Billy-Ray Belcourt

Youth – First Nation (2019)

Driftpile Cree Nation, AB

Billy-Ray Belcourt is an intellectual, an award-winning poet, and just twenty-three-years-old. His debut poetry collection, This Wound is a World, has been described as “a refusal of colonial erasure.” That book won the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, was named the Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer at the 2018 Indigenous Voices Awards and was named by CBC Books as the best “Canadian poetry” collection of 2017. For This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray also became the youngest ever winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. As one of the first ever First Nations Rhodes Scholars, he read for a master’s degree in Women’s Students at the University of Oxford and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in English and Film studies at the University of Alberta. Named as one of CBC’s 10 Young Canadians to Watch, Billy-Ray will release NDN Coping Mechanism: Notes from the Field, a poetry-prose hybrid in Fall 2019.