In this post, I write a review of Tenille K. Campbell’s collection of poetry titled #IndianLovePoems read on to find out what I thought of this book!
Before I talk about the book itself, I want to talk about the authour.
Tenille Campbell is an example of an awesome human being and someone that I personally look up to. She’s a photographer, a Ph.D. student, a published poet, and a blog creator. If I could be half as successful as she is I would be living a great life.
Now, onto the book itself!
In short, I love Campbell’s poetry. I love it so much that I decided to use it as the topic of a paper I wrote for a class about Indigenous Women in Canada last semester. I would read it a million times over and recommend it to anyone.
Campbell’s poetry style reminds me of Rupi Kaur, who is another great female Canadian, minority poet. It seems to me that both of these artists are playing as much with the way their poem looks visually as it reads. Campbell tackles many “modern” topics like one-night stands, social media, and interracial relations.
However, despite tackling all of these different situations I found her writing to be very believable and relatable. Often, her poetry made me blush. I showed some of it to my boyfriend and he too was giggling and blushing.
What I liked the most about her poetry was how she rooted Indigenous women’s sexuality and sexual expression in connections to the land and nature. By using metaphors and similes related to animals and nature she really portrayed all of the things she talked about as completely natural and beautiful. In a society where women (especially Indigenous women) are still fighting for control of their own bodies and sexualities, this was very refreshing.
When I wrote my paper on this book I had to include a negative or critical angle. My only criticism of this collection was that it did not portray the realities of many Indigenous women, as she never discussed domestic violence. I think there are two reasons for this. First of all, it is possible that she has never been through this herself and therefore has no reference to write from. Of course, I hope this is true. Secondly, it seems like #IndianLovePoems is a positive book, and one meant to encourage Indigenous women to reclaim their sexuality. A discussion of domestic violence or sexual abuse would not have been conducive to this goal.
Ultimately I loved this book. I recommend any woman reads it, but especially Indigenous women. Reading this book made me feel like I have some kind of power that I have never felt before. Also, I recommend you follow Tenille Campbell’s Instagram and read the tea&bannock blog for more exposure to great Indigenous women artists and writers.