, struggling with addictions, the streets, and the pain and turmoil of intergenerational trauma as a Residential School Survivor and the child of Residential School Survivors. While his struggle was not uncommon, what made it unique was that he documented it through free-verse poetry, filling countless notebooks and paper boxes with hundreds of poems over a ten-year period, providing a glimpse into the life of an Indigenous youth who had to overcome so much and grow up way too fast. 

These raw, lyrical poems are a glimpse of the birth of a poet, recklessly using language and words with abandon and without restraint. It is the poetry of an individual experimenting with the language, influenced by the works of Shakespeare and Jim Morrison, mixed with the teenage goth writing style of youth—the base metals from which a lifetime of words was forged.

Originally published by Kegedonce Press in 2004, The Glass Lodge was presented across Canada and the US at esteemed festivals. Chosen for the First Nations Communities Read program, it was also nominated for the Anskohk Aboriginal Book of the Year in 2005. Since that first edition went out of print a few years ago, McDonald has re-edited and restored the work. He also rediscovered many of the original, handwritten poems, which serve as illustrations in this new edition.

The Glass Lodge transcends all the cliches of the angst-ridden Urban Indian. McDonald’s verse is a brilliant fusion of the brutality and hope that is inherent in the Aboriginal experience. I have never read poetry that so closely resembles my own experience as a First Nations man.” – Darrell Dennis, Writer, Tales of an Urban Indian, Moccasin Flats

Shadowpaw Press Reprise is thrilled to republish this important collection and make it available to a new generation of readers.


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